Dedicated ‘Lord Of The Rings’ fan transforms real-world maps into Middle Earth

Dedicated ‘Lord Of The Rings’ fan transforms real-world maps into Middle Earth

Artist Chris Birse, 34, quit his job at Aldi a few months ago in a bid to become a full time artist after customers and fans of Lord of The Rings raved about his pieces

A Lord of the Rings enthusiast has expressed his devotion to the Tolkein franchise in a very unique way.

Artist Chris Birse, 34, has spent hundreds of hours creating intricately-detailed maps of UK regions inspired by the fictional world of Middle Earth.

He spoke to the Liverpool Echo about his time spent recreating Merseyside into a Middle Earth fantasy that would impress any Tolkien aficionado.

Chris said: “I started making maps about three years ago now. I was writing a fantasy novel at the time and I needed a map at the start of the book to show where the characters were going, that kind of thing.

“I thought rather than paying someone else, I would give it a go myself just for the hell of it.

“So as a practice, I did my home region of Teeside in that style and just got a lot of positive feedback from it and I thought maybe this could be the direction to take things.”

After recreating his home region in the style, Chris has gone to recreate other countries and smaller UK regions, in a bid to include places of interest.

Chris said: “I post a lot on Facebook so I do a work in progress when I’m halfway through and I’ve got all the major settlements and locations in.

“I share that in various places and say to people, what else do you want to see on there.

“I get a lot of feedback in that sense because you get loads of people commenting and messaging just saying can you put this local barrow in.

“A few of the shipwrecks as well – a lot of people were asking for them. I was like that’s a quality suggestion actually, I’ll stick that in; I wouldn’t have thought of that.

“I could easily go and google the top 20 or 30 things to see or do in Merseyside, get your main things, but you never get your details like your shipwrecks and stuff so reaching out to the local community is great.

“I enjoyed all the history and all the different time periods. Going from Medieval and Roman to quite modern things as well, which I am quite happy to include.

“I try and tweak them to make them fit the fantasy theme as well.”

The ex-Aldi worker spent 70 hours on the map featuring Merseyside and made sure to include the region’s iconic landmarks past and present.

He now sends prints of his creations on his Etsy store, ranging in size from A2 to A0, as well as large canvas prints.

Chris added: “I’m going around the whole of the UK and trying to do all the counties in that style. It’s going to take a while.

“I want to get all the counties done and compile them into one massive fantasy atlas. We’re talking years down the line but that’s the goal, I think.”

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