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.

Friday, September 26, 2014

#59 "2-5-5-4-7-4-6" July 10, 2013

(Click on the Image to see a Larger Version)

This month marks the five year anniversary of the "Tim & Jeremy's Mind on Loup" series. Five years ago, on September 1, 2009, I posted the Very First collaboration drawing that Tim and I had ever done. I am sure there were more before it, but we had never taken the time to bring the drawings home to do anything more with them. In fact, Tim and I had been working together at that point for at least three years, so we could have been doing these things upwards of 8 years, or as long as we have known each other. It would be funny if we had started right from the beginning. In the five years since we started these things, we have made it to a grand total of 105 finished drawings (with countless loose doodles collected by myself, Tim, and Edie). The fact that we are only on number 59 on this blog is a little disheartening to me, as the writer, since that means that I am behind by almost half. Daunting, to say the least. I mean, as the time has gone on, the blog posts have gotten more and more complex, mirroring the artwork. If you go back to the first drawing, it is really just six doodles that seem to come together to form a narrative. It wasn't until years later that the drawings started to become a universe of their own, complete with backgrounds, themes, inside jokes, and substance. The first couple years there were a lot of growing pains, Tim and I both trying to figure out exactly what we were doing with these things. The happy answer is that, to this day, we still don't know what we're doing with these things. We still make them, and have a stack waiting to be finished presently in a drawer at the Cafe Loup. Some are almost ready, some are still in the premature stages, but there are plenty coming down the line. As long as we both work at the Loup in some form or another, these drawings will continue to be made, since when we are spending time there, we are adding, subtracting, and ultimately making more and more artwork. It has become ingrained in the daily life at the Loup. You go to work, you doodle a little bit, you serve hungry guests. Then you have a beer and doodle some more. It's just the way we do things there.
Over the past five years, the progress of both the drawings and the blog have gone through fits and starts. Had it not been for the years 2011 and 2012, I might be caught up with both; however, those two years I was spending my time differently. That time ended up making future T&J's heads and shoulders better than their brethren of 2009-11 (in my opinion). If you look at the early ones, you can see how inept I was at using Photoshop, the program I use to color all of these drawings. I had been using Photoshop since college, but I wasn't really that good at it. I could use the basic tools and even then I was lazy and would cut corners. I look back at those drawings and I want to recolor all of them, but of course I stop myself because they are a time capsule of where my skills were at the time. Taken as a whole, you can see the progression of skill and comfort gained merely by continuing the project. Then, once 2013 comes around, you can see a major transformation. The years 2011 and '12, I spent illustrating children's books that you can find here. Spending the whole year working on these books honed my skills to a whole new level, and it shows in the drawings from 2013. I always like to look back on the past and see that progress has been made, and it is clearest when you look back on artwork that you have created in the past. As an artist, you like to think you are always at your best. There are days and months that you sometimes feel like you are stagnant and doing nothing interesting, but then you look back at the work you did a year ago, three years ago, five years ago, and you see that back then you didn't know half of what you know now and that the quality of work was simply not as good. There are occasions that some of the things you made were good, but I feel like on the whole, you are always improving, or if not improving, then you certainly change. Brush strokes change, line quality, all of it. I mean, when I first started coloring these in Photoshop, I was using a mouse! It wasn't until almost two years later, that I started using a Wacom pen and tablet to color them. That technology changed the whole look instantly. I still use the same pen and tablet as I did then, and I've used the same version of Photoshop this whole time because I'm a cheapskate. But I got comfortable with the technology and so it has influenced the look of these drawings. To my eye, the more recent ones don't look dated to me, even though I am using outdated technology. But I also know for a fact that in a year, three years, and five years down the line I am going to look back on these recent drawings and think that they are very primitive and outdated. But, like the restaurant in which each of these drawings is conceived and created, everything changes while staying the same all at the same time. Tim and I have been drawing pictures on the Triple Dupe pads for 5 years. We'll draw on them again tonight, and tomorrow and on and on. No matter what happens outside of those walls, the drawing will continue as long as we are working within. 

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