Posts Tagged ‘practice’

The old adage says “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Of course that’s not really whether mean. What they mean is do what you love and you’ll usually work harder than anyone else to keep doing what you love. You just won’t mind so much because you’re doing what you love. I know this to be true and I live it on a daily basis. This life of creative arts ministry is a lot of work. Between my church and my traveling ministry I put in a ton of hours. There is no substitute for practice, and the continued development of your gift in a life in the arts. People act as if the creative lifestyle is impractical. It’s not, you just have to decide whether or not you are willing to put in the effort it takes to do what you love.

Look anybody can do something they hate, (or mildly dislike, or whatever) for the money. I’ve had to and I would again if it came to it. I have responsibilities to the people I love. That being said, if I have my way, I’ll put in whatever effort I must to keep having the opportunity to create.

Why do I post this? Because I run into too many people who want it all now and wonder why it doesn’t happen instantaneously. Heck, I’ve been that person too. The truth is (outside the blessing of God) the road to your dream is usually paved with a lot of hard work. So practice, practice, practice. Create, create, create and then (and this is often the hardest part) put your work out there for the world to see. Also, the Bible says me the most of every opportunity… and while that passage is largely about sharing the Gospel, I think it applies to every area of life, especially the creative life. Whenever you get the opportunity to do what you love, do it for all you’re worth. Bring your all to the project. Do it as if you were doing it for Jesus, because at the end of the day, if you care about glorifying God with your life, that is exactly what you’re doing.

I remember seeing Skillet live at the Creation festival. They had already been playing for years, working hard, building a fan base and all of those other things that are covered by that simple little statement “paying your dues.” Then one year they got an evening slot on the main stage. That night they would play before 80,000 people and they brought it. Their performance was superb and they had more pyrotechnics and other show elements than anyone I Christian band I had ever seen and all the secular ones except possibly Kiss. Why do I share this? The had played thousands of gigs to get to that point, including many I’m sure to small audiences and in tough situations, and then one night the faithfulness paid off, they got a golden opportunity and they did it for all they were worth. As far as I am concerned they had cemented themselves into the role of headliners in that night, but that amazing performance was the result of lots of faithfulness, putting their hearts into their faith and their craft day after day after day. If we want creative success, if we want to do what we love, that’s what we must all do.

I just saw yet another report, declaring Rush drummer, Neil Peart to be the greatest rock drummer of all time. Nothing new, it happens quite a bit, and I believe it to be true. I’ve seen a LOT of rock drummers and no one comes close to Neil Peart!

But here’s the thing… What do you do when you’ve reached the peak. What do you do when it looks like you can’t go any further? Well check out what Neil does.

He goes back to classics, strips down his drum kit and works out on one of his influences.

In this case he plays with the Buddy Rich Orchestra. Buddy Rich is another drummer widely regarded as one of the best ever.

Reinvents his instrument

In this case Peart turns his drums into synth controllers and plays his kit melodically. This is such a radical departure from the way drums are usually played.

Why do I share all this? Well I’m a fan, but that’s not it. I share this because we even someone widely regarded as the greatest of all time can find room to grow. He practices, practices and practices some more. We all have influences and even the greatest of all time can find someone to emulate and a way to stretch his abilities. He also stretches the limits of his instrument and pushes the boundaries of his craft. These are things we can all do, whether you’re a beginner or the best ever. Developing our gifts and talents takes work and that work continues for a lifetime.

Even the greatest can get better. How about you?


One of the things of which I have become aware lately is that I don’t do a lot of art for art’s sake, preferring instead to create for the purpose of telling stories and spreading the Gospel. That being said, one of the truly great ways of maintaining your skills and creativity, not to mention learning new things is with experimentation. Working in different genres and different media.

One of the things I have been doing lately is working in the various aspects of modern and pop art. I’ve put together a little gallery over at (please note, I’m not sure shy they chose the name deviant for their site, but rest assured all of my content is G-rated). This isn’t my art ministry work. Most of it will not go beyond this point. It’s merely there to stretch my creative muscles. You can see my gallery at

What have you done lately to build your skills and expand your creativity? Share some links here in the comments below.

Humility almost forbids me from titling this piece that way, but suffice it to say, like most artists, I am my own worst critic. The reason I used this title isbecause it’sone of two thingspeople say to me at virtually every live painting event  I do. The other thing someone will always say is some variation of  “I can’t do art”or “I can’t draw a straight line or a stick figure.” I’d like to answer the question here and now. First of all, all glory goes to God. My talent and my ability come from Him. But there’s more…

I usually say something like, “While you were dating, or playing sports or pretty much having a life, I was drawing and painting and generally making stuff.” Talent is important, but what’s equally important is lots of hard work and practice. It’s not a mystery, we excel at what we develop.

As to being unable to do art. I’ve watched elephants painting on Youtube. If an elephant can make art, you can make art. The reason people think they can’t is because someone told them they weren’t good enough and they believed it. I take a different tack. I tell them to go to an art museum. There are some things that will blow you away and some things you’ll be pretty sure were done by an elephant. Find one of the latter and then remember where you are. That piece hangs in a museum because someone looked at it and said, “Wow!” What you create can be the same way. Not everyone will like it. That’s okay. You’re not making it for them. You are making art to get something out that’s in you and you’re making art for the one who looks at it and says “Wow!” Art is a gift. It’s meant to touch hearts.

It’s reported that Michael Jackson one said, “My talent and my voice are God’s gift to me, the way I develop and use them are my gift to Him.” I believe that’s true of us all. This doesn’t just apply to visual art. It applies to every gift God gives. You can be an artist at any good thing you can do. Offer your gift to God and live as a gift for the people who will look at what you’ve done and say “Wow!”