NEW YORK - For John Donohue, drawing is a passion. In 2017 the self-taught artist started sketching restaurants across the five boroughs.
"I started drawing mostly for my mental health, I found it really calms me, it’s really good for me to draw," said Donohue.
The former editor for the New Yorker, says it takes him about 20 minutes to draw the façade of each place. He works strictly from life, in ink.
"I don’t make corrections, I don’t use a pencil, I don’t start and erase," he said.
Fox 5 met Donohue outside P.J. Clarke’s on the Upper East Eide, where for the first time he sketched this iconic eatery.
"When I’m drawing it’s all sort of decisions are being made what to include, what to leave out, it’s almost very subconscious it’s a magical process for me, it’s very transformative, it has just a powerful effect on my wellbeing," said the artist.
All Donohue needs when he is drawing is a pole to lean against, his sketchbook, and a pen.
"Some of my favorites, I did Juniors standing in the middle of Flatbush on my lunch hour," he says.
Another of his favorites, the Oyster Bar at Grand Central. He's been to Cafe Luxembourg, Joe Allen, and Sylvia's, just to name a few.
According to Donohue, there are about 24,000 restaurants in New York City. He has drawn 300 of them so far.
He calls his project "All the Restaurants," and says the reason he chose restaurants was that he knows he will never stop sketching.
"I want a subject that will never run out, essentially that is New York dining and dining around the world."
He’s been to London and Paris, expanding his portfolio. His work is sold on his website, alltherestaurants.com and 10% of his profits go to support restaurant workers, currently through the Restaurant Workers' Community Foundation.