Cloudbusting by Sophie Michalski

COURSE: Geography 572: Graphic Design in Cartography


This project maps the reality of the lives of Peter and Wilhelm Reich, told by Peter Reich in A Book of Dreams. These memories and dreams were then read and studied by Kate Bush, which she chose to write into a song. The paratext that accompanies the map on the right side describes the specific stories of Peter and Wilhelm Reich, which were quite tragic. Kate’s song “Cloudbusting,” as well as A Book of Dreams, reference specific spatial points, which I’ve drawn out on my map.

I’ve always been very interested in blending previous artwork with cartographic principles and ideas to create a map project. Songs are particularly difficult to pin down into a visual aesthetic, since they primarily relay their artistic value through audio. “Cloudbusting” is one of my favorite songs, and after reading A Book of Dreams, I was touched and inspired by the creative web Kate designed throughout the song. I’ve always wanted to make a map using pink and purple colors primarily, but they often don’t make sense within a map theme. For this map, however, I drew a lot of inspiration from the Hounds of Love album cover, on which “Cloudbusting” is Track 5. The purple and pink swirl effect on my map was made in Photoshop with a watercolor brush stamp, the smudge tool, and the blur tool, after many hours of trial and error. This map also went through countless different versions and edits, so I am very grateful to my professor, TA, and 572 peers for helping me with design decisions. This project was one of my most fun ever to make – I love combining cartographic design principles I’ve learned in various courses with my personal affection for aesthetic design in Photoshop and Illustrator.