Leading up to the holidays, we'll use this space to profile local crafters whose wares we think would make excellent gifts.
These days, artist Brandon Hubbard could beat just about anyone in a geography quiz. He knows off the top of his head, for example, that Texas has 254 counties and Delaware only has three. He knows states like Louisiana and Alaska don't have counties, but do have parishes and boroughs, respectively. When you've drawn out each county, borough and parish by hand, as Hubbard has done for a series of drawings featuring all 50 states, it's hard to forget such facts.
"I had always planned on doing every single state," says Hubbard, adding that California was the first he tackled. "I figured I'd start out west and work my way back east, but people started seeing them and started commissioning me to do their state next."
Hubbard has been able to finish all 50 states in one year and sells prints and t-shirts of the finished product on his INKredibleDESIGN website (inkredibledesign.com). Perhaps due to his background as a furniture designer and architect, the maps are both highly detailed and aesthetically pleasing. Some of the states, such as Wyoming and New Mexico, incorporate the state's flag. Others, like Washington and Illinois, simply have that state's counties colorfully written out one-by-one to form the shape of that county and, when combined and pieced together, form the shape of the whole state.
"All of them are really popular with locals, because San Diego is such a hodgepodge of people from all over," says, Hubbard, who will be showcasing all of them (that is, the entire U.S.) at a special show at Mike Hess Brewing in North Park on Dec. 12 from 7 to 10 p.m.
The project grew out of a neighborhood street sign project Hubbard was working on when he was the resident artist at the now closed Cirello Gallery in North Park. Now that he's finished with the U.S., he plans to tackle pieces for the rest of the world and is already working on maps of Britain, New Zealand and Puerto Rico, as well as a detailed map of Sicily's regions. His prints and other INKredibleDESIGN products are available in a few stores around town, including Simply Local in North Park, Westgrove Collective in South Park and even a small gift shop in rural Texas, but Hubbard says he has big plans to get his work into more places.
"I want to take my son on a road trip of some of the more interesting counties Iíve discovered in doing this project," he says. "If I find some places along the way to sell my maps, that'd be great too."