As humans, I believe we are meant to create. Creativity is an expression of our souls. It gives insight into who we are and what we think and feel.
Matthias, my youngest son uses paper, markers, crayons, pencils and paints to create his art. He loves to draw and he spends time every day perfecting the details of batman’s cape or ironman’s secret weapon. It’s more than just drawing to him, it’s an expression of his imagination and I see him push himself creatively without fear of failure.
David, my oldest son, who has a severe disability, uses keyboards to create his art. He loves to tap out tunes on the piano or electric keyboard. He lays his head close to the instrument, because he not only wants to hear his music, he wants to feel the vibration. Music is part of his soul. As his parents, we take this seriously and we try to nurture his passion to create with sound.
My husband, Steve, has a pastor’s heart and he’s working in a doctorate degree right now. He creates with words–both written and spoken. He writes to communicate deep ideas in a clear and meaningful way. His words will move your soul and change your heart. His words are insightful and encouraging. His words are his art.
I often have people say to me, “I’m not creative.” But I don’t believe them. I hear them saying, “I wish I could be creative.” I think we all desire to create something beautiful and something filled with meaning–maybe they just haven’t figured out where their creative talents lie.
Creating can be incredibly vulnerable. A couple of days ago I had a meeting with a fine jeweler in town. I needed his help setting a stone for a special project I’m working on. As I entered his workshop I thought to myself, “I’m a fake. I don’t know anything about fine jewelry. He’s going to laugh at me.”
Because I’m mostly self-taught as a jewelry designer, many of my methods aren’t ‘by the book’. In the big picture, it doesn’t really matter, does it? But there are times I feel inadequate or insecure because I don’t have a degree in jewelry design. A degree doesn’t make you an artist, it’s time and practice and nurturing skill and creativity that help to make an artist. But no matter how much education or experience we have, creating something from the heart can make us feel vulnerable.
I have friends who uses words as art. I have friends who use fabric and thread to express themselves. I have friends who use a skillet and olive oil to create beautiful (and delicious) things. A camera can be a tool to create, just like yarn, paint, seeds or a hammer can be tools.
Are you setting aside your insecurities to nurture your God-given creativity? What are the tools you use to create art?
By: Lisa Leonard
Miriam @ a Rearranged Life says
Thanks Lisa! You created a very nice piece here!
My son has severe CP, and does not yet have a means of creating art on his own at seven years old. You inspire me to keep trying! Yesterday we did watercolor, but it’s a two man job. I also two and four-year-old girls, so it’s certainly a challenge but the work that comes out of it is truly beautiful! Thanks again and God bless! …now to check out your site and learn more about how your son does his art! Excited to see that!!! -Miriam
Miriam, I love that you are helping him to create! That is beautiful. And I agree, I’d he could create independently, how awesome would that be? Hugs to you!!
Btw, that comment above was from Lisa Lleonard 😉
Behind The Smile says
Lisa, thank you for this post about creativity and being vulnerable. I have always felt a pull to write and then other people started to mention I should write a blog. I do not know if I have a gift for writing or not but I took the plunge and started writing a blog not so long ago. I feel vulnerable every time I post something but I feel led by God to keep going to help others in the same position as myself. I too would love to illustrate and I would need to learn to draw/paint as I am hopeless so I was told at high school art class. You have inspired me to keep going though and one day I will pursue learning to draw and even illustrate that book I was going to write, God willing.
Lisa Leonard says
It is so vulnerable and so personal! But keep going. xxoo
Great post! We all have something to offer. 🙂
I love this post.
I am a part of a ministry at our church who crochet prayer shawls.
I wonder if Pinterest can be a tool for art? I love to be creative with my boards.
I also love creatively cooking from recipes.
Elizabeth @ DogFurandDandelions says
love creating with so many things, but especially words, my skillet, the piano, and paper & glue (I make cards). But I have only discovered the beauty of creativity in the past few years.
Do you know, that’s a way we were made in God’s own image? Because He is THE master creator!
Lisa this is a great article. You have made me take a deeper look at my creativity and the tool that God has given to me. My spiritual gift is to listen and to encourage. I have monthly crops at my home for just moms. In our group, we talk, cry, and share.
