Friday, November 5

Posted by Laurel Garver on Friday, November 05, 2010 14 comments
It's the first Friday of a new month, and that means ART, baby! Philadelphia's art galleries in Olde City hold their monthly First Friday event, with new shows opening, later gallery closing times, meet and greets and refreshments. It's a fun, invigorating environment to hop into. Buskers pop up all over the neighborhood and local artisans--especially young students--hawk their wares from rickety card tables or blankets spread on the sidewalks.

The art world is one I love exploring, so of course my MC is an artist. Some of that choice of passion/career aspiration was thematic. She mentally rearranges what she sees so she can draw it the way she wants. But she also uses art to speak truth into the world. It's a gift I admire. One I wish I had.

I've loved drawing since I was quite young and took three years of art in high school. But honestly, I was just a dabbler. I could render a likeness with some competence, but narrating the world in image? I don't have the right kind of brain for it. Not visual enough. I can't follow those Ikea directions that are all pictures--I need words.

So writing Dani is my entree into being something I'm not, but wish I were. Tonight I'll rub elbows with the cool crowd and tell my daughter what's impressive about this technique or that composition. My artist wannabe self will fill up and I'll have more to pour into Dani.

What passion or skill have you given to a character that you wish you had?

Image from Hyatt's site


  1. What a great post! I never thought about it until you mentioned it, but I do have a lot of guitar players in my work. And it just so happens that I really wish I could play the guitar.

  2. Dancing. My MC is a great dancer, and I am so not! I'd love to be though.

  3. One of my characters is an accordion player. I desperately want to play the accordion. Artists are a strange lot, though, so don't know if I would attempt one. I've grown up in an art world because my dad is an artist. It's true that art speaks truth, but it makes me wonder how, when so many artists are narcissistic to an extreme. Not my dad, of course--artists like him are the kindest people you could ever meet. I assume your character isn't narcisistic either. :)

  4. When I was still teaching, my students would ask if they could draw a picture on the board (if I was using a picture as an example) because they said I was a horrible artist! My stick people don't even look right! One of my characters is actually a talented writer. Creative writing is something I discovered as an adult and I wish that I would have discovered it sooner and took classes while I could. Now with three children that won't happen for years to come. So for now, I try to learn what I can on my own and wish that I just had that "natural gift!"
    Have a great weekend exploring the art shows!

  5. Sounds amazing! Have a wonderful time...:)

    My MC aspires to be a jewelry designer. She can create all the cool stuff I dream about or see in magazines.

  6. My new MC is really spontaneous. I've always wanted to be like that, but sadly, I'm not.

  7. Art is right up there for me. But maybe a killer fashion sense . . . although mine is so lame, I'm not sure I could even write one. ;)

  8. I like to make my female mc's bold and sassy - two traits I wish I had!

  9. My MC is an artist too in my current WIP. I minored in art in college and still feel like I'm visiting rock stars when I go to the Getty. It's nice seeing a Van Gough in person. *sigh*

  10. That sounds like such an amazing event. I hope you'll have a wonderful time!

    I also dabble in art (sketching, specifically), and I know what you mean by not having the brain for it. I tend to make my MCs martial artists, because I've wished to study martial arts since I were tiny, but was never able to. :)

  11. Catching up on your blog today. Glad to read that you got back on the bike. It does conjure up good memories! I also love the art world. One of my best friends is an arist, and I marvel at her. She's always thinking about color and texture and drawn to the visual asthetics.

  12. Melissa: Oh, I know just what you mean. I tried to teach myself guitar, but my hands are too small to make a lot of the chords! It is fun to explore what we wish we could do.

    Susan: Fun! I totally envy very physically coordinated people too.

    Jill: Oh, she has her self-absorbed side. It does kind of go with the territory, as you say. She has to learn to use her ability to envision the world differently to encourage others about what they could be.

  13. Kelly: It does seem like we all like to write wishfully about things we can do some, but not as well as we'd like. Interesting. And definitely there are times and seasons of life, and figuring out what's do-able in each time is so key.

    Jamie: Thanks. We had a great time. Jewelry designing is cool--saw quite a few such gifted craftspeople Friday.

    Jade: Ah, yes. That impulsive temperament sure can make for fun stories. But we writers have to plan to make them seem real!

    Janet: Ha! Being a fashionista is quite the glamorous skill set, isn't it?

    Susan F.: I know what you mean. I always come up with the perfect sassy comeback days later.

  14. T. Anne: That's so cool. I feel a bit like an anthropologist when I hang out in local art scene here in Philly--the watcher on the edge of things.

    Emy: Cool. You should post sketches sometime. I might be brave enough to do so, too. Martial arts are cool, too. To be so lithe and strong would be amazing.

    Mary: I'd honestly forgotten how much I love biking. We went on a long ride Saturday and I felt years younger afterwards.

    My hubby is very visual and very artistic, and I likewise marvel at his skills.