Man Sketches Restaurants Around New York

Linda J | TTR Data Recovery
By Linda J

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John Donohue Sketch Artist

John Donohue is a 50 year old retired About Town section’s editor of the New Yorker’s Goings. He seldom dines at restaurants, just a few establishments that is included in his book and website.

He first drew restaurants in 2015 for practice and relaxation. He was able to compile a good number of drawings and publish it in his book and website.  

“It’s like fiction,” he said in an interview. “I don’t even know what it looks like when I’m doing it. It’s the process that’s appealing to me. It’s just fortunate that the result is appealing to other people.”

The diversity of food is one of the things you can enjoy in New York City. As a melting pot of cultures, you can enjoy an 8-course meal in a fine dining, shawarma from street food carts or eat pancakes at a 60’s themed diner. Not to mention the numerous take-our restaurants that can feed you any hour.

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Man Sketched Restaurant

Most people think that people run a restaurant mainly for profit, but we all know that a food business can be chronically unstable at times. You see, feeding people of different walks of life is not an easy endeavor. It was more of passion for most restaurant owners to make sure that their customers’ dining experiences are well-remembered.

This is what Donohue was trying to show in his artwork. By the time that he published his book, more than six of the establishments he featured are already out of business. This reflects the challenge for the owners to keep their restaurants afloat in business sense.

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What makes it Unique

What makes his sketches intriguing is the fact that things can be fleeting at times. It is becoming usual that when he revisits a restaurant, there would be a renovated storefront. Some pillar or classic concept designs replaced by something modern. His drawings whats to preserve the original look of these establishments the first time he saw them.    

“My goal is to keep drawing forever, to get to all the restaurants in New York,” he said. This might be nonsense for you, but any goal is sensible to the person. This provides him a way to get intimate to a city that still has a lot of things to surprise us.

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Restaurant Sketch In Nyc

The Story Behind the Sketch

So as business like restaurants launch, prosper and decline, he provided memories of what was once been there through lines and scribbles. In any business, there should be a way to store data, document or any pertinent information during the course of a business’s existence.

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Cafe Lout Sketch

For Donohue, it is the life outside the restaurants and the vibrance of culinary life is what inspires him. Food is something you can always talk about in New York City. He uses a sketch pad and pilot pens in his work. He spends about 20 mins drawing, and then returns home to add single color using a computer photo editor.

He is an impressionist, drawing buildings as he saw it, not as realistically as it actually is. Meaning, if he thought that the drawing only has one window instead of having actually two, so it is.

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