Do you ever wonder whether if you sit next to that person in the cafe writing notes or drawing, what you say or do will become ‘material’ for their next novel or painting? If you live in New York or have visited recently, chances are you’re in this book by Jason Polan, the artist on a mission to draw every person in New York, a project he started as a blog six years ago in 2008… having already drawn ‘An Entire Bag of Popcorn’, ‘Every Person in the Phone Book’, and ‘Every Piece of Art in the Museum of Modern Art’.

It’s still a work in progress (can it ever end?!), but you can browse through the 30,000 people he’s drawn so far on his blog. He draws in subway stations, at museums, on trains, in taxicabs, on street corners, in restaurants, and most other places – and he tries to be as authentic as possible.

“I only draw the person while I can see them. The majority of the drawings are done while I’m looking at the person, not at the paper. If they are moving fast, the drawing is often very simple. If they move or get up from a pose, I cannot cheap at all by filling in a leg. This is why some of the people might have an extra arm or leg – it moved while I was drawing them. I think, hope, this makes the drawings better.”

I tried to narrow down a few favourites, but did so rather unsuccessfully, so I think the thing to do is just buy his book for your coffee table. But first, let’s do a bit of people watching…

Somebody stop me…

Psst. Somebody has drawn all the buildings in New York too.


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