Next Sketch Outing

Sept. 22: Columbia City

Friday, April 1, 2016

Lunch and Sketches at FareStart

4/1/16 Cliff
Back in September, my friend Kathleen invited me to join her and a few other friends at the FareStart restaurant for her birthday celebration. A life and job skills program, FareStart trains homeless and other disadvantaged people in the food service industry so that they can become self-sufficient. On Thursday evenings, a guest chef creates a menu from ingredients donated by local farmers and businesses, and the program’s students prepare it under the chef’s guidance. Aside from the fantastic meal, the highlight of the evening was the graduation ceremony, when the current graduates of the 16-week program were honored. Sketching frantically to capture the 10-minute ceremony, I was impressed and moved by the graduates’ stories as they talked about how far they had come to overcome personal struggles and finally succeed.

Fast-forward to January, when I was contacted by Erica McCaig, who is working on a book for FareStart’s 25th anniversary. She had found my sketch of the graduation ceremony online and asked permission to use it in the book. Of course I was happy to let her use the sketch, but honestly, I wasn’t thrilled with the sketch – it was very hastily done while leaning over a railing in a dimly lit room, craning my neck to see the graduates from a distance. I asked her if she could wait for the weather to improve so that I could go back to the FareStart restaurant for more sketching. I remembered that tall windows on one side of the building enabled a perfect view from the sidewalk of the program students working in the kitchen. She graciously said she could wait.
4/1/16 Jennifer

The weather improvement I had been waiting for finally came! I timed my visit for when the students would be busy with lunch service today. Moving fast, they were definitely a challenge to sketch, but the windows gave me just the view I wanted.

Famished from all my hard work, I went inside and treated myself to lunch. Unlike many sketchers, I don’t ever draw a meal before devouring it; I’m always too hungry for that. But I felt like this story about the FareStart program wouldn’t be complete without showing one of the delicious lunch meals they serve up every weekday. Somehow I ignored my grumbling stomach while I finished a sketch of my smoked fish tacos served with “fire roasted tomato salsa, lime slaw, avocado, served with roasted poblano and black bean salad.” Yummmm.

4/1/16 Elliot
4/1/16 smoked fish tacos


  1. Love the story and especially the sketches Tina. Great job.

  2. So proud of you, Tina! For these sketches, the story and (knowing you!) sketching first, eating after!