Meet Jason Polan, an Artist Drawing Portlandia One Sketch at a Time


Posted by on

Humorless art is OVER. To celebrate the return of Portlandia, artist Jason Polan will be drawing highlights from each episode of the show’s fourth season, which will be featured on IFC.com. Jason is known for his black-and-white illustrations, which have been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times and many other publications. He’s also made a name for himself by leading the Taco Bell Drawing Club – a group of artists who gather in Taco Bells around the country. IFC spoke with Jason about the Drawing Club, his upcoming illustrations and his mission to draw every person in New York.

1. What inspired you to start the Taco Bell Drawing Club?

I had been spending a lot of time drawing at Taco Bell, and I thought it would be fun to draw with other people there too.

2. What is it about Taco Bell that brings out your creativity?

The food maybe? Or the people that are there while I am drawing? Or the music that is playing? I bet it is a combination of those things.
An illustration of "The Celery Incident" - a sketch from Portlandia 403.

3. Your mission is to draw everyone in NY. Sometimes you pick people at random, other times they specifically ask for one. Have you been surprised by a request?

People will usually mention a spot that is pretty normal, like a street corner in Manhattan near where they live, or a park where they sit while eating lunch. Somebody told me to draw a person at a place near the airport once, but I was kind of scared and didn’t know how they were connected to the person so I didn’t draw them. Most of the spots have been fairly normal, though, and I am usually pretty excited to go and try and find the person to draw them.

4. Did drawing every piece of art at the MoMA teach you anything about modern art – or art in general?

I hope so. I did the project twice. I think it taught me a lot about myself. How I look at things or how I deal with being in a crowded place or how long I can work on something with an ending I can see, but is pretty far away at the beginning. I enjoyed spending so much time looking at the collection. I also noticed a bit about how people look at art. How close they are to a piece or how long they look at it. There are different pieces in the museum that people tend to interact with in different ways. It is fun to watch the people (so many people visit the museum each day) and to look at the art. I love that museum.

5. How long have you been a fan of Portlandia?

Since the beginning!

An illustration of "The Celery Incident" - a sketch from Portlandia 403.

6. How do you plan on capturing the spirit of the show in your drawings?

I am not quite sure. I am working on the drawings right now and am having a lot of fun. There are particular things that I like drawing a lot of (hairstyles and the dogs in the Portland Pet Haven scenes) but I also like drawing random things that surprise me (venus flytraps eating bacon) and just random things in the background I like and hope other people notice too.

7. After you draw everyone in NY, and recap Season 4 of Portlandia, what will your next artistic mission be?

I will probably take a nap or go on a vacation to Miami.

An illustration of "The Celery Incident" - a sketch from Portlandia 403.

Watch More

Car Notes

Portlandia Keeps Road Rage In Park

Get a lesson in parking etiquette on a new Portlandia.

Posted by on

It’s the most American form of cause and effect: Park like a monster, receive a passive-aggressive note.

car notes note

This unofficial rule of the road is critical to keeping the great big wheel of car-related Karma in balance. And naturally, Portlandia’s Kath and Dave have elevated it to an awkward, awkward art form in Car Notes, the Portlandia web series presented by Subaru.

If you’ve somehow missed the memo about Car Notes until now, you can catch up on every installment online, on the IFC app, and on demand. You can even have a little taste right here:

If your interest is piqued – great news for you! A special Car Notes sketch makes an appearance in the latest episode of Portlandia, and you can catch up on it now right here.

Watch all-new Portlandia Thursdays at 10P on IFC.

Watch More

Naked and Hungry

Two New Ways to Threeway

IFC's Comedy Crib gets sensual in time for Valentine's Day.

Posted by on

This week, two scandalous new digital series debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib.
Ménage à Trois invites people to participate in a real-life couple’s fantasy boudoir. And The Filling is Mutual follows two saucy chefs who invite comedians to make food inspired by their routines. Each show crosses some major boundaries in sexy and/or delicious ways, and each are impossible to describe in detail without arousing some awkward physical cravings. Which is why it’s best to hear it directly from the minds behind the madness…

Ménage à Trois

According to Diana Kolsky and Murf Meyer, the two extremely versatile constants in the ever-shifting à trois, “MàT is a sensually psychedelic late night variety show exploring matters of hearts, parts and every goddamn thing in between…PS, any nudes will be 100% tasteful.”

This sexy brainchild includes sketches, music, and props that would put Pee-wee’s Playhouse to shame. But how could this fantastical new twist on the vanilla-sex variety show format have come to be?

“We met in a UCB improv class taught by Chris Gethard. It was clear that we both humped to the beat of our own drum; our souls and tongues intermingled at the bar after class, so we dove in head first.”

Sign me up, but promise to go slow. This tricycle is going to need training wheels.

The Filling is Mutual

Comedians Jen Saunderson and Jenny Zigrino became best friends after meeting in the restroom at the Gotham Comedy Club, which explains their super-comfortable dynamic when cooking with their favorite comedians. “We talk about comedy, sex, menses, the obnoxiousness of Christina Aguilera all while eating food that most would push off their New Year’s resolution.”

The hook of cooking food based off of comedy routines is so perfect and so personal. It made us wonder about what dishes Jen & Jenny would pair with some big name comedy staples, like…

Bill Murray?
“Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to… Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to avoid doing any kind of silly Groundhog Day reference.” 

Bridget Everett?
“Cream Balls… Sea Salt encrusted Chocolate Ganache Covered Ice Cream Ball that melt cream when you bite into them.” 

Nick Kroll & John Mulaney? 
“I’d make George and Gil black and white cookies from scratch and just as we open the oven to put the cookie in we’d prank ’em with an obnoxious amount of tuna!!!”

Carrie Brownstein & Fred Armisen? 
“Definitely a raw cacao “safe word” brownie. Cacao!”

Just perfect.

See both new series in their entirety on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

Watch More

Dark Arts

Foot Fetish Jesus And Other Nightmares

Meet the minds behind Comedy Crib's latest series, Quirks and The Mirror.

Posted by on

The Mirror and Quirks are really, really strange. Deeply disturbing yet hauntingly beautiful. But you really don’t need to read a synopsis of either of the aforementioned shows to understand the exact variety of nightmare-bonkers comedy these shows deliver — that’s why the good lord made links. Instead, take a peek behind the curtain and meet the creators.


Let’s start with Kevin Tosi. Kevin does the whole show by himself. That doesn’t mean he’s a loner — Kevin has a day job with actual humans. But that day job is copywriting. So it’s only natural that his suppressed demons would manifest themselves in biting cartoon form, including “Foot Fetish Jesus”, in ways that somehow speak to all of us. If only all copywriters channeled their inner f*ckedupness into such…expressive art.

The Mirror

Onward to the folks at Wham City Comedy.

These guys aren’t your typical comedy collective in that their work is way more left-field and even elevated than your standard digital short. More funny weird than funny ha-ha. They’ve done collaborations with musicians like Beach House, Dan Deacon & Wye Oak, television networks (obviously), and others. Yeah they get paid, but their motivation feels deeper. Darker. Most of them are video artists, and that explains a lot.

See more of The Mirror and Quirks on IFC.com and the IFC app.

Watch More
Powered by ZergNet