When Is the Last Time You Created Something

When is the last time you created something?
We have to make time for our art making. Cultivating a consistent time to express ourselves through art is hard. For those of us who are artistic, planning art into our lives is necessary. Just like setting aside time to pray, it is equally important to set aside time to “make art”.

My friend, who is an accomplished independent filmmaker, artist, actor, writer, and director, asked me once why I don’t create more (i.e. direct, paint, design etc.)? I didn’t answer right away, so he asked, “Do you just do larger productions…you go from one big project to the next?” I thought for a moment…then answered “yes”. This friend was always directing some theatre piece and directing a film project and writing a script. I must confess, I was jealous. Why did he produce so much more than me?

At the time, I was producing large pieces; so large they would leave me without artistic and physical energy. It would take me awhile to get my creative energy back. Have you ever put so much energy and time into something that in the end you were mentally and physically exhausted? Your whole life style is rearranged to accommodate the project then when it’s over you are left with a gaping hole in your life so large that you feel hallow.

That bothered me – he was producing more than me! He must somehow be better than me. He had more opportunities to hone his talents by the mere amount of work he was churning out. A controlled study was done on art students. One class was told they would be graded on the quality of their work in one final “master painting”. The other class was told they would be graded on the “amount of paintings” they painted by the end of the semester. Who’s work do you think was better in the end…the class that was not graded on the quality but on the quantity?

You see the more you work at something then it naturally follows the better you get at it – you learn along the way; you practice by doing. I guess I was waiting around for the big projects rather than adapting an artistic lifestyle. I was a “part time artist”. Would you agree that prayer part time is not building a healthy spiritual life? How can you get to know God if you don’t spend time in prayer talking to Him?

How can we get better at our art if we don’t spend time doing it? It’s my deep felt belief that quality of expression in our art comes as we know more intimately the Master “Artist/Creator”. As we spend time using art to express what God reveals to us in our daily life than God gets glory and our art is made perfect in Him.

I have since adapted a creative lifestyle. I set aside time at least once a week to write down creative ideas. I set goals for my art (i.e. paint one painting a month). I’m constantly reading books on art, theatre, design, and anything to do with creativity. You have to cultivate it. Keep coming back to your goals even if you don’t reach all of them. The world isn’t waiting for you to produce…but God is. He wants to see what you will do with the gifts He has giving you.

I ask again…when is the last time you created something? If it’s been awhile then start today. Make a list of goals then get at creating that artist lifestyle your Creator created you to have. You won’t be at peace until you do what God called you to do. For those of you who can’t believe it it’s true, art is a calling.

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