In any creative presentation, there’s a wonderful time leading up to any event, it’s the time of preparation—the time where you create the things you’ll need to do your presentation. It’s the writing, the rehearsing, creating the resources and on and on and on. I love this time, I’m in it right now for a couple of events I have upcoming. It’s the time where one plays “what if?” and “wouldn’t that be cool?” It’s the time where concept becomes reality.
Now I have to admit, it’s not always a comfortable time and how you face it is crucial.
These are a few things that have helped me over the years:
1. Start with the big picture in mind, then put the big picture away for a while. We all need a vision, we have to have some idea where we are headed. It becomes problematic though if we are constantly looking at how much there is left to be done. Once you know the big picture, it becomes about being faithful and getting the next thing done. Preparation is almost always better when we take out time, do it right and chip away, which leads to the next one.
2. The last minute is NOT your friend. I hear so many creatives say they work best under pressure. I’m not convinced that is true and I think it’s what we say when we have really refined our procrastination skills. When you wait ’til the last minute, you don’t have the time to refine, fix,edit, etc.
3. Practice, practice, practice. Yes there is something to be said for Holy Spirit spontaneity, but for the most part, the more you prepare, the better you are.
4. Get wise counsel, input. Let a few trusted friends see what you’re working on and invite them to give their opinions. When we work on our own projects we can sometimes get too close to it and we become blind to it’s flaws. Our main goal in most of these things is to communicate a message to others. For this reason, how others see your work matters.
5. (and this probably should have been number 1) Give it to God. Bathe your project in prayer. From the first step of asking God to show you what to do, through asking God how to prepare, to asking God to use the final result to His glory. And finally when it’s over, praise Him.
Also involved in all of this is being certain to give God your best at every step of the process.
One of the things I love most about this time are the quiet times with God when I can just feel Him planting and growing and expanding ideas and the times when we just spend time together. For the creative, prayer is like a master class with the ultimate creator. Don’t neglect it because you’re trying to get something done. Doing things for God is not the thing, because He really doesn’t need you. It’s doing things WITH God that is really cool.
Remember why you do what you do, then GET READY.
I’m getting ready for two things right now, This Saturday from 2-6:00 p.m. (Lord wiling) I will be at the Mulberry Art Studios, 21 N. Mulberry St., Lancaster, PA for the Snowflake Gala I’ll be showing the two paintings seen in the videos below (which will be available for sale), doing a performance painting, and I will have a table there with my book, some DVDs and information on AMOKArts.
Then on March 10 at 7:00 p.m. I’ll be doing the first A Night A.M.O.K. at New Creation Church, 3646 Pottsville Pike, Reading, PA 19605. If you’re in the area, I’d love to see you at either of these events.