You might recognise a lot of the establishments immortalised in Sarah Tanat-Jones’ Chicken Shops of London from many a drunken journey home. The London-based illustrator has also sketched London’s launderettes, old pubs and cafés and her latest work is a 28-page zine depicting beards of the world. You can catch her selling her work at various illustration fairs or sitting somewhere in the capital drawing her observations of people and various other things. Here, she takes us on a whistle-stop tour of some places in London that she couldn't resist sketching.
Record Shops of Soho
'This was made for the Pick Me Up exhibition at Somerset House a couple of years ago. I wanted to draw a map and decided that since there are so many independent record shops around Soho, it was the perfect way to show the streets and bring them to life through record shops. I've done a few maps documenting all sorts of things – from wedding venues to the top luxury destinations of Kensington and Chelsea.'
Chicken Shops of London
'Chicken Shops of London was the first in my series of London Shops prints, and it's been really popular. I think that the fact that people love chicken and design, and this print combines the two, is a good combo! I used to live in Whitechapel on the Chicken Mile and inspiration was sparked from there. They've almost all got this faux-American red, white and blue look, which is a gift to illustrate.'
Launderettes of London
'Launderettes are warm, cosy places that are holding on to their place on the high street as a useful service, but I worry that they might not be around forever. The great thing about launderettes is that they often have this '60s, '70s or '80s aesthetic that hasn't been updated or changed – they're like little time capsules.'
Old Pubs of London
'For my Old Pubs of London print, I tried to focus on the really, REALLY old pubs – the ones that might've seen ships laden with Spanish gold sailing up the Thames, and so on. So there are a few ancient ones in there – my favourite is probably the Cheshire Cheese, which predates the Great Fire of London!'
Classic London Cafés
'I love an old fashioned café and there are just a few holding on in there in London. Lots of them were closed down over the last decade, I guess as coffee shop culture took over and the older generation of café owners shut up shop. I love Alpino on Chapel Market, but also Pellicci's, of course, which I used to live near and went to a lot, and was always greeted like an old friend.'
'Liberty is a London institution and the architecture is so amazing and striking that I had to draw it. I could possibly try more images based on the shop, maybe looking at what they actually sell inside. That would be fun!