And here I will continue to record my story as an artist so far.
Whatever will happen next?
I’m continually gaining more focus in my work, this is good. I compiled a list of goals to strive for before 2018 is over:
- Participate in EAST (East Austin Studio Tour) Artists all across the city open up their studios to show and sell work. I toured this past year, but I’d like to show this coming year.
- Completion of current graphic novel script (first two pages released on Valentine’s Day) I have a certain “one that got away” story that I’d like to actually finish. I felt like I got a green light from God to pour into it. I really want something worthwhile to come of it.
- Seek graphic novel/comics community (enter work in contest or look for publishing) Can’t make in a vacuum! Gotta start now (or yesterday) looking for those avenues to get critique and find an audience.
- Set up an Etsy. I have a bunch of crap and somebody might want it. Who knows?
- Pray before each work session. Focusing my spirit on God, being always aware of making as a spiritual platform and battleground.
That last one, about praying, is undoubtedly the most important one. If I don’t focus on the spiritual elements of art, I could accomplish every other aspect of this list twice over and still be a failure. “If I have not love, I gain nothing” -1 Corinthians 13. So much of doing seems to be about getting back to being. So when I make things my aim will be to be getting back to sitting at Jesus feet and being aware of his love. That is the better portion, and it will not be taken from me.
Below is a sample prayer of the way I want to pray before making things. It’s the ACTS style of prayer. Each paragraph focuses on a different way of praying. Adoration (being aware of God’s character and adoring it), confession (being honest about your sin, mistakes, and flaws), thanksgiving (relationally expressing gratitude to God), and supplication (asking God to ‘supply’ your needs).
“God. This life is yours. You are sovereign. God of all. You are constant, full of resource. Owner of heavenly storehouses laden with snow. Giver of all life, all forgiveness, all relief. Every spark, thought, color, breath and sound comes from your hand because you are Creator.
I make things to be arrogant. I make to achieve, to earn, to gain power. I run from fear, and make in fear. I forget all the time the good reasons to make, because I am apathetic towards how important they are. I get sleepy, and I get distracted. I am often a liar, crafting one ugly half-baked pretense after the next.
Thank you for being patient with me. And for every time you gave me inspiration, because each time it was not from me I did not deserve it. Sitting in that truth puts the gift of inspiration in perspective, it multiplies the joy and then also the gratitude. Thank you for every time anything I have made touched someone, or brought me any honor. May those good things lead ultimately back to your own honor, because that is the better thing for the world. Thank you for the freedom to make in the real world, about the things that are really happening to me.
Please God, give me a wise perspective on the world while I start working on making things. Make my spirit alert to the things I already know, but have become dull to. Give me peace to make slowly, and the courage to let things take the time that they take. Stop me if I am making with the wrong goals in sight, stop me if I would make something that would give life to an idea that would cause damage, and is not true. Drive me to make in passion, billow out my sails and make me mad for the horizon. And when my hands are done for the day, leave me in a place of absolute humility and with as much quiet awe as you’ll give me.”