Archive for May 2, 2019

I was chatting with an artist friend of mine online. He was frustrated with art, thinking of giving up and the whole thing. I’ve been there, how about you? He wants to make art for a living and feels like the odds are stacked against him. I started sharing about how the internet has made amazing things possible, and that you can get your work out to the world with a click of a button. I mentioned that while I didn’t have a ton of sales, that I was still able to get my stuff out there. At this point he and a couple of other people sort of pounced about my work being a hobby. Encouragement is tough when people turn on you and, I’ll admit, part of me wanted to go into attack mode. Attack mode is not encouraging, so I went another way and clarified my point.

It’s true, I don’t make the majority of my income from selling the art, as a matter of fact I give a lot of my work away. That being said my work is far from a hobby, I just found another way. First off, I am a pastor and that is my primary income. That being said, this is by far the most creative thing I have ever done professionally in my life, and I’ve worked in various areas of design since the 80s. I literally create every single day (except for my days of rest) in the context of my ministry. There is always art to be made, stories to be written and creative ways to help my people understand the Bible, faith and more, and while I may not receive the check because I am an artist, the fact that I am an artist enhances most of what I do in ministry. It’s not a hobby, it’s a tool.

Now of course my friend may not want to be a pastor, but pastor is not all I do. I also have a speaking ministry and again art is the tool I use to convey my messages and stories. I get to make videos, graphics and live speed paintings. Once again, I don’t necessarily get paid for the actual painting, but people pay me to come and do the program and the reason they do that is at least in part because of the art. The art is what makes me different from all the others who just speak, so it opens doors for me. I often give the paintings I do in these presentations away, but I’ve already been paid for the program so what difference does it make? I may not be selling the painting, but the art helps me to make a living.

Again I know my speaking ministry is ministry and my friend may not want to do that, but ministry is not the only application of what I do. My Facebook friend David Garibaldi does something similar to what I do but largely in the motivational speaking world. You may have seen him. He came in fourth on America’s Got Talent, paints all over the world, drives a Lamborghini and is currently the warm up act on the Kiss world tour. He auctions off his paintings and has donated over a million dollars to charity from the proceeds. The point is, if you are willing to do the work, put yourself out there and look at different, creative options, the possibilities are endless. Sharing my work online has not made me wealthy, but it has connected me with people all over the world, and it has allowed me to reach people I never could have reached without it and through it God has given me a very cool and interesting life.

God has given you a gift. He wants you to use it to His glory. The how and the why is up to Him, but don’t get discouraged. Do the work, put it out there and see what He will do. He’s good like that.