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Artist dazzles: draws maps of Canadian cities with one continuous line

Click to play video: 'Artist dazzles: draws maps of Canadian cities with one continuous line'
Artist dazzles: draws maps of Canadian cities with one continuous line
At first glance his map of Regina looks nothing out of the ordinary but on closer inspection, starting in the top left corner you see the map is drawn with one continuous line – Jan 30, 2023

For Montreal artist, Abou Dembele, art has rules.

Dembele is prolific in the world of one-line art.

At first glance his map of Regina looks nothing out of the ordinary but upon closer inspection, starting in the top left corner you see the whole map is drawn with one continuous line.

Abou Dembele’s recent map of Regina using only one continuous line. Abou Dembele / Reddit
A closer look shows the singular line starting in the top left corner. Abou Dembele / Reddit

After he was inspired by an artist he saw online, Dembele decided to dip his pen in the one-line world.

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“I checked online to see if anybody was drawing cities and I was, like, I think I found a niche and I’m going to give it a try,” said the French artist who has lived in Canada for the last 15 years.

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That was just nine months ago. Since then Dembele has mapped ten Canadian cities including Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon and most recently Regina.

Map of Winnipeg drawn using only one continuous line. Abou Dembele / Reddit

“I first started drawing Montreal as a test and I posted it on Reddit in the afternoon. I came back in the evening and it was like wow, a big hit. It went viral,” says Dembele.

The comment section on his maps is strewn with praise. Many folks relay their astonishment at the detail and precision of the lone line.

Abou Dembele maps his hometown of Montreal using one singular line. About Dembele / Reddit

Using three different sized gel pens, Dembele draws the cities with a reference map illuminated underneath his blank sheet of 12 x 16 paper.

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He says he plans out the route of his line and puts a lot of emphasis on keeping uniform gaps.

“If I see a highway I’m going to change the direction to make sure the line doesn’t cross any major roads. It’s a lot of tricks and detours. It’s very time consuming,” says Dembele.

That’s 20 to 30 hours a map.

Dembele says his hand would cramp and get sore when he started, but now he’s much more comfortable.

One line details are on display on Regina’s Albert Street and Wascana Lake. Abou Dembele / Reddit

Currently a student, Dembele says he gets his mapping done on the weekends.

He finds the practice very meditative. He forgets his problems and just focuses on the task at hand.

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“Some people go to the gym, some people read magazines but for me this is my trick, my fun. I know it’s unique, but I like it,” says Dembele

Prints of his maps are sold on his website and Dembele plans on mapping all of Canada’s major cities, one long continuous line at a time.

 

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