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Local Artist in Action: Daniel Duffy from Art of Words

Our latest Philly building, Common Frankford, just opened in Fishtown! With both coliving suites and private studios, along with incredible amenities like an outdoor deck, library, and lounge, Common Frankford is city living made easy. Our coliving suites come fully-furnished, offer all-inclusive utilities, and have household essentials stocked at all times, while our private apartments also have access to all of the beautiful amenities Common Frankford has to offer.

We partnered with Philly-native, Daniel Duffy from Art of Words to fill our rooftop lounge with locally inspired art. His recreation of the famous LOVE sign is filled with words that remind him of why he loves Philadelphia and hangs in our rooftop lounge with the skyline as its backdrop. Keep reading to learn more about Daniel’s favorite parts of the Philadelphia community and how he finds local inspiration for his work.

How would you describe your workflow and medium? 

It starts with creating a loose sketch of the image I’d like to create. From there, I just begin to write words line by line to fill up the paper. The final step would be adding color, and then shading — this is where the images really start to pop. Pencil, pen and paper are all that’s used!

If you could only use a few words, how would you describe your work? 

When words become art and capture the heart!

How did Art of Words get started?

 I started creating word art about 11 years ago to impress my girlfriend, who ultimately became my wife. Little did I know that it would lead to becoming a full-time word artist and small business owner of Art of Words! My first pieces were Philadelphia sports figures and landmarks that I sold at local craft fairs and holiday markets. 

What about Philadelphia inspires your artwork? 

As a Philadelphia fan first and foremost, I draw inspiration from the things that make Philly great. Iconic images such as the skyline, Boathouse Row and the LOVE statue are very important to our city and inspired me to represent them well through my art. Outside of just Philly, I want to recreate the most iconic historical figures, stadiums, skylines and championships — things that will be remembered forever!

How has connecting with your local Philly community influenced your art? 

The Reading Terminal Market is a Philly staple, and it recently launched a GoFundMe to ensure its doors stay open. To help out, we decided to do a Reading Terminal Market word art and send some of the proceeds to their fundraiser! In addition, many of our other prints benefit local charities, and it’s a joy to use my skills to help the local community in this way.

Some rapid-fire questions! 

What is your favorite local spot in your neighborhood? While I’m no longer living directly in the city, Fergie’s Pub was one of my favorite local hangouts. 

What is your favorite place? Avalon, NJ,  I love going down the shore!

What’s your ideal Saturday? Golfing…all day!

Who would be your dream roommate? I don’t know if he’d necessarily be a good roommate, but I would love to hang out with Mike Schmidt. He’s my favorite athlete of all time and a Philly legend. 

What upcoming project are you most excited about? We just recently launched our first-ever calendar! It features a different piece for each month and highlights some of the most famous events and birthdays in Philly. 

Want to explore what life could look like in Philadelphia? 

With a rooftop lounge, stunning views, library, and terrace, Common Frankford has everything to make you feel right at home. Head over to our website to learn more about our Philadelphia locations and book a virtual tour.

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