Tara McPherson

Editor’s Note: Every Thursday is dedicated to visual artists who inspire writers.
by Melanie Feliciano

I found the artwork of Tara McPherson at Tate’s Comics in Ft. Lauderdale some time last summer. She had converted her illustrations of broken-hearted characters, sci-fi water creatures and comic book story lines into a coloring book for adults – yeah, it literally said, “Not for children!” It was funny because I had originally bought the coloring book for my niece who is only 3 years old.

I ended up sharing the coloring book with my sister instead, who also connected with the images of misunderstood females. In November, I colored the following illustration as I thought about the Chakra Girlz live performance exhibition I produced in front of Art Center South Florida on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach during Art Basel 2008.

Photos, artwork, architecture, video and other art forms can be inspirational for a writer. They can help you make sense of the storylines and characters you’re creating, in terms of adding historical context, action sequences, or mannerisms. When I look at Tara’s characters, I feel like she’s gone through some of the same experiences I have, especially in the broken heart category.

But even more importantly, when I created my “Urban Mermaid” character, I wasn’t entirely sure what she would look like. So you can imagine how much I freaked out when I saw this:

Tara McPherson

Obviously Tara and I are expressing our experiences through the same cosmic filter. This is when the storytelling process starts to become straight up magical. Ever since I found that coloring book at Tate’s, Tara just keeps popping up in my life. When I went to San Francisco, my friend Dennis McNulty, who is a visual artist and works for a company called Infectious.com, hooked me up with a cool vinyl sticker for the cover of my laptop, featuring Tara’s artwork. Then I thought, “You know, I should call Tara up and interview her for Biscayne Writers.”

I had a reminder in my calendar to send her an email this week. And then what happens? Juxtapoz Magazine posted 20 Questions with TARA MCPHERSON on Monday, April 6, 2009.

The universe is obviously reflecting my thoughts back at me these dayz!

Is there an artist out there that inspires your writing? Tell us about him/her.