#7: Living Life as a Christian Artist (Not a Christian & an Artist)

Story time again!

I recently began listening to podcasts. I’ve actually never been into them before, but my coworker started me on it and I’ve actually been really enjoying it. There’s lot of entertainment factor, of course, but I’ve been listening to slightly more serious ones. Mainly entrepreneurial and freelance artist focused ones. It’s been so helpful gaining valuable insights and hearing from people who have been successful on the same sort of journey I’m embarking on. 

There is one such individual who I’ve been listening to the most and whose work I’ve come to deeply respect and look up to; even modeling a lot of what I’ve been doing off of him. Let’s call this person William McStuarts (totally made up name, I promise). This person does pretty much exactly what I’ve become passionate about, i.e. hand lettering and custom logo design. 

For the past month I’ve been listening to Wiliam's podcasts, acquainting myself with his website, and preparing to purchase some of his teaching courses. All of which are SUPER helpful and relevant to me. 

Throughout this “fanship” as indeed such it must be called, I’d begun to notice some things.

  • His major sense of positivity
  • Lack of curse words in all of his discourse
  • Use of word “courtship” instead of “dating”
  • Fidelity to his wife
  • Hint during one single podcast towards the Bible

My Christian radar was buzzing, and I thought “surely Mr. McStuarts must know the Lord!” So, as a fan and being the curious person I am, I sent him an email asking if he is indeed a Christian. 

Lo and behold the man says he is! He was quick, however, to caveat that he does not want to proclaim that from his business and feels his “positivity” will be most attractive to the general public. 

A red flag immediately went up in my heart, and it made me really start to think.

I’m starting my own business, and I am a Christian too. But do I want my business to look like this? Do I want to be so secretive about my faith that a fellow Christian has to even ask if I am a believer?

I’ve come to the irrevocable conclusion “No, I will not be a Christian and an artist separately.” I haven’t been my whole life and I won’t start now with my business.

I’ve always been that odd one out in most artistic circles. I don’t do unique showcases of my “creativity” where I wallow in animal meat or do culturally shocking things to broadcast my “artistic nature”. I don’t subscribe to the “Melancholy of the Artist” and I don’t believe I need to be depressed or mentally perturbed for my work to be good. 

You want to know where I draw my inspiration and passion from? From Jesus! From my God and his creation! From the deep and unending love he shows me every single day and the hope that I have in him that gets me through this crazy, trial-filled life. 

With that said, I promise you I will never use my business or my blog as a platform to rain fire and brimstone down upon you. But I also will not, indeed cannot, use it as a wall to hide behind either.

I have clients and they pay me to do work for them. No, I will not secretly slap a cross or an ichthus on their projects, it’s their work and it’s not my place to interject upon that. What they can expect from me, however, is someone who is completely filled with integrity, honesty, and a desire to give them the best possible work I can. It is because of my relationship with Christ that I want to do the utmost for each and every client who hires me.

My personal work, on the other hand, is filled with biblical themes and representations that all point to my Creator. Why?

The Westminster Catechism puts it thusly:

“The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever.”

I cannot look at creation and not be in absolute and complete awe. I love illustrating God's creatures and portraying my take on all the beauty He has given to us. I also love using the wonderful imagination he has given me to create beauty from a blank piece of paper. Truly, this is one of my greatest joys. Why wouldn't I want to reflect all the talent gifted to me right back to Him?

To sum this all up I’ll share a verse from the book of Romans, Chapter 1, verse 16.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…"