You know, I had another post scheduled for today. It was a devotional I’d written back in 2007. And then this morning when I was praying and talking with the Lord something came to my mind about the artwork that I’ve been creating lately.
I have this inner critic that is constantly judging everything I create. This critic was born out of the unkind comments of others when it comes to my creativity. At first it was just the voice of others telling me that what I did wasn’t “real photography” because I used Photoshop to edit my images. Then when I began to create digital artwork, others stated that it wasn’t “real artwork” because I used digital brushes instead of real ones. Then when I began to create 3D artwork, you guessed it, others once again had unpleasant things to say about that kind of artwork.
After all those comments by others, my inner critic began to complain incessantly in my ear whenever I created anything. Especially, if I liked a piece of artwork or if I felt passionate about a piece of art that I’d created. I began to be hesitant about showing certain pieces of my artwork to others because I was concerned about their reaction to it.
This past week I created a piece of artwork titled The Creative Potter. I had such joy when I was creating the artwork. I loved thinking about Jesus as the Creator of all things. And I loved thinking of Him as the Potter who molds and shapes us throughout our lives. I think I smiled the entire time I was creating the artwork.
Then when I posted the artwork on Facebook in an Online Gallery, I began to second guess myself. Maybe people would interpret incorrectly or maybe they wouldn’t like it. Was what I created actually Biblical or had I gotten things wrong? What if I misled people with the artwork.
Seriously, those were all the things that my inner critic started taunting me with as soon as I posted it.
Here is the thing, the artwork was simply me honoring and celebrating Jesus as my Creator and as the Potter of my life. Yes, I know that He created the world out of nothing. Yes, I know that He doesn’t created people and put them on a shelf. He breathes life into them to have them become His beautifully unique children who He loves. The artwork was praising Him for all that He has created. It was my way of thanking Him. Yes, it was based on Scripture verses (Isaiah 64:8 and John 1:1-4), but it was not meant to be a literal interpretation. It was meant to tell the viewer the story of Jesus as the Creator and the Potter.
I am tired of listening to my inner critic always telling me what is wrong with my artwork. I know where my heart was when I was creating the art. It was in the right place with Jesus. My artwork is visual storytelling. It is taking Scripture and Biblical concepts, turning them into a visual story, and then sharing that story with others so that they can enjoy the moment with Jesus.
My hope is that the artwork meets people exactly where there are at – no matter where they are in their journey through this life. To the one who doesn’t know Jesus at all, I hope it encourages you to want to get to know Him. To the one who knows Jesus, but feels far away from Him I hope it will lead you closer to Him. To the one who is walking close to Jesus, I hope it starts a lively animated conversation with Him today. And to the one who can only see all the things wrong with the artwork, I hope it will soften your heart and open your ears to hear what Jesus wants to say to you today.
It all boils down to this. I love Jesus. I want the artwork that I create to be created from a heart that loves Him. Whether it is telling stories about Scripture, children, science fiction, animals, or whatever. My prayer is that the stories I tell with the artwork I create will bring people joy, smiles, make them think, make them wonder, and give them hope. I don’t know about you, but I believe our world could definitely use some extra helpings of joy and hope these days.
So, now to my inner critic I say, “Be Quiet!” I’m going to keep creating artwork because I can’t help myself. Creating is in my DNA. I am a child of God after all. The greatest Creator, ever! Not all of the artwork will be received well by everyone, but I bet that Jesus’ refrigerator is covered with all of my artwork (even the artwork that people don’t like). So, I’m okay with not everyone liking my artwork. As long as I have God’s peace in my heart about the artwork then everything is all good.
Thank you Jesus for putting creativity in my heart. May all that I create begin with You, be created through You, and bring You glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Until next time blessings and healing