“I draw from home or from a restaurant table or wander around and see things I want to draw. I usually draw in small notepads when I am out or on typing paper when I am home. I’m doing a show right now where I’m working (while the gallery is open, Tuesday through Saturday 10-6 each day) from a desk making things for the exhibition.
is a freelance artist living in New York City. He has exhibited work all over the United States and Europe. He is a member of the 53rd Street Biological Society and Taco Bell Drawing Club. In August 2008, he wrapped up The Drawing Project
. Polan is currently attempting to draw
every person in New York.Polan’s illustrations and projects have appeared in Metropolis Magazine
, the New Yorker
, and his books have generated wide acclaim. His book Every Piece of Art in the Museum of Modern Art
is a cult favorite. Mr. Polan is from Michigan.
JASON POLAN: I had been talking to the gallery (Nicholas Robinson Gallery) about a project for a bit and excited it came together. What are you drawing as people stroll? All different things: Flowers, athletes, comic book superheroes, big circles, small pyramids, totem poles, people, hammerhead sharks, etc.
I have always liked drawing animals.
FYD: Has the gallery schedule and all day working changed your routine?
JP: Yes! I’m usually walking around looking at people and things in museums or at the post office or in Grand Central Station or restaurants or out on the street during the day. I’m working inside from a ping pong table desk. I brought a bunch of source materials with me to work from. I am still doing my outside drawings, though earlier and later in the day.
JP: I’m still attending the club while the show is happening, just a little bit later after gallery hours. I like Taco Bell a lot.
FYD: Why Taco Bell and where does the club meet?
JP: The drawing club I attend usually takes place at the Taco Bell on 14th Street just west of Union Square in Manhattan. There have been meetings all over the country. One time there was a Taco Bell Drawing Club in North Pole, Alaska.
FYD: What do you eat at the Bell?
JP: I try to get different things each time I go. I think my favorite item is the hard shell taco.
FYD: What is your poison?
JP: Taco Bell Mountain Dew is very good! I also like Dr. Pepper.
One time there was a Taco Bell Drawing Club in North Pole, Alaska.
FYD: What are your top three spots to draw and are people aware you on drawing them?
JP: The Museum of Modern Art, Taco Bell 14th Street and Crosby Street. Usually people are not aware of me drawing them. I’m more comfortable that way.
FYD: Are you able to go off a picture in your mind or must drawing be done live?
The drawings for the Every Person In New York
project have to be done live. I have to be looking at the person while the drawing is being made.
FYD: What is one of your favorite memories of drawing in New York City?
JP: When I drew some employees at the Natural History Museum a bit before it opened one day. They were dusting the dinosaur bones.
Usually people are not aware of me drawing them. I am more comfortable that way.
FYD: How did your love of animals– specifically elephants, rhinos, giraffes and the large King Kong head come about?
JP: I’m not quite sure. I have always liked drawing animals. I like drawings spots on giraffes and I like thinking about how large elephants are when I am drawing them. I like drawing at the zoo. I also like drawing life-size things. I thought it would be fun (and hopefully funny) to make a drawing of King Kong’s life-size head because he is very large and fictional.
FYD: Are you utilizing the ping pong table for play?
JP: We have been playing a lot of ping pong!
FYD: How is your game?
JP: Mediocre-ish but hopefully improving!
** Perhaps you’ll bump into Jason Polan on the streets of New York City. Otherwise, follow him on Twitter @polan.
Things I Saw Today Tumblr here.
Rock one of his drawings from 20×200.
And, don’t miss Living and Working
at the Nicholas Robinson Gallery from June 9, 2011—July 30, 2011 @ 535 W 20th Street NY 10011.