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, December 10, 2014

#64 In Color!!! June 19, 2013

(Click on the image to make it bigger)

When Tim and I started this project 5 years ago, we had no idea how far it would go. We were essentially just messing around, drawing pictures at work like we had been for years before that fateful day where we liked a picture enough to take it home and work on it outside of the restaurant. That first picture that I took home is pretty simple, but has all of the insanity of later drawings in it. Take a look at it here.
Tim and I would draw on the Triple Dupe Pad nearly every day we were at the restaurant, always adding (and sometimes subtracting) to the whole thing. We would draw on them while we had our evening coffee before the rush, and then again at the end of the night while sitting on Table 8 drinking beers and talking about the evening that had just recently ended. As time went on, Tim and my schedule became less and less intertwined. We used to work three out of four days together, and so we were working on these drawings a lot during that time. As the years passed, our schedules changed so much that Tim and I only work together for a couple hours on Friday evenings when I come in to wait tables in the evening and he finishes up his shift as the dar bar tender. I am not sure if that fact of not working together has slowed down our output, but we have certainly slowed down the production of T&J drawings.
 I rarely draw these days during the pre-shift coffee break. This is usually because I am much better friends with the bar regulars now, and so instead of turning my back to them and drawing insane pictures of aliens harvesting heads, I catch up with them and visit. Then, at the end of the night, it's usually the same thing. Instead of the staff sitting on Table 8, like the old days, we all hang out at the bar and visit with our favorite regulars. It almost seems wrong to call these people regulars since a lot of them are friends who happened to be customers first. That is how I would describe these people to outsiders. Yes, we met in a server/served environment, but we have gone beyond that relationship and developed a full-on friendship. This happens sometimes in some restaurants and bars, but it happens at our place more, I think. The way the restaurant operates, and the longevity of the staff makes it the perfect place to become really good friends with the staff and regulars.
For instance, years ago, a woman named Karen started coming in to eat. She would come in and sit at Table 11 or 12 (depending on which one was open at the time). She would read on her Kindle and have a glass of wine and eat a little something. Well, after a couple of times waiting on her, I asked how she liked the Kindle (they were new at the time), and from that question on, we became friends. She would come in every Wednesday and Friday for years and years. We became Bookface friends, and we would talk for hours about everything from technology to the Opera and everything in between. Now, you are probably thinking, well, obviously a young waiter and a single woman becoming friends in a restaurant is nothing out of the ordinary. That sort of thing happens every day. The only difference is that Karen and I are completely different people from completely different times. She could be an aunt of mine or some distant relative that would be a peer of my parents. But, because of the restaurant, we are now friends. In the outside world that never would have happened, but in the restaurant it happens all the time. The fact that I have so many friends my parents age and older is directly related to working at the restaurant. And so, I guess it is a little sad that the T&J production has gone down but the reason for the slowdown is a positive thing. I mean, friendship is more important that productivity any day of the week.

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