Archive for July, 2016

I know I’ve shared this before but this is one of my favorite videos by one of my favorite artists, painting my favorite person, set to one of my favorite songs. Ladies and Gentlemen The Son of David painted by David Garibaldi to a tune by David Crowder. Happy Sunday!

This one is almost inexplicable to me. I mean I guess I kind of get the concept but I have never ever liked it. I just recently saw a preview for the new Suicide Squad movie. You should know, while I am familiar with some of the characters, I know nothing about the overarching concept, beyond this, it’s a bunch of villains brought together to do something good while being bad. This has always troubled me. Tell me you’re doing the wrong thing for the right reason and I will have to come back to the fact that you’re doing the wrong thing. I also don’t like the idea of being bad for good, with the possible exception of a few rising up against a bully stories, but even these almost have to be cautionary tales because this can and usually will go horribly wrong the vast majority of times. Don’t even get me into the lesser of two evils because I am trying to refrain from commenting on this years presidential election. The only thing I will say is the lesser of two evils is still evil.

I never liked horror movies. I’ve only ever seen one and it was edited for television and still too much for me. Visual people have great visual memories and putting horrible videos before them is a really bad idea. The movies I hate the worst though are the ones where the “monster” your Freddie Kreuger’s, Michael Myers’ and Jasons have long multiple movie story arcs. These movies make mass killers the heroes of the story, or as some people call them “antiheroes.” Let’s be clear. An antihero is not a hero, an antihero is evil and we should never ever applaud evil, ever. I can’t stand this concept.

Our world needs real, actual heroes. People who stand for “truth, justice and (the best of the) American way.” We need to broadcast their stories. We need to create their stories and share them with the world. Creatives of the faith, this is something we need to be working on. We need the underdog stories, the self sacrificing heroes who lay down their lives for their friends. We need the heroes who rise against injustice and stay good while the rest of the world goes evil. We need great stories of people who live, act and love like Jesus. Come to think of it, that’s also the way we need to live.

Antihero is a lot like antiChrist and we don’t need anymore of that in our world.

Let’s create something better, something we want people to emulate.

Let’s create some heroes. He have a great pattern to build from.

YOURENOTCOVER(An excerpt from my new book You’re Not Creative… and Other Lies You Probably Believe About Creativity coming this Fall from AMOKBooks.)
Ultimately this is what it all comes down to. People start to believe they simply can’t be creative. They start to believe that creativity is for other people, at best they relegate themselves to the audience at worst they give up completely. Maybe you heard the person tell you that you don’t have talent or that you’re not good enough. These are some of the most painful destructive lies of all because these are the ones that make you give up. They say you don’t have the right look or the right style of the right whatever. It’s not your fault, you just weren’t born for this. It’s all a lie. First of all, remember what we’re about in this book. I’m not necessarily trying to make you an artist of any stripe, unless that’s what you want to be. I’m trying to help you to overcome the lies that stand between you and a fantastic creative life. Creativity is about so much more than the arts. It’s first and foremost about solving problems and creating better lives and for that, you are enough.

We’ve already touched on this numerous times in this volume, but you have what it takes to be creative. You have no doubt already come up with hundreds of creative solutions to many problems, but no one ever called it our as creativity so you went through life wrongly thinking that you’re not creative. SO let me say it again. You are creative. You have what it takes and you are enough at least to get started on your creative journey. To believe anything less is to deprive yourself of the kind of life you could have and to deprive the world of your genius and trust me when I say, you have genius too, but one step at a time.

If you’ve went beaten down by the creative process, the best thing you can do is start to create. For many people this is an artistic endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be. If you decided to create artistically, please know your first attempts will rarely be stellar and you have to be okay with that. There is no substitute for practice and paying your dues. Take advantage of opportunities to create and if you don’t find any, make your own. This also applies to those who do not wish to be creative artistically. Every problem is an opportunity to be creative. Find a problem you think needs solving and work to solve it. Again, your first ideas may not be great. They may not work at all. That barely matters, as we’ll see int next chapter. What matters is that you started. You heard that voice that said “You’re not enough.” told it to go jump in a lake and did something. That is the first step in any creative process. You start creating, share your creations with the world, knowing not everyone will like it, telling the haters to go jump in a lake with that first voice, and finding the ones who resonate with what you do. You will touch them. You will bless them and you will find out that you have more than enough of what it takes to have an impact on someone else.

You are enough, so start!

It seems this blog’s popularity is falling off a bit and I was wondering what I can do to turn the tide. My commitment to helping people build and enhance their creativity, especially in the church, has not wavered. So here’s the question. What would be the most useful thing I could share with you to help you build your creativity. I have been considering things like a new book, a podcast, or maybe just different content here on the site.

I really want to make this the best possible tool it can be. How can I help you?

As you know, I usually advocate working on more than one project at a time and this is an example of that. I work on my coloring books two at a time so I can jump off one style when I get blocked. I usually finish them within a few days of each other. They served as their own diversions. Of course I will also admit this is very much a side project that I do largely just for fun and it really is. There’s something about designing an eighth of a piece of art and not knowing what it will look like until it’s put together.

It’s 50 fun one sided images to color featuring my unique creature/monster/animal drawings expressed kaleidoscopically. Get yours here.

My son is currently leading art projects once a week at a Boys and Girls Club. It’s a great exercise for him as a future educator. He needs to create something that will excite a group of children and he has to do it on a budget. I had a similar experience when I became the art director for the musicals at a local high school. The project was huge, the budget was small. Learning to work in those parameters is huge, and beneficial far beyond the project itself. So many creatives feel limited when the budget is small, but really a small budget is just a way to make us more creative.

The trick is to dream big, come up with the best thing you can possibly come up with and then figure out how to do it for less. Use less expensive materials, recycled materials, etc. For some projects you can even get people to donate materials. Don’t have the budget or expensive paint, go to your local Lowes or Home Depot and look for the mismixed paints. Also you can do amazing things with those paint samples that you can buy for just a few dollars. The other place this was beneficial was when I started to travel more. Many of the places I go have lower budgets and so the cheaper I can do a project, the more income I have. One of the adjustments I made was to paint on Masonite, rather than canvasses, I can get a whole bunch of paintings for less than the price of a single large canvas and it provide a good strong base for the art. Many of the art stores such as A.C. Moore, Michaels and Hobby Lobby run a weekly coupon for up to 50% off a regular priced item. Use these and stock up. There are also a lot of online suppliers who do discounts for bulk orders. You can also refurbish things, work with throw away items, etc. It all depends on the project but there are a host of things you can do to save and still come up with something great.

You can do a lot of things to fit within the budget. The key is the same as with everything else in life make the absolute best you can of what you have. Don’t see a small budget as a limitation. See it is a way to stretch your creativity. Then go and be amazing!

One of the things that has brought me a lot of joy lately is illustrating adult coloring books. I became enamored with the mandala style, but my images have nothing to do with anything but creating multifaceted fun images to color. For that reason, I call mine Kaleidoscopics. One of the things I love about this style is it’s quite mysterious. While I may have some idea what the final piece will look like, I never know until I assemble the final piece. The reason is simple, I only ever draw an eighth of the image, then mirror it over and over again. the same basic thing that happens in a kaleidoscope, hence the title I love to see the final image. I design these to be highly detailed, challenging and fun. The book is available now through and at many of my speaking appearances.
I hope you like it.