This is going to be one of those blog posts that doesn't have a bow on top. It's not going to resolve nicely, or present a complete narrative, or 5 ways to do such and such. No, this post is just me sharing an idea. Sharing something incomplete. Who knows, maybe you’ll help play a part in helping complete it.
Last year, I came to the realization that there just might be more opportunity in this thing I “just do”, namely drawing. Out of that and a trip to a conference called Tribe, was born a new service I now provide - event sketching. You can read more about that here.
This year, i’m feeling prompted to take that idea further. I need to tell more stories in my art - on location and in the moment drawings of people and places, events and stories. A kind of experiencing and then reporting with the art that is created.
I’ve done a little of this in the past. A few years ago, I was able to go on a missions trip with my church, partnering with Living Water International, an organization that helps bring clean water to those most in need of it. We were sent to help build a well, and teach the village about hygiene and the importance of clean water.
While on this trip to Nicaragua, I brought along a sketchbook and chronicled the trip. I drew and painted everything from the travel, to the teammates, to the activities we did and the people we met. At the time I didn’t realize how important this act of creating art in the moment would actually be. It’s been a few years, but I can open that sketchbook and vividly remember details that not even a photograph could help capture. The stories I encountered are forever linked with the art I created.
Fast forward to today. I’ve been intentionally taking more time out to be quiet, listen and pray. This idea returns to me. How can I tell more stories through my art this year? How can I leverage it for the benefit and service of others, especially those without a voice, those who need to have their story told? What could that look like?
These are the questions i’m pondering. I don’t know what that looks like yet. I don’t have opportunity, connections, resources, money…. or anything really, except this idea. Maybe something happens, maybe it doesn't. I really don't know to be honest. But perhaps you have a thought to contribute, or another piece of the puzzle. If you do, I'd love to hear it.
So that's all I’ve got for now. This embryo of an idea. Maybe it's premature to bring out into the light, but the thing is, this idea feels bigger than me. So it's not about me keeping it under wraps until I figure it out, it's about releasing this and seeing if it resonates with more people too. And grows.
Whatever happens, I hope to create more art that tells stories that honor people, and glorify God.
What story would you tell through art?