Image - James Gulliver HancockP1020031This is my interview with James Gulliver Hancock.

Which is the first drawing you did for your book, ‘All The Buildings* in New York; * That I’ve Drawn So Far’? I started the ‘All the Buildings in New York’ project as a diary/blog – All the Buildings in New York and the first drawings were just little black and white sketches on napkins in coffee shops on my local route to the studio. It’s really interesting to explore the blog and see the progress. My Brooklyn studio is in Greenpoint so most of the first drawings were around there.

What was the best thing about working on ‘All The Buildings* in New York; * That I’ve Drawn So Far’? That it was kind of like a diary, in that it was very theraputic as an outsider to the city to work through it’s facades as a way to get to know it.

What was the most interesting thing you discovered when working on ‘All The Buildings* in New York; * That I’ve Drawn So Far’? The story of the competition for height between the early skyscrapers is a fascinating story, each building hiding parts inside and raising them at the last part of the build. It’s such a funny animal like thing to compete for the highest building when it’s probably the last thing that is important about the architecture. Buildings like the empire state and the Chrysler stand so strong now and it’s not because of their height solely it’s their style and grace.

What do you love most about New York? The chaos. I’m spending more and more time now in Australia (thanks to my wonderful 2 year old boy) ReadMe_06.15_shot 1_18and I miss the ability to just walk down the street to amazingly stimulating situations with 1000’s of people in your face, and all sorts of shops and buildings. You can’t beat the density. But what I miss about my homeland Australia when I’m there is the peach and nature, so you can’t have it both ways…

Do you have a favourite building in New York? I love the normal buildings, the brownstones etc, that are so typical of New York and such a part of living in the city day to day.

What are your favourite tools? I’m not crazy obsessed with art materials, when I’m out and about I like to just use whatever is at hand, whether that’s a marker and napkin or whatever. I do like my phone for taking photos of things I see to draw later, and of course I love my push bike – the best way to see the world.

Do you sit or stand when you work and are there any rituals you need to do when you work? I sit mostly, I stand when I’m doing print making like the silkscreens I make. And I’m now addicted to podcasts, (99% invisible is a favorite). It’s so lovely having such fascinating things feeding into my ears as I draw.

Do you collect anything? Not really, I try to keep stuff to a minimum, which is ironic as I really celebrate stuff in my new book ‘Artists, Writers, Thinkers, Dreamers’. I travelled a lot and still do for work and stuff just weighs you down.

What else would you like to write a book about? Everything! One of my favorite books as a kid was Roland Harvey’s ‘Big Book of Almost Everything’, it’s out of print now, but I think this idea of illustrated information and encyclopedias that are fun really hit it off with me. So really that’s infinite, I get so much out of doing books so the ideas I have are endless.

What are you working on next? My next book in this series will be ‘All the Buildings in Sydney’ out early next year through Hardie Grant. It’s looking amazing and I’m so excited to share a book on my home town.

Read my review of  ‘All The Buildings* in New York; * That I’ve Drawn So Far’ here‘All The Buildings* in Sydney; * That I’ve Drawn So Far’ here and ‘The Bow-Tie’ book here.

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