How can I contact you?

You can email me directly at sarahwaitestx @ gmail . com. If you want to follow me on social, I have a Facebook group, a Bluesky account, and a sporadically updated Instagram.


How soon are you available?

Please email me. I typically have at least one slot open within the next month.

How much does it cost to commission you for a map?

You can find my current pricing on my “Custom Maps” page. Prices as listed are all for black-and-white maps in the size of 6 by 9 inch (15.24 by 22.86 cm). For double-page spreads and poster sizes, please contact me directly with a description of the project and the size you have in mind for a quote.

Do you require a deposit?

Yes. As of September 2023, my standard deposit is $50, to be paid at the time of booking. That amount is deducted from the overall price of the map. It is non-refundable if you cancel on me, but if for any reason I need to cancel a project, I will issue a refund on the deposit.

What is your average turn around time?

Turn around time depends on the complexity of the project, speed of communication, and the amount of revisions. My 6 by 9 inch page black-and-white maps typically take one to two weeks. If you’re doing a color map, then turnaround will be closer to two weeks.

I’m based in the US and am on variously CST or EST time. My office hours are roughly 9 AM to 5 PM. If you’re an author in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, or anywhere else with a large time difference, you can expect the turn around time to be closer to two weeks, as I need to hear back from you about layout approvals and any questions I have about your locations.

Can you take my rough sketch on a napkin and turn into something that looks good?

Of course! That’s what my job is. When you hire me to make a map, I’ll ask you for a sketch (the exception here is floorplans — more on that later). The purpose of the sketch is just to show where things are located in relation to each other. I’ve gotten all sorts of sketches, made with everything from MS Paint to notebook paper.

For floorplans, I don’t ask for a sketch but instead a list of rooms on each floor. I’ll also ask you questions about things like staircases, chimneys, closets, special features, etc. A large part of the job with floorplan maps is laying out the building in a way that makes sense and ensuring that rooms have windows, the different floors line up, and that there’s enough room for things like bathrooms and staircases. So no need to send me a sketch!

If you have other reference material, such as Pinterest boards, mood boards, specific buildings that inspired you, Zillow listings, etc, then you’re welcome to send that along as well. None of that is required, but if it’s something you have, I’d love to see it!

How do you make your maps?

My maps are all hand drawn in Photoshop using a Wacom tablet. I don’t use pre-fabbed cartography brushes or cartography programs.

For maps involving floorplans with exterior views of buildings, I’ll use 3D software to create a reference image I can use for the sketch. I’ll build a rough base of the building in a program called MagicaVoxel, where my priority is making sure the dimensions of the model match the dimensions of the floorplan. I’ll then export that model to a second program, DAZ 3D studios for rendering.

What resources do you use in making your maps?

I use paid fonts for which I’ve purchased a commercial use license. If you want something specific for the font (either a font that’s legally available for free or a font that matches your book cover), please talk to me and I can make that happen! I’m also happy to provide links to purchase pages for fonts I use.

For frame decorations, I will use reference materials for objects, animals, etc. Those references are all legally sourced stock material which allows full commercial use. My references either come from Creative Fabrica, Turbo Squid’s 3D model collection, or 3D models I render myself in DAZ studios. For example, I’ve created a map that had a winged bicycle in the frame decoration. I made a reference for it by adding some angel wings to a 3D model of a bicycle inside DAZ studios!

Celtic knotwork in my maps is all made with the wonderful Celtic Knot Font from ClanBadge.

Do you use AI?

I do not use AI in my own work. My maps are all hand drawn with a Wacom drawing tablet.

What genres do you work with?

I make maps for all genres of stories. I’ve created maps for romance, sci-fi, mystery, fantasy, and historical fiction. If you have an idea for a project that isn’t like something I’ve done before, I’m always happy to explore new genres!

Can I purchase the copyright to the map?

Ordinarily, I keep the copyright to map, as is the norm for illustration projects. I am open to selling copyright, but it would be at a much higher price than what is listed on my website — picture a number roughly double my base prices.

I’m an author. What can I use the map for?

You can use the map as a print insert for your entire series. You can also use it in commercial merchandise associated with the book series (swag in your author shop, part of a book box, Kickstarter rewards, etc). You can have the map as exclusive content for your author Patreon. You can have it on your website and social media. Basically, full commercial rights as long as it’s associated with the book.

The only thing I don’t want is for the map to be used for a different product entirely, such as stand-alone digital download aimed at the gaming market (so for sale on sites like Roll20, CartographyAssets, or DriveThruRPG). However, you’re welcome to send digital copies to newsletter subscribers, Patreon supporters, or Kickstarter backers.

What if I’m wanting a map for a tabletop role playing game?

Please contact me to talk about your requirements and how you plan to use the map (private use only, commercially, stand-alone digital download sales, etc), and I can give you a quote.