Jason Logan is constantly looking at the ground.
“What I like to do is just walk really slowly,” he says, eyes down. He’s in a dusty, chain-link fence-lined alley in downtown Washington, D.C., with broken bottles and chunks of concrete scattered about. It’s right off one of the city’s major streets, and the buzz of traffic and wail of sirens fill the air.
“Part of what I do and part of what I’m excited by is just opening up people’s eyes to what’s going on at their feet,” Logan says, scanning. “Kind of through the lens of: Could I make an ink out of that?”
Logan used to be an illustrator for The New York Times and other publications. He now owns a business called The Toronto Ink Company that sells “street-harvested pigments” — ink made from the world around him. In his new book, Make Ink: A Forager’s Guide to Natural Inkmaking, Logan demystifies the process, encouraging experimentation and taking a fresh look at urban environments.
Photos and GIFs: Claire Harbage/NPR