Creativity has always been woven into the fabric of my being. I loved all kinds of art growing up- music, theater, needlepoint, crocheting, collaging, painting, drawing, and even writing and illustrating a comic book in middle school English class.
In university I obtained a BA in Radio, TV, and Film and went on to write, produce, and edit documentaries for an international non-profit for over 30 years. I loved that career as it took me to more than 27 countries around the world where I traveled into areas that tourists never go. As you might expect, this expanded my worldview tremendously and affected my spirit deeply.
In 2011 I began working with a small art non-profit, whose mission is to use art to awaken, uplift, and give voice to the creative human spirit to make genuine, positive social change. Working with a wide range of artists awakened my long-dormant desire to create art with my hands. So, I picked up a brush, then a palette knife, then started hoarding handmade art papers found objects from nature, and started playing and experimenting. I signed up for some intensive art workshops by some notable artists and now feel that I have a pretty good idea of my artistic voice. Nature, the shore of Lake Michigan in particular, has fed my creative spirit and inspired my artistic way.
Along this way, though, I’ve had something nagging at me. If I’m going to go all in on this artistic journey, what is my motivation and what is my why? I want to be sure my motivation is Christ-centered and not self-centered. I don’t want acknowledgment and indorsement to be my motivation. I do want to sell my art and hope that one day my talent will be used to generate additional income in my retirement years. But, to sell my art, I have to put myself “out there” and then acknowledgment and endorsement come into play. Can I keep these potential ego-fueling affirmations in check and keep my spirit in a place of humility?
So, during these last couple of years of learning and growing as an artist, I’ve been asking myself, “What is the point? What is my why?” During this journey of wrestling with “my why” I have come upon a couple of wonderful books that have been enlightening and confirming for me in answering this question.
The first book I read was so wondrous that I kept saying out loud, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” throughout the read. All That Is Made: A Guide to Faith and the Creative Life by Alabaster was astounding and the verification I sought regarding my artistic path. My heart yearned to acknowledge the Lord’s gift of creativity within me and that it was good, right, and true to pursue this artistic way of life with the Creator of the universe walking beside me.
The second book I came across was Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. What an inspiring book that grew my confidence and watered the seed planted within me to be an artist!
However, the book that impacted me the most and set me on the trajectory I had prayed for was Art + Faith: A Theology of Making by Makoto Fujimura. This book was critical in molding and solidifying “my why” into a foundation from which I am now building my artistic life. I cannot recommend this book more strongly to those artists who are struggling to find your way and your why.
So, I’m off on this journey, making my way by through experimentation and exploration and learning from fellow artists who are further down the path. This new CQG Creative website is a part of me making my way. Through my art, my hope is to express the wonder of the eternal, a lifting of the veil and momentarily stepping into a thin place of the divine. Because that’s where I believe I am when I create…it is wondrous…and I want to share that with you!