(This article is made up of entirely a mixed collection of quotes on the creative process from the perspective of many of the artists who contributed to the recently released book, WeMakeStuff. WeMakeStuff seeks to explore how God made humans creative and desires to provide an open dialogue for creative people to express and present their work. The following quotes were taken from the accounts of the following artists: David Vandas, Ron Reed, Ian Sheh, Chris Loh, Stefan Brunhoff, Carolyn Arends, Fiona Moes, Michal Tkachenko)
“And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground – trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.” (Genesis 2:9, NIV, emphasis added)
I read this once in the Bible and it struck me. Why is this relevant? You’ve got all the epic matters of life and death depicted in the Bible, and then you’ve got this: beauty.
Created beauty that doesn’t seek to be debated or contested. It just wants to be, and from this posture, provoke a subconscious response from those who bear witness. Creation is scientifically amazing to comprehend, but it wields the power to go deeper than intellect and physical senses. It touches the senses of soul and spirit – whether or not we are aware of it.
The life of a creative person is a unique odyssey and creativity is a fluid entity. It changes with the weather, the time of day, our moods, and experiences in life. It doesn’t usually wait for us to catch it, and comes at the most inopportune moments.
For me, the urge to create is like the furnace in the house, the pilot light inside me. And it doesn’t matter what else happens in your house in the dead of winter, what rooms you have to close because you can’t get heat to them, you must keep the pilot light going because that heats the whole house. If it goes out, everything is lost: the pipes freeze, everything freezes.
As creative people, we take from the invisible and push the boundaries of our reality, both internally and externally. Art opens our eyes to the richness of the unknown and obliges us to see what we might not otherwise have seen. True creativity is being able to make the audience see the beauty that is already present and already exists. True creativity finds beauty in the broken and does not elevate the ugly and the evil.
In the act of creativity, whatever that may be and in whatever context, there is a sense of responding to the glory of God’s creation, wholeness, rightness, and flow, which elevates the ordinary to grace. It is part of what we are created as, and created for, by God.
When we witness the transformation of raw material into something beautiful, we are encouraged to remember that other new realities can be made – that perhaps justice can be created where there is injustice, wholeness can be wrought where there is disease and poverty, and community can be made even from discord. Beauty not only suggests these ideals are possible; it also awakens a longing for them.
I believe our Father in heaven is most proud when his children pursue all he has made them for. Doing nothing is actually going backwards. So we move forward. Creating new. New everything. Art. Design. Music. Inventions. Social justice. Business models. It’s the unfolding of what has never been before.
Art is not meant to be an escape from this world of pain but a mission into it. Through creative acts, we attempt to give hope, meaning, and orientation to all that is beautiful and all that is broken in this world we live in.
Creativity can make people see the same old thing in a very new way. It can shock people with truth. It can be a way to love.
(WeMakeStuff Volume 01 is available for purchase at www.wemakestuff.ca. Join the community on Facebook.com/WeMakeStuffVancouver and be the first to hear about upcoming events by following @WeMakeStuffVAN on Twitter.)