I have always been crafty... well, artsy anyway! That sounds a little better, right? Whether it be with a pen (or keyboard), paper and scissors, paints and canvas (or blank walls! #swoon!), or a camera in hand, I have long loved to create beauty around me!
I remember being asked to join Company 7 when I was in elementary school and it was this school for the arts and I was all like, "Oh Yeah! Finally... someone sees Art in me!" I was all of eight years old. And yet that invitation was like a nod of acceptance and it planted in me a sense of purpose. I suspect now that the leaders of that little organization fully believed that we are ALL artsy... and they most likely reached out to the ones who made Art, but couldn't quite see it all the time.
We would write poems and plays and act them out. We would learn dances, and finger paint, and learn to use a potters wheel. Well, by 'learn' I don't mean to imply that we acquired actual skills... but we were exposed to the arts and we were free to love it or hate it and the good news was if we didn't like it, there would be something new the next week!
I don't remember how long I attended this class. A year or two maybe. It was a huge bonus that it happened on Tuesdays... during school hours, thank you very much! (This may explain why I feel the most creative on Tuesday afternoons - even to this day!) I remember the smell of paints, and old furnaces clicking on... a mixture of oil, dusty heat and polished wood floors in an old empty school building. I remember the laughter and joy in the creating. Everyone was welcome, encouraged, inspired to just try... no pressure! Kids can be mean - but there was no room for that there. Everyone was good at something and we were on a mission to each find our thing... well - things! It turns out, we were good at lots of things that we never would have guessed! We were to stay positive and learn to look for what we liked... to train our eyes to see the art.
Fast forward years and years... ok - maybe a decade... I remembered the joy of creating beauty as God was creating beauty in my womb. I dug in to paper crafts and card making, scrapbooking and photography. Art pulled me up and reminded me of gifts I had forgotten... of the pleasure of mixing color and texture and letting happy accidents simply have their own way. I crafted and created for years but it was only recently, in the last two years maybe, that I have felt confident in claiming the title of Artist.
As Emily Freeman writes in *A Million Little Ways:
"Art means believing that the God who created the world with words alone creates with words still, through us --whether it be on a stage to thousands or in a corner with one.
Maybe you make paintings, or maybe you make pie. Maybe you live confidently in the midst of scary situations.Maybe you are brave enough to listen, to wait, to trust.Maybe you see potential in situations and in people that others aren't able to see.
Art is what happens when you dare to be who you really are.You have the power to influence, to move, to make, to become. You have the capacity to perform the human act of making art, of doing work that comes from deep within you and touches something deep within me.
We make art with our lives."
Enter a new season of (In)courage Community Groups for the 2014 Spring/Summer session and I am honored and oh so excited to be co-leading a super fun artsy craftsy Group entitled, Art in Your Life: Adding Beauty as Co-creators with Christ.
My amazing, talented co-leaders are Rebekah Ellis and Sarah Jo Burch and oh my goodness if we don't have some serious fun planned for ya'll! Our vision for this group is to create a bench... a community where we can encourage each other in our art (because we all battle doubt and insecurity
So no matter what kind of art you make... whether you use paper, fiber, fabric, paint, pen (or keyboard), glass, beading, wood, camera, or other mediums, we'd love for you to join us as we scoot over on the bench, share what we love, what we want to learn to do, and where we find art when we train our eyes to really see...
We are finalizing the schedule and plans now, but I can tell you that we have fun things planned (like weekly prompts/themes to inspire you to create, great resources to share, and hopefully some fun Twitter parties, Hashtag fun, and Interviews with a few Artists.) Of course, we want to see all of your lovely art, too!
As with all the Incourage groups - space is limited to 30 so don't hesitate! Jump in, dare to be brave and create beauty with us in the next 6 weeks!
Join us HERE and determine to make Art in Your Life this Spring!
Linking up over at Incourage.me today, as all Community groups are now officially open for Registration!
* Non-Affiliate Link