Illustrator James Gulliver Hancock Sketched All the Buildings in NYC

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When illustrator James Gulliver Hancock moved to the Big Apple in 2009, he needed a way to become more familiar with the city. In true artistic fashion, Hancock set out with a pencil and sketchpad and began drawing New York City’s iconic buildings and cityscape as a means to get the lay of the land.

“Being an illustrator, drawing felt like the best way to do that,” he told TIME. “By sitting in front of places I loved, I spent much more time getting to know the place and learning the details.”

Hancock recently compiled his detailed sketches into a new book entitled “All the Buildings in New York.” Featuring historic landmarks, such as the Empire State building and the American Museum of Natural History, Hancock describes the book as a love letter to New York.

“Drawing things makes you pay attention to the world around you much differently,” he revealed. “You see the details that you normally pass by. By going to different parts of the city to draw I’ve leaned a lot about how it’s structured and how people live.”

Check out photos below!

Photos: Courtesy OF Rizzoli