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.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

#62 "Blue Shirt, Period." In Color!!! June 6, 2013

(Click on the image to make it bigger.)

Picasso's Blue Period only lasted for 3 years, but the name will live on forever. It is said that he was severely depressed at this time, as his friend had just committed suicide. His subject matter turned to the fringe members of society; beggars, prostitutes, and thieves. At the time, the paintings were not well received by the public or by Picasso's own art dealers, although now they are some of his most popular works and the name itself is synonymous with "the brooding artist." I'm sure every artist goes through a "blue period" of some sort, even though the artist might not be actually painting in blue. In Tim and my case, I doubt this could be considered our blue period, but when I posted it to Bookface, I did mention that we were now entering our blue period. I was merely making a joke about this two-headed artist's choice of palette for his little masterpiece (that and the heavy use of the color blue throughout the picture). On top of that, the title of this drawing is a play on the uniform we wear at the restaurant. When I first started, the uniform was a blue, button down shirt with a tie of your choice, jeans, and a bistro apron. For the most part, the uniform has stayed the same, but we do have a couple people on the staff now that have taken some creative liberties. Phillip tends to wear a lot of color and a lot of patterns both on his shirts and on his conservatively wild ties. He has real style though and his shirts are always pressed so he can get away with it. I still maintain the original "uniform" most of the time unless I am behind the bar, although Dien has been wearing wild shirts behind the bar for nearly 20 years. There are waiters in this picture, although they must not work with us as they have some crazy attire.
It's hard for me to pinpoint when Tim and I had a "Blue Period," if we have had one at all. The thing about an on-going project like this one is that a lot of the work is done at such different times and over the course of so many days that there is probably blue period aspects in many of the drawings. But, since there is other "periods" in the same picture, you can't tell the difference. Also, 2013 was an incredibly productive year for me and the whole "Mind on Loup" series. Since I had essentially taken 2012 off to work on children's books, 2013 saw a huge increase in production in the "Mind on Loup" drawings. Not that we were drawing them faster, it's just I had a ton backed up from 2012 and colored them in at a furious pace. In fact, I put out about 30 colored versions in 2013, so that marked the most productive year ever. To put that into perspective, this year I have only put out 18 and the 3 years before that I put out 52 combined. It's a lot of numbers, I know, and I will stop with all this math. The long story short is that the Blue Period for the "Mind on Loup" series is impossible to trace. I'm sure Tim could show you some of his drawings from a low point in his life, and I could certainly show you some pictures that I drew while depressed, but they would probably be on different pictures in different time periods. Also, since the drawings remained uncolored for sometimes almost 2 years, the original drawing and the colored version would have almost nothing in common as far as mood is concerned. I may have been depressed while drawing the purple cloud or the orange mechanical fish(?) but by the time I got around to coloring it, I am not even sure I remember what the thing is that I am coloring.
In a lot of these drawings I can remember drawing the subjects and I can remember specific events surrounding the drawings. This is not one of them. The only thing I vaguely remember about drawing this one is the thing on the far right-hand side, because Edie could not believe it and questioned me tirelessly about what it was. Even then I had no real answer. Now, looking at this drawing, I could not tell you without the help of my records when it was originally drawn. Anytime between now and 2011 would be my guess, although I kind of know that it was much closer to the latter. Not that any of that matters. I think that once this project runs it's course there will be good ones and bad ones and ones that are just part of the project. I think this one will be the one that will symbolize our "Blue Period." Why not, right? If we really did have a blue period, why not have it be this one? This one will be the stand-in for our depressed, brooding period where all we worked in was blue ball-point pens on blue tinged Triple-Dupe pads whilst drawing pictures of Smurfs, blue prostitutes wearing Craz-berry Ring Pops and only listening to the artist Blu.

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