If came across this map, saved on a CD-ROM that I dug out of a box of things from my time working for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Back then, I was a wildlife biologist studying habitat in central Arizona. They charged me with making this map using GIS data which was then printed and given out to the public…fishermen and boaters and what-not.
That may have been my first “ah ha” moment where I creatively felt really satisfied, or aligned, with something that I visually made. The challenge of the conditions, like having to stick with only two colors, have it be easy to understand, provide a key.. From that point on I sort of became the office “map guy” and loved making all sorts of maps but not because the data representation was something I found incredibly interesting, but because I liked to make these things visually appealing. Nothing clicked in my head where I thought, oh I should change careers, but I feel like that was the beginning of my eventual profession shift.