What Kind of Artist Are You?
Do you remember what you wanted to be when you were five? I do. I wanted to be an artist.
“And in kindergarten, everybody was an artist. Not just an artist, but a two-hands artist: “Me! Me! Me! I’m an artist!” By the first grade, it was still 100 percent, but it was with one hand. Then it progressed. When Gordon MacKenzie talked to the sixth-graders, he would get two or three people raising their hands, nervously looking around like everyone was going to think they were weird.” - James Hamblin
That was kindergarten and then life happened. There was abuse, neglect, nightmares and fear. I developed coping skills that helped me survive my very crazy existence.
In third grade I started writing poetry, little did I know that would keep me from a host of other destructive behaviors that I could have chosen. I did not know that was art.
I filled notebook after notebook. Writing became necessary for my survival. I believe when things become necessary for survival they lose something.
Survival will suck the fun, passion and spontaneity out of anything, especially anything creative.
I grew up and became hard-hearted and overly responsible. There was no time for creativity or anything artistic. After starting a family in my early 30s I began to dabble in different forms of creativity as time allowed. By 40 I was divorced with four children, but something happened. I was free. I didn’t have to survive anymore so, I started to create again.
While visiting a Christmas market in 2014 I was approached by an artist and she asked me if I was an artist and before I had time to think, “yes,” escaped my lips. She began to say things to me that made my spirit leap, things that sounded like they were straight from the Father's heart and things I needed to hear to come alive again or maybe for the first time.
When we can’t see it, I believe God will use others to call forth His plan for us.
Within two weeks, I was asked to teach a furniture painting class at Home Depot and had a small booth at a local antique store. A month after that, the owners of antique store moved me to the front of the store despite my fear that they didn’t like me or my stuff and were going to ask me to leave.
A man's gift makes room for him and brings him before the great. Proverbs 18:16 ESV
It was a challenging journey because I was fighting things inside myself I didn’t even understand. It was intimidating to put my stuff out there and wait and see if someone wanted to buy it. It was a new level of vulnerability, to put my stuff out there to possibly be rejected or worse, criticized.
I was terrified to fail. I was terrified no one would like my stuff, but I pressed on. As I picked stuff up at yard sales and trash piles and transformed them into works of art, the Lord was teaching me about myself and my identity. He does the same with us, picks us up out of the trash piles of our lives or draws us to Himself when someone doesn't need or want us anymore. He breathes life back into us and makes us beautiful again.
“It's not just a fear of failure, (Tom) Kelley said. It's a fear of being judged. Creativity is as much about the ability to come up with ideas as it is about the courage to act on those ideas. He calls it creative confidence. Everyone is innately creative, it posits; creators are just people who act. And, of course, they don't always succeed.” - James Hamblin
God has a plan for you and no matter where your journey takes you or how far off course you stray, He will bring you back and fulfill His purposes for you and through you.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5 NIV
So, my question isn't are you an artist? I believe we all are. My question is what kind of artist are you? If asked the question, “Are you an artist?” Would you raise one hand or two?
Mari Dertinger is a wife, mother, writer and artist living in a small town in middle-Georgia. You can read about her passion for proclaiming freedom to the captives twice weekly at www.redemptionschampion.com.