Death, Life, and Creating Art
So, rest and peace continues to be spoken over me lately. What’s funny to me, in a way that is not truthfully ha-ha funny, is the terminology used for how I ultimately find that rest and peace. “Die to yourself.” “Die to God’s promises.” Die. Die. Die. You would think I were in a horror movie if you didn’t know that dying actually means freedom and that to shed your old self means that you don’t bear the burden of your suffering any more…
More on that later, I want to talk about how that relates to art. What? Keep reading because I mean you. Yea, you, the one who used to eat crayons instead of draw with them.
This may not be news to anyone but I have to confess, I am an artist. I am by nature a creator and connect with God by expressing myself creatively. I guess the real confession is about the art-nature itself. Art-nature, what is that even?
I literally just made that word up.
What I mean by it is that as artists we really have to die a lot as well. I’m not talking bloody canvas or “tortured artist” jive.
Also, I would argue that we all are capable of being artists if we are capable of letting go of ourselves. What defines art anyway? Freely releasing ourselves onto a canvas of sorts?
Art Heart Start Fa… (honestly, stay with me here)
I guess my real confession is that I am not dying a lot lately to that. If you are an artist of any medium you probably experience the insecurity of your craft at times. Without rehashing every thought you think as an art creator, I will nutshell it like this:
Often being an artist is a burden because the call to create is a big calling and if you put your heart and soul into it without it being received then you just basically gave yourself a bad break up.
Who wants to be broken up with every day!?
The horror movie sounds kind of nice compared to being broken up with 365+ times a year so you stop putting your heart into your work. You actually lock away your artist and claim to be content not doing what you were MADE to do! It’s funny because there’s the saying that art imitates life, but I don’t think it’s really in the way that we think necessarily. Yes, I sometimes paint things as representations of life I see or experience, but I think the beginning of this paragraph gets more to the heart of it. Say it with me, “Art has a heart!”
So cheesy. I can’t believe you repeated that. Geesh.
Seriously though. I don’t know about you (yea you! Dude who has never picked up a paintbrush but has some wild desire to pour paint all over something) but I think I lost the heart of my art somewhere. I mean, I lose stuff a lot and I think I just kind of plopped it down like it was not a big deal that I wasn’t paying it any attention. I have serious art heart neglect lately. Okay, okay, don’t leave this just yet. I’ll stop with the cheesy sentiments…
I’m Just Living Dude!
If it is in my nature to create and it brings me joy and fulfillment and connects me to my creator, then why the hell am I not making art all the time? Honestly, I might have lost my brain along with my heart because I go about wondering why I can’t feel the same connection and then forget that thrill of putting my brush to a surface and not knowing where it would even go.
Honestly, what makes you come alive?
My heart swoons when I paint or take pictures. Yet, I have all of these really fantastic ideas of new creations just sitting dormant. I am huge into photography, yet this blog has ONE picture that I didn’t even take. I used to paint prophetically for a traveling ministry team and now I have a drawer full of paint and dry brushes. I went to undergrad for graphic design (NOT web design, so I don’t need to be too harsh here) and LOOK at this blog page. It’s crying for creation. Why do we do this? I mean, today it is different than yesterday. Right now I am writing a blog. Yesterday I was out of town. This is not a beat-yourself-up-over-it word, it’s simply a get-off-your-tush-and-be-ALIVE word.
Be free to create without inhibition. Whoever you are. Whatever your craft.
Onward We Go
What’s my next step artistically personally? Besides the fact that I dream of this little studio shed lit with twinkle lights in a garden, painting while listening to The Weepies, ALL THE TIME.
I have a lot of stellar ideas in my brain. Namely a photo series I’ve been planning for about a year now on the topic of “entering into suffering” and “entering into joy”, which falls under the larger scope of “community” and “connection”. It is my belief that in order to connect as living people, we need to share our stories. The good and the ugly. It’s going to be good and it’s going to bring healing and freedom, so I believe. But first I need to die to the artist self who says I will get lost in the shuffle and I have to be alive in knowing that my creative voice is bold and has authority.
What is your next step in creation? What does your art heart beat for?
Art Heart Challenge
I challenge you to create something this week. Anything really. Get the extra can of paint lying around in the garage and Jackson Pollock the sidewalk. I don’t really care what you do, but I honestly care a lot that you would do it. I also would care a lot to see the photos! If you go (QUICK!) and “Like” Tiny World Travels on Facebook you can add the pictures there. Hey, community! Artist community. Those are two words j’adore.
Got any creative aspirations? Share them here! Don’t be afraid to voice it. Claim it.