Elizabeth Jones says
Thank you for writing this Cindi. My gift is to listen and encourage as well. Good to know and relate (in some ways) when someone else shares the same gifts God has blessed them with. I wonder if the Lord gives us gifts for a season and then gives us some other type of gifts. Love that you have crop nights.
Oh wow, Lisa!
“But no matter how much education or experience we have, creating something from the heart can make us feel vulnerable.”
You cut to my heart — that is where I am right now. I have been a harpist most of my life, though I have never felt “good enough” at it. To offer something that we feel so passionately about — to lay it out there for the world to do what they want with it — is a terrifying feeling for me. Sometimes I feel “What’s the use in practicing? I’m never going to be as good as ___________________.” Big. Fat. Lie.
BUT I am learning that this gift is from God to glorify Him, not to earn accolades from others. One way he’s showing me how to do this is by playing at a homeless shelter on a regular basis. I can’t begin to tell you how much joy I have in doing this — I still try play my best, but if it’s not perfect it’s ok. It’s bringing His love down — reaching across to the people sitting at the tables in front of me. In fact, it also reaches out from them to me. I feel His love from them when I offer up this gift. It’s almost indescribable.
Thank you for challenging me today. I think I’ll go practice now….
Thank you for sharing Sarah! This is beautiful. You made me tear up. Lovely!
I have been having this very discussion with myself for quite some time now! I have no problem telling others that they can be creative, made in the image of The Creator, but when it comes to my own abilities, I question whether I am really capable. Thank you for the encouragement to keep moving forward, and keep my focus on the Truth.
You are welcome! And it doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s a process. xxoo
Brooke Burger says
Oh, can I relate, Holly. I grew up in a really creative, artistic, musical family. I have never felt really talented. I can do a lot of things somewhat. I really struggle with whether I have any creative talents for God to use. This is making me think. I just want to be used by HIM.
Amy Hunt says
Oh, friend! It’s been incredibly freeing to believe the truth that we all are creative. That my words are an expression of my creativity, and that I don’t have to be schooled in religion to know my faith inside and out. I could sit and chat about this with you for hours! Great stuff. As always.
Amber Kemp says
Completely agree that we are all creative in our own way. You did a beautiful job of painting that picture, by sharing each of your family’s creativity outlets. I love that God has made us each unique, and that we can use our creative side to glorify him. <3
We all have different gifts and our creativity is manifested in different ways. Still trying to discern mine. 😉
Beth Williams says
God showed me a unique gift I have to enhance worship. I do sign language to music. First of all though I had to set aside my insecurity of getting in front of people alone. Each time I do a song the whole congregation seems to love it and certain songs seem to just allow me to express my emotions.
I am also a decent cook & enjoy making delicious meals for hubby and friends.
Thank you for showing women that we can be creative in soo many different ways!
I love this! What a beautiful use of your creativity. xx
Thanks for this post to remind me what I create is important even if I don’t have the degree. I love to work with cloth and fibers. I am working on a depiction of the Samaritan woman at the well, a very important story to me. A story of transformation for a woman who wasn’t thought of as good but with her voice called many to Jesus. He accepted her as she was, created a new life for her. I have been struggling with the design and how to get what is in my head into the fabric and it is slow but somehow God is working through my hands to tell this story in a new way.
Love this post. I find that I feel so much better if I have taken time to be creative. I try to encourge this in my boys (although it can be a stretch for me, because I know it will usually mean cleaning up a mess). 🙂 Thanks, Lisa, for a great post!
Lisa, I have been thinking about this a lot in the past year and have been exploring the importance of creativity a lot lately. I went through an illness for several years, and during that time I was in survival mode. If it wasn’t necessary for me to heal, it didn’t happen. It took me a long time to realize that creativity is crucial to the healing process as well, and I want to share that with others who are going through illness and who are healing.
Thanks for sharing!
