Tim and Jeremy are both waiters at a restaurant in downtown New York City. During slow times at work, to stave off boredom when it is slow, the two young men draw pictures. These pictures are made using ink and what is called the "Triple Dupe Pad," a book of paper used to place orders in the kitchen. The drawings usually take about a week to make, all the while also being used by fellow employees to take orders; this sometimes leads to other collaborators or in a couple cases, to the loss of the work. The drawings are then scanned and colored in Photoshop where they come to life in stunning technicolor! The subject matter varies from piece to piece, as they are made over a long course of time and under various moods and states of mind. They all retain a playfulness that serves as a coping mechanism after spending a night catering to the endless needs of hungry patrons.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

#50 "A Question Isn't Answered" In Color! January 12, 2012

Click on the Image Above to Make it Appear Larger.

I was working on one of these drawings on the computer and then all of a sudden my computer shut off. I was pretty scared that my whole computer had just up and died, but fortunately the power strip had merely had enough power for the moment and shut itself off. Fair enough, I guess, one must know one's limits. However, once I turned the computer back on and went back into the Shop, I found that I hadn't saved my work in over an hour, and all that coloring I had done within that hour was gone, like I had never done anything. Like I was sitting around staring at the walls for that past hour. I'm sure this has happened to everyone at some point who interacts with computers. I remember back in the collegiate days people were always losing entire papers somehow because they either didn't save them or their word processors were malfunctioning. Yes, word processors. Remember those? Me neither.
It's annoying to have to repeat the work that you have already done once through and found it to be completely satisfactory. When you have to do it all over again, you know that you won't be able to do it exactly like you had done it the first time. You think in your mind's eye that there is no way you can replicate the original, nor improve on it. I always feel that the second time around will definitely be inferior only because I am annoyed at having to do it over again, and because of that, I'll end up rushing, cutting corners so that I can get to the place where I was before everything was lost. Trying to catch up to the place where you were just one minute ago, but it took you the last hour to get there. The bright side of my situation is that the drawing was still there. I hadn't lost that. It was still in good shape and ready to be worked on. It's not like my apartment was washed away in some Mega Tsunami and everything was gone forever. But the thing about that happening is that you are left with nothing and are given a fresh start. You wouldn't be able to recreate that stuff anyway, so you move on to new projects and presumably a new apartment. You would certainly miss all that work that you had created, but you would also know that you would be able to make more things that will possibly be better. You already had all that practice with the things you had lost, so you gained the skills that you now own to move forward. I get nervous about that scenario sometimes since a lot of my work is on paper, and the stuff that isn't on paper is in this here computer that I'm typing on right now. If there was some sort of fire bombing situation in Brooklyn and all the paper in my apartment was incinerated, I would certainly be sad. Years of work up in smoke. This sort of thing used to happen to Tim and I with these drawings all the time. Not fires at the restaurant, but people throwing out the drawings. The reason is that all these drawings are done at work on the Triple Dupe Pads which, when emptied of their order slips, look virtually like garbage, the only distinguishing feature being a couple of strange doodles on them. We've lost dozens at this point I am sure. I can still remember some of them. We had one that was about halfway complete with the picture being an homage to the Final Four basketball tournament held every spring. That one had a basketball court, some mascots milling around, some people in the stands; it was really starting to gel and then someone threw it out. We were both bummed out about it, but it would've been a fool's errand to try and recreate the drawing. It would never happen. It's like when you used to lose a roll of film and you would remember the pictures you had taken, but will never be developed. The images, even if you tried to reshoot them, will somehow be different. The light may have changed, the people now put on forced smiles instead of the pure, in-the-moment smiles they had before. And so you move on, but you'll always remember those images. Over time, you might even remember them as better than they actually were, had you had realized them, developed the film and then stuck the pictures on your hard drive. They become romantic images that only you remember. Since no one else will ever see them, they become a part of only you, and you can describe them to people, but to them it will be like listening to someone describe a dream. Abstract, had to grasp, and in the end, unimportant. Fleeting.
I wrote this because I couldn't go back to coloring that drawing right away. I needed a break from the frustration of losing all that work. I am going to go back to it nowish, but I am going to start from the point that I lost all of the work and move in a different direction. I think that will be better than tackling it from the same angle. That will be too annoying and I will only think of what I had done instead of what's ahead of me. Maybe this time it will turn out better, and if not, at least I learned the same old lesson about saving your work. 

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