A unique “drawing-a-day project” launched by artist Nick Golebiewski has breathed life in a new way to locations in New York City featuring a hybrid mix of illustration and photography. Dubbed Nick’s Lunchbox Service, the project was launched on Tumblr/Instagram over two and a half years ago. Golebiewski notes while “it is a very analog project… it lives on the internet.”
Washington Square Park has been the subject of a number of the distinctive drawings. Golebiewski, who is originally from Buffalo, now lives and works in Greenwich Village; locations around the Square are regularly featured.
“Nick’s Lunchbox Service” will continue from wherever the artist is until it reaches the 3 year mark.
Following are some favorite images at the park and a recent Q&A with creator Nick Golebiewski:
What day are you up to now?
Today (May 16, 2016) was my 867th consecutive drawing. So, roughly two-and-a-half years.
How long do you intend to do this project, Nick’s Lunchbox Service?
I’m committed to a solid three years of making one drawing and posting it online each and every day, that takes the project through December 31, 2016.
After that, I’m thinking of shifting the project to go further and explore more neighborhoods of the city and focus on them for a longer duration at a time, a week of Coney Island for example. That would mean an intensive day of drawing, and then posting those daily. It would change the live element a bit, but would have the benefit of going more in-depth and making “story arcs.”
Right now, most days are spent in the same neighborhood (live/work), and for me that’s been within the Greenwich Village Historic District and surroundings.
How are people discovering this project? What led you to start it?
Although this is a very analog project, just a sketchbook and a pen plus the phone a camera, it lives on the internet. From there the images can do stuff.
People have discovered my project when cultural organizations have shared my work, such as the Central Park Conservancy, the Whitney Museum, Cooper Hewitt, and the High Line — and through collaborations with the Jewish Museum and Museum at Eldridge Street where I “takeover” their Instagram accounts for the day. It’s also discovered through shows, like “Literary Greenwich Village” covering historic writers’ residences that was on view earlier this year.
I have a show coming up in Inwood based on drawings from that neighborhood, at the L-Gallery at Cornerstone Studios (178 Bennett Ave) with a reception June 26 from 1-6 p.m..
Or, sometimes someone just lives in the building — or is a fan of the park — I drew for the day and finds out that way.
I started this “Nick’s Lunchbox Service” project at the same time I was working on a series of very detailed and time-intensive gouache paintings of Chinatown that would take up to 80 hours to finish.
It was refreshing to be able to complete a work in a short time, whether it be 30 seconds or 30 minutes. The project has grown into its own entity since then.
There’s a ritual in completing this every day.
What has surprised you about doing it, if anything?
New York is always surprising with the history. For example, after drawing a building in Vinegar Hill the other week, I did some research and found out that it had a tunnel starting from the sub-cellar that was most likely used in the Underground Railroad.
You can see more here and follow the project at Nick’s Lunchbox Service.
Images: Nick Golebiewski