Elizabeth, wynnegraceappears says
Lisa, thank you for creating an encouraging piece. Oh the beauty of all the different art, artists, and mediums used for the beautiful. Thanks for encouraging us in such a lovely and tender way…..with your words. I too use mine. I too hope and pray that they find eyes on the other end which will enjoy the creation. God gifts us all so differently. And what joy there is in finding and using the gifts…..and finetuning, and nurturing, and practicing and practicing….at the art.
I agree! Once I subbed for an art class and one child said, “I’m not an artist, I can’t do this.” At the time I encouraged him differently but wish I would have said “Everybody is an artist.” Here’s a post I wrote about where I get my inspiration:
My art may not look like your art…but it’s still art, right?
Thank you Lisa. You are an inspiration and a beautiful artist.
I’m grateful for encouragement from sisters in Christ.
Thank you for this post.
These days I’m using words as creative tools, and also a daily round of whatever the herb and veggie garden offers. 🙂
My tools are Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, (I can do a little Indesign), Dreamweaver, Wacom tablet and pen, regular drawing pen, pencil, drawing paper, canvas or any surface for that matter, paint, charcoal, any word processing program since I can write, pots, pans (I can cook). Actually I can do almost anything except sing and play an instrument. I never tried playing an instrument so I don’t know if I can. I’m very right-brained. I hate math. Blech! Flash drives me crazy but I would like to actually master that one day!
Kerry @ Made For Real says
What I do in my home, with my kids, in my quiet times… Things that bring me joy. These are my creative outlets. I’ve learned I don’t have to be a superstar in one particular outlet to qualify as creative!
I would love to draw more… I used to draw but didn’t like it and quit. And I loved dancing. It’s funny how your post reminded me of things I really loved doing and just quit doing. I wonder why. The only thing I was always shy about was writing. I thought my writing skills were bad, but I’m blogging now and got over my fear… and if you ask me: every person has some artistic skills, they just have to dig deep inside themselves to find out what their creative seed is that needs planting & growing!
Loved reading your post Lisa! Inge x
How wonderful to read about all the beauty and creativity that the Lord has blessed us with ! I crochet blankets and prayer shawls and make prayer beads and fabric covered journals. I am also a self taught jewelry maker, I love beads and leather and fiber work. I am in the process of creating a web page for my crafts and your encouraging words were just the blessing I needed to clear out that last little bit of self doubt !
beth willis miller says
Lisa, love your blog post…no matter what “tools” we use to express our creativity…it always begins with our creative thinking…I have a blog post (below) which describes Fluency, Flexibility, Originality, and Elaboration–the four primary strategies for developing and improving creative thinking or imagination…
Nikole Hahn says
I paint with words. Words help me make sense of the world and help me escape. It makes a rainy day a day of adventure in my imagination. :o) Great post!
I used to think that being “creative” meant painting or sewing or scrapbooking or some other sort of crafty thing…all things I’m not talented at. 😉 But that’s okay! I’m creative with words – I love to write. I’m creative with food – I love to cook beautiful meals. And I’m creative with makeup – I love painting on the canvas of other women’s faces to highlight the beauty God gave them.
I think everyone is creative in their own way. Remember the Chariots of Fire guy said “I feel the pleasure of God when I run.” So to me, creativity is whatever makes me feel the pleasure of God. 🙂
I love this post! Thank you! I’ve always loved creating in one form or another – I’m a bit of a dabbler but most often find myself working with a needle and thread and a wee bit of mini bear fur. My health doesn’t always allow me a lot of energy but when I’m busy creating I always feel revived. I love knowing that I was made in the image of a creator God! late last year I felt prompted to begin a new range of soft toys (mainly animal cushions) to raise money for charity. They’ve been available on the net but just a few weeks ago I traded at a craft show and was absolutely delighted with the public’s reaction to them. It was confirmation to me that I needn’t doubt the creativeness that God plants in my heart!
Heather Novak says
Lisa, what great words! I rediscovered my happy go lucky energetic young self through Brave Girls Club’s site last year….you may enjoy that. They have a daily affirmation email that reminds me of how I used to speak. Inspired by them I have made several collage/artwork prayeresque things and LOVED IT!
Does your husband have a blog so we can read his writing?
I love writing too – doing it myself and reading other people’s.