Mind the Map
A childhood passion turned into a full time business
- An interview with Mr. Christophe Chabert, Founder of Mind The Map
Christophe Chabert spent his childhood summers at his grandparents whiling away countless hours reading atlases and studying maps. This is how he became passionate about maps and eventually decided to pursue it as a full time career. “Maps for me are like a visual drug. I can stare at them for hours on end”, he says. Christophe found himself rather unhappy and lost, with his job as a senior strategy consultant at a French consulting firm where he worked for four years. In 2017, he launched Mind the Map (www.mindthemap.fr), an online publication where published articles, artwork and a lot through the medium of maps. He creates all his maps completely by hand using pens, pencils and paper disusing any software!
Here are some of the maps he has created by hand:
It was not all success and joy from day one for Christophe. It was in fact a failure as he was met with multiple bumps from the very beginning. His friends, relatives and the society he surrounded himself within often told him to go back to the world of business management and strategy, and give up on his idea and passion of pursuing of geography, cartography and geopolitics. Although, he stayed strong and true to his ‘never give up’ attitude and used several approaches to keep his passion alive. “I kept on throwing bottles into the sea, in the hopes that one would float back with an opportunity.” And so it did!
His very first client for whom he made maps was ‘Revue Conflits’, a magazine dedicated to geopolitics, history and international relations. Within a short amount of time, he found himself surrounded by several opportunities he tried to target and was living his dream! He was creating all sorts of maps, for various clients diving nose deep into his passion. A true kick off moment for him was when he, along with his friend M. Matthieu Aflré received the opportunity to publish an atlas, titled ‘Le Monde en cartes: Méthodologie de la Cartographie’. This helped him gain more traction and venture into various other similar fields of interest. He is currently a lecturer of geopolitics in two business schools in Paris and also works for ARTE, a Franco-German TV chain. At ARTE, he writes, guides and helps in the development of a web documentary titled 'Stories of Conflict'.
Christophe sees a very unique future for himself and Mind the Map. In addition to making maps on geopolitics and international relations, he intends to create two more types of maps. The first is SciFi maps. He wishes to create world maps, with a SciFi twist. For instance, this would include his take on the world in 2050 (as seen below), among others. The second type of maps he intends to create are those with an artistic appeal. He wants to reach a wider audience and share his love for the studies, by creating artwork that would catch everybody’s eye.
The map mastermind truly believes that it is very important to have confidence in yourself. “From my experience, I can strongly advise that if you are dedicated to a certain cause, which you know is worth pursuing, then fight for it and do not give up.” He also believes that it is important to have patience and realise that not everything will happen in a shot, or simply overnight. Lastly, he encourages the youth to go out and not restrict oneself to their inner circle of friends and family. It is important to push yourself to meet a variety of people and not be afraid to reach out to others.
Click here to see Christophe’s latest artwork, creations and a lot more.