About Simon the artist, and The Cornwall Uncovered Map

Cornwall Uncovered is an accumulation of stories and facts gathered from working and living in Cornwall. It is a personal response to a region that has filled me with pride and joy and I hope that the illustrations and map will add to your experience of living in, or visiting Cornwall.

Trerice House commissioned by the National Trust
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Trerice House historical illustration commissioned by the National Trust

I live and work in one of the most beautiful places in the world! Ask any one of the million plus who visit Cornwall each year. Sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and the English Channel, Cornwall is edged by rugged cliffs, sweeping dunes, and an infinite variety of beaches and coves … all accessible by one of the longest, most dynamic coastal footpaths anywhere! On top of that a stunning landscape, a history and heritage of world renown with a unique culture and a living language.

Simon Riordan, creator of the Cornwall Uncovered Map
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Simon Riordan, creator of the Cornwall Uncovered Map

I was drawn here from Norwich in 1985 to raise our children where their mother Greta was born.
With no formal training or qualification in art I had always harboured the idea that one day I would use my natural ability to draw to earn a living.  And so it was in 1992 with encouragement from my late father-in-law (a true Cornishman) Ken Langmaid, I set up SRStudio, a Graphic Design business with me as principal designer and illustrator; initially creating greetings cards and magazine illustrations. Over the years I have built a reputation for producing high quality bespoke work in a variety of styles and techniques that now includes brand design, websites, packaging, brochures and architectural illustration amongst others.

graphic signage
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Not all the animals I draw are necessarily real

Signage created for the Causewayhead in Penzance
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Signage created for the Causewayhead in Penzance

Recently I have been working on highly illustrated maps of Cornish towns and their immediate environs. Working closely with Cornwall Council,  The Town Councils, and committed volunteers, these 3D maps were designed to inspire local communities and visitors alike to engage with Cornwall’s stunning environment in a sustainable way and generate a renewed interest in the history and origin of their town and area. The Discovery map project (www.cornwallmaps.org) has produced maps for Newquay, St Austell, Hayle, Camborne, and Penzance.

The success of this project led me to believe that there is a real appetite for learning more about Cornwall, especially when it is presented in such a visual and personal way.

The ‘Cornwall Uncovered’ map is the first piece of work that I have commissioned and published myself and though it has demanded an enormous investment of time and creativity, I hope it speaks volumes for a region that has inspired me by its beauty, diversity, culture and heritage.

A greeting card design.
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A greeting card design.

I believe in helping people to be sustainable without ‘green bashing’ and to encourage both residents and visitors alike to enjoy Cornwall without compromising the region’s natural environment. Using positive messages I hope to create pride of place, encouraging the use of locally produced food and product. The maps are printed in Cornwall using vegetable ink and sustainable recycled paper.

Cornwall Council Sustainability Department have given their support to this project as the map provides lots of information about enjoying Cornwall in a sustainable way, by using public transport and enjoying Cornwall’s outdoors on foot or bicycle rather than the car.