I found a few more sketches from my trip to the Twin Cities earlier this summer that I hadn’t scanned yet.  These pages are a tribute to my very favorite diner in the entire world.

Can I be sappy and nostalgic and sincere for a second?  Mickey’s Diner is where I learned to draw like an adult.  Truly.  I spent so, so, so, SO many hours here, sitting at the counter, sketching everyone who came into the place, sometimes until the sun came up.  I can’t think of another period in my life when I drew so often and with so much focus (and ate so many fried eggs and burgers, my pre-20s metabolism blessedly saving me from morbid obesity).

This is when drawing became less about trying to photo-realistically render the shading of every pear in some fruit still-life or whatever, and became about capturing a feeling or a personality on a page.  I still have a lot of growth ahead of me, obviously, but I’m so thankful for the time I spent here, taking pure pleasure in my craft.

Quick Mickey’s story: One time I sketched an old guy sitting next to me who turned out to be a mobster—no joke!  I gave him the portrait I drew and he was so delighted that he pulled out a massive wad of cash and paid for my meal… and the meals of every single patron in the restaurant.  And I got a phone number I was instructed to use only if I was “ever in trouble.”  This happened in real life!

I love you, Twin Cities!  You are my adopted hometown forever.

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