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As mentioned, Carl Anderson was the inspiration for my present day maze drawing, and that inspiration goes all the way back to Castle Hills Elementary when we were 9 years old in 4th Grade. I had always liked mazes, but I wasn't inspired to draw them until I saw the way Carl drew them, and the way he drew them made them appear like art to me. Though I do not know what his inspiration was to draw mazes, he was a natural at it right away. My early efforts were decidedly quite poor and I found it incredibly frustrating that I could not seem to match the artistic skill that Carl imbued his mazes with. Eventually, I did get the hang of it and the rest, as they say, is some sort of history, I guess, with someone, somewhere. Anyway, I like to acknowledge my debts and I am indebted to Carl Anderson for my mazes. In fact, I actually still have a number of Carl Anderson originals!
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As for my mazes, they can take on many different styles now. My personal favorite style is best represented by the maze "Perfect Nightmare". This style also tends to be fairly difficult to get through. I also enjoy doing some of the custom "Name" mazes (Donti, Sarah, Joshua) that I have drawn for colleagues through the years, but because of the form they tend not to be the most difficult mazes to navigate. The most fun to draw, and the most difficult to draw as well, are the "Art" mazes such as "In One Ear" and "The Flower".

One of the questions that is most often posed to me is how can I be certain that there is a solution. It is a little tricky to explain, but there is no danger when I am drawing them that there will not be a solution, and sometimes there is more than one route. Be assured, there is a way out of each of my mazes. The other question I hear a lot, or perhaps it is more of a challenge to me, is - all mazes are easier to solve when you go backwards through them. There is some truth to this, and some styles of mazes lend themselves to be more easily navigated in reverse. However, let me say this, first of all it defeats the purpose and intent of the maze to navigate it backwards. It's like taking a quick peek at the Sudoku solution because your brain is too lazy to figure out the numbers. And second of all, I take steps in every maze that I draw - some more than others - to make a reverse navigation more difficult than a cheater might expect. In some instances, I have even drawn two mazes that meet in the middle to become one, each as difficult as the other, so that it matters not where one enters or exits.

The way that I typically draw them is with several sharpened pencils with a pencil sharpener on hand. In the past, I often drew them with medium point Bic ball point pens. The maze "Wang Chung" is an example of a maze drawn entirely in ink. There is generally not a lot of erasing and redrawing that goes on. They pretty much come out with one go. Some can be drawn as quickly as an hour or two, and some take many hours over a period of days. I have tried using computer tablets like some of the graphic artists, but there are certain limitations that I am still not fond of, so I have yet to adopt that method, but who knows.

I hope that you enjoy them and feel free to ask any questions that you might have about these mazes, or mazes in general.
© 2011 Michael R. Hughes Contact Hughes