Alabaster Pizzo creates window illustrations for soon to come Greenwich Village Irving Farm
Our newest and largest café is set to open this August in Greenwich Village. While the Thompson St. & West 3rd shop is under construction, we hired cartoonist, illustrator, and Irving Farm alum Alabaster Pizzo to draw our window coverings.
How did you decide on the different scenes depicted in your window illustrations?
I wanted to show the vibrancy and diversity of the neighborhood. The "real world" places I chose were NYU's Gould Plaza, The Half Pint, and Washington Square Park's arch, fountain, dog park, and lawn.
Which scene was your favorite to draw?
Either the fountain because there's so much going on, or the corner with the bar because it was fun to translate the tiny details of a real building into a drawing. I wonder what the people who live in that building or work at the bar think of the drawing!
I love the illustration of everyone around the fountain in Washington Square: it perfectly captures the feeling of NYC when the sun is out. What's your favorite part about summer in the city?
I think it's so great that the city allows (or at least turns a blind eye to) people playing in the fountain. It's really a unique sight. New Yorkers often have very little private outdoor space, so the sidewalks and parks satisfy this need. I'm much more of a winter person, personally, but I do enjoy going to the city beaches, the extended hours of sunlight, and increased greenery.
Does the city influence your work? If so, how?
Yes! Inspiration is everywhere. I used the Instagram geo-tags for the real life locations I drew, because I wanted to see user-generated images of the locations instead of boring stock photos. A dense city is where you see people interacting with other people and infrastructure in the best ways possible. Of course my drawings are a little idealistic; everything is clean and everyone's getting along and having a nice day, but in a city as crowded and with as tough a reputation as New York, you can be surprised.
Did you try out any other color schemes before landing on orange, red, black, and mint? What led you to choose those colors?
I knew I wanted to pick a limited palette so I could keep the images bold. I always use a black outline, and actually, the colors I picked correspond with the labels of three Irving Farm single origins: Amaro Gayo, Natamaya and Musasa.