The other day I was out and about with my wife and she needed to make some exchanges at Anthropologie. As she was trying on some clothes I found myself looking through a table of books for sale when I came across one sporting the grandly ambitious title of All the Buildings in New York: That I’ve Drawn So Far. My interest sufficiently piqued, I picked it up to see just what was going on inside.
I quickly discovered that the book is the manifestation of the blog of the same name that Australian illustrator James Gulliver Hancock has been working on since May 2010. “The project stems from an interest in obsession and recording of places”, the blog tells us, and Mr Hancock’s drawings more than justify his ambitions. The feeling that I had leafing through the book was similar to the wonder that I have felt being in New York; foolishly attempting to see to the tops of Manhattan’s skyscrapers from the street, looking around in Brooklyn to see a dozen different architectural styles somehow making perfect sense sitting side by side, seeing Washington Heights from I-95 approaching the George Washington Bridge.
When my wife and I got home from our little outing I looked up All the Buildings in New York and was amazed at the extent to which Mr Hancock has already put a dent into his project. Granted, it did not seemto be the type of project that would ever be fully realized, yet the effort that Mr Hancock was making was an inspiration. James Gulliver Hancock proves that a great artistic idea can be found simply by appreciating those things which surround us every day, like buildings…then again, it helps if the buildings are some of the most iconic and best-loved in America.
As I looked through the blog I noted that the earlier drawings are little more than loose sketches, and that increased my appreciation for Mr Hancock’s recent work enormously. Obviously the project takes a ton of time and a lot of discipline but I am glad to see that the last couple of years have seen the color and detail of the images below. The buildings with the “bonus” details tend to put the biggest smile on my face since they show the extent to which Mr Hancock enjoys this work. Enjoy this Aussie/New Yorker’s talents below and at his websites: