We cannot get enough of the illustrations by James Gulliver Hancock. His style is so fresh and edgy, his color choices are exceptional, and his sense of humor is spot-on! The first recipe he did for They Draw and Cook, Kim-Chi (see all his recipes at the bottom of this interview), totally knocked our socks off. We were super happy that he agreed to let us interview him and learn a bit more about who inspires him, what he likes to eat and even share a few photos of the studio where he works his magic.
What is your favorite thing to draw?
Anything! I literally enjoy drawing anything. I really feel like I need to attempt drawing everything in the world at least once.
Do you have a favorite dessert? My mother in law's trifle is pretty awesome, I also love gelato with tiramisu in it, and my favourite cake is baked ricotta cheese cake. So you get the idea, cake with cream and cheese etc. etc. Mmmmmmm...
If you could live anywhere else for a year where would it be?
I'm kind of sick of travelling! I've lived a lot of places in my life so far, Paris, London, NY, LA, Vienna, Indonesia, Australia! I'd love to just stay wherever I am.
What city/country has the kind of food you LOVE the most?
I love japanese food the best, I always say if I had to choose one type of food for the rest of my life I'd choose Japanese.
Describe to me what you see when you look out your studio or workspace window.
I see a sunset over Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Maybe it's the pollution, but the pink is so intense, it radiates around the edges of the water towers, and reflects of metal surfaces into the distance. The red brick buildings pick up the color and reflect it onto people's faces in the street.
If I came to visit you what kinds of things might we do?
So many things! If it was warm enough we'd get on our bikes and go riding and see what we could discover. Might pop into the studio in brooklyn, and say hi to my lovely studio mates, get inspired and then go and draw around the neighbourhood. Get some delicious food, sit in the park by the east river and draw some more.
What is your favorite cocktail?
I'm a simple man, a good vodka on the rocks with a twist works for me.
Do you listen to music when you work?
I always start out thinking I'll put some music on but I never remember to do it, and I find myself hours later consumed in my work sitting in total silence. I kind of like it, listening to the creaks and sounds of the studio, or wherever I happen to be working.
Do you have any pets?
I had a lot of cats growing up, but now I don't have any. I see so many dogs around the streets of New York, I wish I had a sweet little fluff ball to hang out with sometimes, but our apartment is so tiny it would be hard! I don't know how people keep these massive dogs in their apartments!
List 3 illustrators/artists/designers whose work you love.
Julie Mehrtu - amazing painter
Nancy Rubins - amazing sculptor
Jan Švankmajer - amazing animator
What is your most memorable art exhibit/gallery show/cultural experience?
I had an amazing little show in Japan, in a tiny gallery in Shibuya, I almost had to bend over to get inside, and it was so sweet and lovely. We had a great collection of colourfull prints and original works and videos the singer LENKA and I had done together.
What kinds of things inspire you? Everything. Walking down the street seeing a massive truck that makes me think of Mad Max, and makes me want to draw and write and walk more and see more and draw more!
and last but not least...what is one of your favorite recipes on TDAC?
Well apart from my first Kim-Chi recipe, which really started a new style for me. I did like Matt Dawson's Marmalade Flapjack recipe - the one of the chef with all the arms, so fun!
Thank you, James, for taking the time to share a bit of yourself with all of us! Hey everyone, not only will you love the portfolio of amazing work on James' website , but you also MUST check out his latest and greatest endeavor, allthebuildingsinnewyork.com, the name says it all!
Photograph of James courtesy Sam Weber.
Here are thumbnails of James' recipes (click on each to see a larger image):