Wednesday, August 25, 2010

KCAI ANIM: Hunting & Gathering Project, PART 1

Favorite Place Growing Up

Pegah's Family Restaurant
    Nine years, in that proximity, my family and I, whether partial or complete have spent countless meals at this place. Pegah's Family Restaurant, two locations home to the average, middle class suburbs in common place Kansas always had a special charm to me, even as a kid. Though my Mom and step Dad were never the kind of people to value nostalgia or ritual, the times I had there keep me coming back, even if the food ain't worth so much now. It's the way we've come full circle as a family from the crappy two bedroom apartment across the street from there, to our final stop, a charming house just two blocks from there.
     The way everyone knew my name, knew what we liked to eat, and treated us special, it's the feeling of home and permanence, but at the same time change and moving forward. It was so exciting as a kid to go out for breakfast, our special treat my Dad and I would do every Saturday morning, just me and him. We'd talk about our week, work, school, anything. The waitresses were always nice to me, ask what I was drawing, what the day held. On my 12th birthday, unprovoked, I remember receiving a giant cinnamon roll with birthday candles, Pegah's doesn't do birthdays.
      Also, my independent attempts in early teenage years; the first place I ate after buying my first car, breakfast with my friend from California,  crying there after being scolded, secretly using the parking lot, even buying biscuits and gravy  to go in secret as surprise for my first love. After moving through five different homes, losing and making friends, the birth of my little sister, that place remains the same, somehow never improved nor lacking to me. It's still a favorite place to me, if only for the memories and discussions I collected with my family there.

Favorite Place Locally

His House
     Baltimore Avenue, Kansas City Missouri, a street lined with big old houses, some reconstructed with beautiful outdoor porches, some not so lucky, ending up run down, especially as the street goes farther north. This is not a nice part of town, but it's not horrible brutal either. If you're not on foot two blocks down, that is. I didn't live here, but I might as well have the past year and a half of my life. It almost seems like this shouldn't count as a local joint, do to it being a friend's house and not anyone has a pass in, it feels like it though. Though my friend no longer lives there, it still has an importance to me, I still pass it daily, I'm welcome anytime. Five different guys live here, filmmakers, artists, and friends, it's like a big mismatch family.
     Friends of friends were always in and out, whether for a party, a film shoot, a get together, Christmas eve, before the show, at random night where we heard gun shots, birthdays, a funeral, fights, loving, and at times my personal hatred, It's the place full of my first experiences, good and bad. I always wanted to be there, I'd sneak away from home just to go there, I didn't matter if everyone was doing nothing or everything. It's my best friend's home, he lived in the very top room. I'd always look straight to that single window at the point of the house from my car window, hoping his light was on, that maybe I'd see him. I can get away there, it's not like other people's homes where there are rules and manners, no boundaries.
     I painted there, stayed up all night to my heart's desire, I was open and could be myself, I was always welcome there, as if it were a cafe or my own home. There was always someone I could talk to, something going on, something worth listening to, but it was never required.
    There was no expectation to preform, or to even socialize, I would spend time there alone even, just a space to work and allow myself freedom from family demands or having to be entertained or entertaining to one another. Like a studio, home, foreign place, or social gathering all rolled into one, fitting my wishes. For me, almost everything imaginable was done there, from a green screen film project, Thanksgiving dinner, moving furniture, a Venture Bros. marathon, a guitar jam-out, casting, baking cupcakes for Valentine's Day, a place to crash after a crazy First Friday, facebooking all day, a heartbreaking fight, some of my closest bonding, or to just cry and let out all of my personal tragedies to someone who cared. It seemed so questionable, for a girl to hang out at a house full of guys so much, maybe that's part of the attraction, the fact that I made my own choices, lived without caution and in secret when I would go there.


  1. I like the skecthy marks in your first piece. It tones down the place and goes well with the concept of "memory". I also like how you included people and color.

    The second piece could use a little touch up. Not sure if you smudge the right side of the house off, but it need some redifining of lines on thr right side.

  2. Concept:
    Excellent. The content of both images is strong and creates a very personal narrative.

    Both images have good depth and overall framing. The restaurant image projects the strongest sense of perspective.

    Excellent. The attention to detail, texture, color and tonality is spot on. Even with the looser line weights, the "feel" of the space is maintained and serves to support the text quite well. Perhaps an even greater sense of space could be created by a slightly richer color gradation. For example, darker darks and lighter lights. Maybe even a little more exaggeration of shadow. The way the viewer can look all the way through the diner to to the outside (via the back window) is an excellent use of depth of field. Even though, when using a camera, the extreme background would blur a bit, it's a great technique for including a lot of information in a limited frame. Your use of foreground is also enhances the depth and draws the viewer in.

    Following instruction:
    (There are a couple of formatting issue on your blog. The text/links on the right are crowding the image. Look into fixing that)

  3. @Wen: Yeah, I wanted to try and keep the house on the left as the focal point so I didn't want them to be equal in detail... But I do feel that it just ended up looking smudgy. :(

    @Doug: Thank you, formatting issue should be fixed now!