Next Sketch Outing

Sept. 22: Columbia City

Friday, November 29, 2013

First Santa

11/29/13 Northgate Mall
I haven’t been out on Black Friday to shop in years, possibly decades, but I’ve found that it can be fun to be out in the hustle-bustle if I’m doing something other than shopping. This afternoon I went to Northgate Mall with a sole purpose: to sketch Santa. I had so much fun sketching Santa last year that I captured him twice – first at Northgate and then at Pacific Place. But surely I see more than two Santas in any given season; I’ve challenged myself to top that record this year.

Today might be the busiest day of the year for retailers, but Santa looked bored. I passed by him twice without any clients. On my third pass, a reluctant little girl was on his lap, refusing to smile, so I grabbed my opportunity. As has happened each time I’ve sketched Santa, his client was long gone before I finished sketching her, and then Santa went on a break.

On my way out of the mall, a young busker named Sarah Emerson was raising money for a trip to Ghana next summer to work in an orphanage. It felt good to know that the only money I spent at the mall today was the dollar I put in her bowl.

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