Four years ago, I was vacationing with my family down at Disney’s Art of Animation resort in Orlando, Florida. We were there to celebrate my birthday and my wife thought, being as my original degree/field was in the animation field, I should enter their daily Disney character drawing contest. I was a bit reluctant, having given up drawing a good fifteen years prior, but she talked me into it. We grabbed a sketch kit and some paper from one of the resort’s stores and, over the next two hours, I whipped up the best version of “Bruce the shark” from “Finding Nemo” I could come up with.
It turned out fairly well, and even won their “Sketch Artist of the Day”. To be fair, the competition wasn’t exactly fierce – mostly kids and a half-dozen parents, but I was flattered that there was a bidding war going on among a group of visitors who were loitering around the displayed artwork, hoping they could snatch up my drawing at the end of the day if it went unclaimed. (Sorry, folks. No such luck)
I think my artistic background lends a huge hand to me as a novelist, especially when it comes to breathing life into the scenes, creatures and characters I create. As an artist, I tend to be inherently visual, and that sense of increased perception loans itself to creating ultra-realistic imagery for my readers. Think about it; as novelists, we basically take what we see in our heads and translate those images into words. Logically, the better one can see those internal pictures, the easier it is to recreate them via the keyboard.