Who Am I ?
An Introduction to ARIEL DUNITZ-JOHNSON
1: Who am I?
I’m an Aries, a foodie and a perfectionist.
2: What do you do and what project are you currently working on?
I’m a freelance illustrator and amateur chef in San Francisco. I’m currently working on
“SWAY: Iconic Portraits,” a collection of pen and ink drawings that focus on an eclectic mix of personalities from the San Francisco queer community. I’m documenting these iconic figures wearing their most signature styles and illustrating them in a truthful, often intimate manner. I’m hoping to continue on with this project and exhibit the collection of work around the country. I also run a small sauce company, Little Batch, out of my house, making homemade gourmet condiments.
3: Where are you from and where are you going?
I’m from Portland, Oregon, went to Parsons in NYC for illustration and then settled down in San Francisco where I have been for over 7 years. I don’t see myself leaving the bay area anytime soon, but I like to travel as much as possible and have plans to spend some time living abroad.
4: Who is your biggest hero?
Julia Child…or Chuck Bass.
5: What book is your bible?
Evidence: The Art of Candy Jernigan. It seriously changed how I see the world. I found this gem randomly at a bookstore when I was 17. I was so enamored with Candy Jernigan’s life story and work; the way she archived and captured her existence through her art. Art was her lifestyle. She was uninhibited, prolific, passionate and, sadly, died at a young age. I continuously pick up her book and feel inspired to create and document my own life.
6: What are some things you love? And some things you hate?
I LOVE Mise en place. A French culinary term, meaning “everything in place,” refers to the prep work done in the kitchen before you can begin making a meal. So apropos for the kitchen and life.
I HATE when I run out of lead in my mechanical pencil.
7: What is your raison d’être?
Food, art, sex, love.
8: What is your favorite color?
Faded black denim & patina.
9: Who is your favorite comic book superhero?
10: What is your favorite NYC hot spot?
A decade ago, when I lived in NYC, I loved Milk & Honey–when you called an ever-changing phone number, knocked on a random door on a dark Lower East Side Street and entered into some strange mixologist’s lair filled plush booths, dim lighting and a one man bar cart in the front, drinking the most delicious cocktails in the world from stainless steel straws, eating plates of peaches drizzled in honey, you weren’t sure if you were in a time capsule, the mafia’s living room or what. I miss the days of non-pretentious underground speakeasy spots like that. But lately, I try to eat at Diner in Brooklyn at least once every time I’m in NYC. I love everything there.
11: What turns you on?
Deviant behavior, a vivid imagination, collar bones, Europe and people who make me laugh.
12: What would the last question of this questionnaire be if you were the one asking?
Q: Little spoon or big spoon?
Ariel Dunitz-Johnson (b. 1980) is a visual artist based in San Francisco. She honed her craft while studying illustration at the Parsons School of Design in New York City. She has shown her work in both group and solo shows at numerous local galleries and artistic venues, such as The Common, The Seventh Heart and The Lexington Club. Her current work specializes in pen and ink portraiture and she has had the pleasure of working with several iconic San Francisco figures on commissioned projects. She documents her environment, her possessions and her community in meticulously detailed pen and ink illustrations and strives to draw portraits of everyone–from the people in her life to strangers and celebrities.
In her free time, Ariel started Little Batch Sauces, gourmet sauces with a homemade feel. Founded in 2009, Little Batch makes artisan ketchup, mustard and bbq sauces using as many local and organic ingredients as possible. Currently hand crafted in small batches out of Ariel’s kitchen, Little Batch can only be purchased locally in San Francisco via littlebatch.com
Questions by PMc Magazine
Photography by Rhiannon Argo / Courtesy of Ariel Dunitz-Johnson
Design by Marie Havens
Ariel Dunitz-Johnson, at home, 2010, Photography by Rhiannon Argo / Courtesy of Ariel Dunitz-Johnson