Readers have probably seen the work of illustrator Josh Cochran before without even knowing it—from album covers to TIME magazine, the New York Times to the wallpaper inside room 1017 at Manhattan’s Ace Hotel. Cochran’s most recent endeavor is his first children’s book—”Inside and Out: New York”—that depicts the hubbub of New York City to the backdrop of its iconic landmarks and neighborhoods, beginning with Nathan’s Famous hotdog stand in Coney Island all the way north to the Bronx Zoo.
With his trademark style of squiggles and purposely imperfect lines, Cochran makes even pigeons and pieces of litter seem endearing and oh-so-New York—adding a little bit of magic to the sights many have taken for granted over time. Monkeys climb on top of Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece, the Guggenheim museum, while robots and astronauts walk through the underground subway. There’s plenty to see, and the book unfolds into a lengthy panoramic poster—which is double-sided and shows the reader the even more chaotic scenes taking place inside the buildings.
“I’ve always grown up in some sort of large city my whole life,” Cochran tells CH about living in Taiwan, Los Angeles and most recently, Brooklyn. “I just love how everything is so crammed together. I especially like to see how inventive people are with their tiny spaces. There is something really great about all these different individuals stuck together and figuring out how to live and adapt to their surroundings.”
As part of the inspiration and sketching process, Cochran walked around various neighborhoods to capture the overall moods of each. “There are a lot of details that I wanted to put in, like little bits of trash everywhere, rooftop gardens, the textures of the brick buildings and AC units in the windows,” he notes. “A lot of times when I’m walking around the city, I try to imagine different story-lines for people I see on the street,” he continues. “One thing I tried to do with the book is have some consistent characters that you could follow through the pages and try to find where they end up.” Careful observers might spot Cochran’s dog Porkchop, which the illustrator tells us makes multiple appearances.
Pre-order the book, which will be released 9 September 2014, from Amazon for $13.
Images by Cool Hunting