After looking at the Ralph Steadman illustrations I started experimenting with messier fountain pen illustrations and type, purposefully splattering the page with ink helped a lot. I also found I really needed to loosen up and enjoy making a mess before I did the illustration in ernest.
I used some coloured water colour splashes I made in the general areas of the aspects of the map and shaped the illustration around them.
This is when it really started to work out.
My earlier experimentations also lead to a design for the belly band. I prefer this to the minimal bodoni idea because it establishes a better continuity.
I feel like this illustration is way better than my previous ones because it is so much more wild and free when it is shaped around the water colour splashes.
I also went back and did a full set of place name labels with the sharpened paint brush end and scanned them in ready to be put into the final map.