Posts Tagged ‘bible art journaling’

I love these times. Times when the juices are really flowing and I’m getting a lot done. I’m writing, I’m creating, I’m even selling a few things, and booking a few presentations. My Kaleidoscopic Creatures coloring book is at number 2096 in Coloring Books for Grownups on Amazon.

But this isn’t about me. It’s about you. You see I’ve also been on the other side. The side a lot of my friends talk about. The times when the well has been dry and the ideas are just simply not there. The creative life can be feast or famine, so what do you do when you’re in a creative famine?

Well, oddly enough, the Bible speaks to this… at least sort of. Think about Joseph from The Old Testament. Pharaoh dreamed of those seven fat cows and the seven thin cows that ate the fat cows. Joseph interpreted the dream to reveal that years of plenty would be eaten up by seven years of famine. It can be the same way with us. We all have times when we have more ideas than time, and sometimes we have ideas that are ahead of their time. These are those things that we look at and think they would be cool, but for one reason or another we’re not at a place where we can accomplish them yet. These are the the fat cow feast times of creativity. You need to store those up for times of famine. Write them down, sketch them out, do simple things to store the idea. Then if you find yourself in a time of famine, get them out and get to work.

Sometimes to get ideas flowing you just have to start jamming. Get out your sketchbook and start sketching anything that comes to mind. If you’re a writer, start to free-write. Just grab your journal or laptop and write, stream of consciousness, whatever walks into your mind. Don’t edit, don’t re-read, just write. Often these types of activities will trigger something and get you rolling.

Jumping on a trend can work. I saw a ton of adult coloring books out there and decided I could do something different. Has it been the most successful thing of all time? No, but it was fun and it got me creating. I’ve drawn about 130 pages in the last month or two, most of this has happened in my spare time, while watching TV and am feeling immensely inspired. Think about it, this started out as a diversion, something to redirect my attention in a time when I was feeling blocked on another project and it has turned into several products.

Look at what you’re trying to accomplish. We all should have a personal mission. When you feel blocked, go back to your personal mission and ask yourself the question, how can I work toward that goal. Part of mine is to help people develop and/or reclaim their creativity. Adult coloring is a great movement for that. I also have a mission to help people connect their creativity to their faith. Bible art journaling is a great thing toward that cause, so I created a journaling devotional based around some of my favorite Biblical teachings, the parables of Jesus.

Finally, never discount the power of prayer. God gave you this gift and He wants you to use it to His glory, so when you feel dry or out of ideas ask Him for some. He may direct you to something new or He may redirect you to something you put on the shelf.

The point is, we an all be prolific. We just need to seek the ideas and then do the work.

Some passages of the Bible are extremely descriptive. Just reading them, you can see the images in your mind. I find this especially true when the Bible speaks of dreams and visions. I read one of these in my devotions this morning. It comes from the book of Genesis, chapter 41. Pharaoh has just had a dream. Seven fat cows are eating by the banks of the Nile when seven gaunt, skinny cows come out of the Nile and eat them up. What’s up with that? Carnivorous Cows? Cow-nivores? No, clearly this dream must be symbolic, and of course it is. Joseph is brought from an unjust prison sentence to interpret the dream. Seven years of plenty will be followed by seven years of famine. Not only does Joseph have the interpretation, he also has the plan. Save in the plenty to provide for the famine. In the process, Joseph saves the lives of many, many people including his family which would become the nation of Israel. He gets promoted from prisoner to second in command over all over Egypt. God always keeps His promises, even when He goes through unlikely, and even difficult means.

As I was reading this, an image came to mind, a pretty literal image admittedly, but I decided to capture it. You can see it below (click the image to download a free coloring picture). I love when I can do things like this, because as I was working on it and trying to figure out how to interpret it visually, I was also thinking a lot about this story and the faith that surrounded it. Not only that, but it gave me the opportunity to create something I can share with my friends to bless them and in the process share another story of God’s faithfulness.


God is good.

For years now, I have been expressing the idea that God is redeeming the arts and is about ready to do a major work through the arts to His glory. Many other people have been feeling it too, and I don’t believe it’s just because we’re artists, not do I believe it is because I have sensed this calling over my life for nearly two decades. I’ve always believed it, and the more visual our society becomes, the more our society is bombarded my more and more messages, the more I am convinced that I am right.

There have been a lot of discouraging times in this journey though and many of them revolve around the fact that I also run into people almost daily who believe they have no talent and no creativity. I refuse to believe either of those things. I believe we are all creative as children and sooner or later life beats it out of most of us and well meaning loved ones (and mean spirited discouragers) tell us to pursue something “more practical.” Here’s the truth, as long as our world needs more truth and beauty, the world will need more artists.

This is why I love two trends I have been seeing lately. Adult coloring and Bible Art Journaling. What an awesome thing. You might say. “Coloring is not really creative. It’s just filling in the blanks and coloring inside the lines.” I think you’re wrong. First of all I have seen some people doing some amazing work as colorists. Secondly, it can be be very healing and very relaxing and most importantly, it opens the door to more creative pursuits. This blesses my heart and I believe God’s heart as well. After all, if we’re born creative, (and we are) who do you think put that creativity in there. Thank God for coloring. As author Hugh Macleod once said, “Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the ‘creative bug’ is just a wee voice telling you, ‘I’d like my crayons back, please.” Take back your crayons and color.

Secondly, Bible art journaling excites me because it may be the most natural way for a person to connect his or her creativity with his or her faith. Reading the Word of God and allowing to inspire us to create, feels like it comes straight from the heart of the ultimate Creator. After all what could be better, than seeking God for inspiration?

I am stoked about coloring and art journaling. I believe it just might be another step in a great move of God. Get out your tools and get started.

Get stoked and create!

I love the trend of Bible Art Journaling. It’s making art inspired by Scripture… What’s not to love?

The one thing that I always have found difficult with Bible art journaling was the fact that there was either too little space to make art or people were adding their art over the text making the text hard to read. Also in many journaling Bibles, the text is so tiny, that they’re almost illegible at least for my old eyes.

I decided to try to cover those issues by making an 8.5″ x 11″ devotional book with the text running down the side of the page and plenty of free space to create to your hearts content. I added some faint guidelines for those who want to letter on their pages. I use the World English Bible translation, which is a really nice contemporary English public domain translation. My first book is 60 pages containing 46 parables of Jesus.

This is my first foray into a journal of this type. The price is $6.00 (just cents over the price Amazon requires to print it). Check it out. I pray it blesses you.

Here’s a very powerful verse. Psalm 30:5. It says “For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.”

I picked this verse because it presents some interesting visuals so it will be good for trying journaling, but also because it holds a message of immense hope. It’s God telling us life may be tough now, but it gets better, that we can live in His favor and that the dark times of life will one day be illuminated in His light and His joy.

Pray asking God what He wants you to see and then create from this passage. Meditate on this passage. What images does it present to your mind? What is the context of the verse? (read Psalm 30.) Perhaps you need more information. If so, the linked page has a study this tab that leads to a lot of outside resources.

How would you express this verse to a friend who is in need of some help? Take some time to really focus your creativity then begin to create. When you have finished, share a link to your creation in the comments.

I found two pretty good videos on the subject of Bible journaling that might help you if you decide to go that route, this has some great tips on what to do and not to do. Thanks to Michelle Hotchkiss for this content.

You can check out her channel for more information.