For the past year, I have desperately been trying to find the creativity missing from my work. Feeling so lost, I started buying into the lie that maybe I just was not a creative person and never would be.
I was created for a purpose but I did not believe it. I was being prideful in thinking, "God can't do anything through me and especially not my art." In my arrogance, I was preoccupied with thinking too lowly of myself instead of asking God to use it for His glory. I have been so convicted and humbled by this, I have to share.
Making a living as an artist, I catch myself apologizing for the fact that I do not have a BFA or MFA in Fine Art when I am asked what I went to school for. I also get embarrassed when I have to explain that I did not do very well in college art classes. My professors had no doubt about my technical skills in painting and drawing, but I had a difficult time defending the conceptual meanings behind my pieces during critiques. I never took the time to think about my voice as an artist so I had no purpose for what I created. This meant lower grades than I would have liked and I became disappointed myself. After three art classes, I gave up taking any more because it hurt my pride.
I struggled with answering this question:
Why does there have to be meaning behind everything I create?
What did meaning matter if I was pleased with how it looked and others were, too?
I resolved only to create "pretty" art.
I started a blog to challenge myself with daily practice in hopes of becoming more creative.
I kept it up for several weeks, fueled by the compliments received for the my "beautiful work". Unbeknownst to me, my resolution to only create pretty art actually stunted my creativity. Instead of being inspired to be more creative, I found it to be more and more burdensome because there was no purpose or meaning, so I quickly gave up.
Creating meaningless and purposeless art is not only absurd but was downright arrogant of me, especially as a Christian. To think that what I create is good enough without any meaning or purpose to back it up is so prideful because I am denying that God gave me the talent I have. Everything I do should have meaning and purpose because the Father has a specific purpose for me, for all of us.
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace.
- 1 Peter 4:18
God the Father is a creative God; He created the universe, earth, man - everything. He also created us in His own image. I now realize that the creativity that I was desperately looking for has always been all about being humble and trusting in God's purpose for me, to be abiding daily by pursuing and loving Him as He pursued and loved me first.
Our talents are gifts from the Father and when we do not use them to their full potential, they are useless to ourselves and to those around me; it is not God-honoring. God can do amazing things through you and your art because he has created you with great purpose - serve one another be stewards of His grace.
The purpose of the newly designed MUNDANE TYPE is the humble pursuit of creativity through painting and writing within the context of Jesus Christ our Lord. I trust that God will use me for His purpose - His glory - as I learn to abide in Him and His words abide in me.
Please, join me on this pursuit!
My biggest hope for this blog is that it will become a platform for us as Christian artists to discuss the realities of the creative process and creating art within the context of our faith. I would love to hear your thoughts on creativity and humility in the talents God has gifted to you.
How have you been denying God's work in your life by being prideful of your talents? Pride could be thinking too highly of yourself, "God needs me!" Or it could be thinking too lowly of yourself, "God can't use me."