Posts Tagged ‘Illustration’


So yesterday I was offered some workshops at a Christian Writer’s Conference on the topic of illustration. I’ve illustrated my own books, and of course my messages as a sped painter are also illustrated. I’ve also illustrated numerous coloring and activity books over the years as well as illustrating Herald the Angel with my friends the Furches’ but as yet I hadn’t written a children’s book. I decided now was the prime time as I can kill two birds with one stone. I can write a book that’s been on my mind for a while and use the “in-process” illustrations as examples for my workshops. This morning, I wrote the book. Needless to say, I can’t complete illustrating the book in one day, and taking the extra time to make slides in process will lengthen the process, but the project is launched and with it, another series of workshops I can share with people everywhere.


I see so many artists on-line who complain that their work isn’t up to par. They compare themselves to others and feel like something less. It’s easy to do and it happens to us all… and it’s POINTLESS. Look, your work today is not your best work. You might think, “He hasn’t seen my work, how can he know?” I know, or a lest I hope. You see if we artists are faithful, our best work is forever before us, because we keep bringing our best to the table every day. If we continue to do that, our work will continue to improve. Keep at it, and in the mean time do the best you can today, hold your head high and enjoy the journey.


Well I spent most of the day Saturday working on a Powerpoint presentation to go with a message on watching our thought lives, guarding our hearts and minds. I called the message “What Are You Thinking?” I decided to start with humorous stories from my childhood where my mom ended up asking, “What Were You Thinking?” I decided some simple humorous slides were in order. It’s amazing how well cartoons, the combination of words and pictures tel the story. I had some fun with these. I decided to share these without the story, so you can get the idea.


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.
kccovershot2a1sm

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


One of the things I really want to do this year is create some more products for my Zazzle store. Mainly it’s just for fun, but of course the sales from these things help me to keep running A.M.O.K. This one is pretty much just for fun.
amokteethclr


88Of course we know that God is the Creator of all there is, but have you ever considered that God is an illustrator? It’s true. Look at your Bible and you will see illustrations all over it. No not the pictures and icons and things that may be in there. No the illustrations are hidden in the words and today we celebrate one of his greatest.

A thousand years or more before Jesus, God set in place a sacrificial system, a system, where lambs and other animals were sacrificed for the sins of the people. Did you ever wonder why? Does God have something against the sheep? No God created them. And while I know there is that verse about how the sacrifices are a sweet savor to the Lord, I also really don’t believe it is because God loves the smell of burning sheep flesh. I think God was trying to show us a couple things.

First, He’s showing us that sin costs. The price for sin was a very valuable possession that now had to die and be rendered useless. Second, God is showing us very literally that sin kills these are both superbly illustrated in the sacrificial system, but there is something more.

These sacrifices prepared us for the ultimate sacrifice. Remember the lambs sacrificed had to be perfect, flawless, without blemish and their blood had to be shed. The Bible tells us that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. The sacrificial system was put in place to prepare us for Jesus Christ and His death on the cross, shedding His blood once and for all. Remember how John the baptist introduced Jesus. He said “Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” Jesus’ death on the cross was illustrated centuries before by a loving God, so that we would be ready to receive Him. He gave us a framework by which we could understand the ultimate gift of love.

Today is Good Friday. I’ve sometimes wondered why we call it that. I’m pretty sure if you told Peter on that day that it would be called Good Friday that he may well have punched you in the face. That day would have felt like a lot of things but none of them would have been good. We call it Good Friday because we know what happened next and because we understand the significance of the moment. We understand that in part because of God’s illustration centuries before.

Be blessed on this Good Friday and live a life that illustrates God’s love to the world.


So most of the readers of this post will probably acknowledge that their creative gifts come from God, but did you ever consider why they were given? Today I want to explore that a bit, in the context of the Scripture.

1. To beautify. When God created everything, he said it was either good or very good. Then sin came along and started to corrupt and destroy. The world we live in now while still being beautiful is a shadow of what it was intended to be. If you are gifted to beautify, you have the potential to give brief glimpses of the world as God intended.
2. To illustrate. You don’t have to be a visual artist to illustrate. Think about Jesus. We have no records of him painting a picture or making a sculpture, (other than creating everything, but I digress) what he did do, and it’s recorded all over scripture, is paint pictures with Words. He used simple stories to illustrate complex concepts, and that is something we can do as well. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Illustrations help people to understand a message and the message we have is too important not to be illustrated.
3. To tell the story. When Jesus said therefore go and make disciples. He meant it. We are in this world to let people know about Him. To communicate the message os the Word of God. To be sermons in shoes. We are His ambassadors entrusted with the message of how to be reconciled to God in Christ. To point the world to a God who loves them. To do this we need to tell the story of God, Jesus, his interaction with and love for humanity and what He has done for us.
4.To serve. The Bible says, “Each one should use whatever gifts he has received to serve others.” Serving is one of the key examples Jesus gave us as He walked the earth. One key “visual” Jesus gave us was in John 13 when he washed the feet of His disciples. In this act, he was illustrating. He was showing us that if He, the creator of all things could stoop to wash the feet of His creations, we should bow to serve others and He promises we will be blessed if we serve likewise.
5. To provide. Yes we are gifted to provide for our own needs, to work, to earn a living. He loves us and has not left us empty handed. We however must not fall to selfishness even in this. This gift is not just for us but so that we would provide for the needs of others.
6. To build up the body of Christ. The Bible speaks of certain gifts being used to prepare God’s people for works of service to build up the body of Christ. The church, the body of Christ is a living organism and living organisms grow and reproduce. When we use our gifts to serve and help others we draw them to Christ and into the body. The side-effect of this is that they add their gifts and talents to the body which expands the ways we can reach, touch and bless others.
7. To worship. When it’s all said and done, isn’t that why we’re here. To praise the one who created us all? When we bring our gifts to God in worship we are using them in their primary context to honor the One who gave us all.

And finally there is an overarching principle to all of this. Our gifts are given that we might glorify God and point others to Him, doing His will in this world. We do this so people might “see our good works and praise our Father in Heaven.” Ultimately this should be the motivation behind all of our creations.

I know this is a long post and it is far from an exhaustive list, but it’s a good start. How do you use your gifts and how can those gifts glorify God?

When you know why you’re gifted, it’s easier to appropriately use your gift.