In celebration of New York’s diversity and welcoming spirit, architect and illustrator Ashika Amarnath created a series of illustrations called “The New York City Alphabet.” Amarnath’s illustrations showcase twenty-six locations across the city, one for each letter of the alphabet. Amarnath, a recent Interior Design graduate of the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, created the illustrations as a way of reliving her adventures and memories in the city.
The New York City Alphabet / Courtesy of Ashika Amarnath
Using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, Amarnath illustrated many of New York’s most iconic scenes using very minimal colors and lines to show the character of the space. Illustrations include one of the letter J waiting by a subway platform at “82 Street, Jackson Heights,” one of the Letter A aligns with a dinosaur’s body at the American Museum of Natural History. Her favorite illustration, the letter P, illustrates Pratt Institute.
“This was a fun way to go through these places and memories of many first visits and also think about all the places we hope to visit again once the lockdown is entirely over,” Amarnath told Untapped New York. “It has been especially special for me because I connect with these places that represent each alphabet – irrespective of where I am going to be in the next few months. These illustrations will always remind me of when I was in New York City.”
Courtesy of Ashika Amarnath
“The New York City Alphabet” was inspired by a similar poster from the collection “Alphabetically Chennai by Ravi Kumar Nair,” which depicts significant places in Amarnath’s home city of Chennai, India. Those posters were originally inspired by the “The Glasow Alphabet by Rosemary Cunningham.” Like Nair and Cunningham, Amarnath wanted to capture New York’s culture and spirit by incorporating illustrations with letters of the alphabet.
The Pratt Institute / Courtesy of Ashika Amarnath
Amarnath, an architect as well an illustrator, has recently taken to Instagram to help connect people through art. She has previously worked on a series called “Corners,” in which people from around the world from countries like India, the United States, Germany, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom sent her their favorite corner of their homes and she drew them. “Especially during these times, when people are so in tune with their homes, I was able to bring them joy with these illustrations I hope,” Amarnath said.
Jackson Heights / Courtesy of Ashika Amarnath
The complete illustrations can be found on Amarnath’s Instagram page @aamarnat. The 26 illustrations include: the American Museum of Natural History, Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, Dumbo, Empire State Building, Flatiron Building, Grand Central Terminal, the Highline, Coney Island, Jackson Heights, K Town, Lincoln Center, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Public Library, the Oculus, the Pratt Institute, Queensboro Bridge, Rockefeller Center, Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Union Square, the Vessel, Washington Square Park, the New York Stock Exchange, Hudson Yards, and Zuccotti Park.
The Vessel / Courtesy of Ashika Amarnath
“The New York City Alphabet Illustrations is a way of showing everyone they are part of the same big city, no matter where you are now and how long you have been here,” Amarnath said. “That we are all in this together, we share the same experiences and are fond of the same places that make this city – home!”
Next, check out 12 Beautiful Works of Art to Discover in Grand Central Terminal!