Thursday March 03, 2016

'Cycleangelo' turns Victoria B.C. rides into elaborate GPS doodle art

Avid cyclist Stephen Lund creates GPS artwork.

Avid cyclist Stephen Lund creates GPS artwork. (GPSDoodles.com/Stephen Lund)

Listen 6:10

Some artists paint with their brushes. But Stephen Lund uses his bicycle.

The avid cyclist is using a popular GPS tracking app to turn his bike routes throughout Victoria, B.C., into intricate drawings, earning him the nickname "Cycleangelo."

Stephen Lund - Profile

Stephen Lund is an avid cyclist with a flair for the artistic. (GPSDoodles.com/Stephen Lund)

The idea first came to Lund on New Year's Eve. On a whim, he decided he would try to trace a "Happy 2015!" message to bring in the new year. Family and friends praised the modest first attempt so Lund attempted other designs.

"It escalated very rapidly," Lund tells As It Happens host Carol Off.

Stephen Lund GPS doodles 1

"Happy 2015" was Stephen Lund's first attempt at GPS doodle art. (GPSDoodles.com/Stephen Lund)

Lund admits that he doesn't need much encouragement and before long he attempted more elaborate designs. He meticulously plans out his routes and scours maps for inspiration. Lund says he spent 14 hours and travelled more than 200 kilometres to complete a drawing of a mermaid.

"The mermaid was a bit of an ordeal," he admits.



Musclebound Thug Riding a Grizzly Bear

One of Stephen Lund's more popular images: a muscle-bound thug in a fedora riding a bear, wearing a pork pie hat, and standing in a snowbank. (GPSDoodles.com/Stephen Lund)

When asked about where he draws inspiration, Lund says he tries to get the map to pick the images for him. 

"I've likened it before to seeing shapes in the clouds," Lund says. "Once I see that general outline of an object or an animal, it's really just academic to flesh out the details and find the best routes to create the finished image."

Stephen Lund GPS doodles 2

"I did a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and suggested in my blog write up that they might want to consider me for the next official portrait but I'm still waiting to hear from them." (GPSDoodles.com/Stephen Lund)