Matt Appling
About the Author

Matt is a teacher, pastor, artist and writer in Kansas City. His first book, Life After Art, was released by Moody Publishers April 2013.

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
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(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
Recent Posts

Reader Interactions


  1. I am a great artist! I love created play doh things and painting with our children. Our boys are 3 and 6 years. The 3 year old loves art more than the 6 year old…just like you said…it seems as they get older they change. My big boy creates more with Legos…that’s fun too. I always enjoyed art as a child, and I didn’t do much of it in my teens and twentys…now in my thirties I have refound my paint brushes, and I have been painting pallets with scriptures. So fun!

    • Jennifer – that’s fantastic! Isn’t it amazing how having children around often redirects us toward our first loves we had as kids?

  2. I have never thought of myself as “creative” but I realized recently that since a creative God made us, we also must be creative beings, for we are made in His image. Also, as God has healed me of some emotional wounds in my childhood, I’ve found that I no longer fear failing and am more willing to try new things. I recently took an oil painting class. All through it I was convinced that I wasn’t an “artist” but the end result has amazed me…and my family! Not sure if I will pursue it further but it has definitely made me more open to creative pursuits!

    • Laurie – you are definitely on the same wavelength as me! I hope you are encouraged by the book to keep pursuing your creativity. 🙂

  3. I love to create things. My art may not be ready for an art gallery but I use what I know to decorate for children’s classes at church every year. I love to be messy and explore with my boys, twins age 4 and an almost 6 yr old. I make sure to tell them what they create is wonderful. This book inspires me already without reading it to explore my creative side more. God created a masterpiece in me and I need to express it back to him.

  4. I first heard about your book on Addie Zierman’s blog; I didn’t win a copy there but figured I’d try for one here! I considered myself a great artist until about the age of 14, and would have said I wanted to be an artist or a teacher when I grew up–should have been an art teacher! Instead I went the academic route, my art was buried, and I realized one day that while I love teaching students, I don’t love the subjects. Now as a wife and mom with little boys, I don’t have the time or energy to devote to art like I did as a kid, but long to unearth the buried talent–just afraid I might find it too decayed from years of being eaten away at by the world… have tried a couple times to get into Janice Elsheimer’s The Creative Call–and it’s brilliant–just can’t be consistent in the midst of crazy life!

    • Elizabeth – your story is so common, with art getting buried by other priorities. I like to say that in advocating for creative pursuits, I’m not trying to add one more item to busy peoples’ endless to-do lists. Creativity is something you *deserve* to do! Creativity is humanizing and energizing – physically, mentally and spiritually. It’s an investment in yourself.

      • So loved this post! I will be getting the book. We are planning a church spiritual retreat day and I am so excited to have creativity incorporated in it. Last year we did some praying with clay! Thanks for sharing today. I don’t know about being an artist but I am definitely learning to be me!

    • You may not have time to create with the same materials as what you used at age 6. But you can be creative with the materials you are using now. You can make a sandwich creatively, and hang up the towels by color, or arrange candles and greens on your table. You can be creative with all the things you do now. Your family will be blessed. I learned from Edith Schaeffer’s book The Hidden Art of Homemaking that a woman running a house has lots of avenues in which to be creative. It was from her I learned that a Creator God who made man gave creativity to us,, part of being made in his image.

  5. I do not think of myself as a great artist but I am finding her slowly. I have been drawing since I could hold a pencil…and I know when I was young, I drew without abandon! What is it about growing up that puts out the light of creativity and life? I am truly intrigues by this book. Thanks for the opportunity to win it…I definitely will get this for my reading list. Thank you and God Bless!

  6. Until recently, I did not consider myself to be an artist. Now, as I dabble in photography, graphic design, and writing, that is changing. As a photographer, I do far more discovery than creation, but the discovery and display of art is still art. 😉

  7. I once thought myself very creative, but now? I was doing a craft w/ my kids and my husband took over because I was so fumbling with it. My mother is an extreemly crafty person and I always wonder why I’m not more like her.

    • Corena – let me try to encourage you by saying that maybe your creativity just differs from your mother. You are dealing with the *exact* feelings of inadequacy I see pop up in my grade school students.

      On a similar note, my wife loves to cook – gourmet, to be exact. She’s taking classes and everything. Now, most of the fancy stuff she makes, she fumbles with, and it doesn’t turn out “right.” Is she a lousy cook? No, she just needs to practice once or twice before she gets something down with confidence. 🙂

  8. I don’t consider myself an artist, even though I have a real need to be creating things. I love crafting, knitting, sewing, and feel a hole if I don’t have at least one project in the works. But I definitely shy away from the term “artist.” I don’t even view myself as particularly creative. But creating and making things is an essential part of my personality.

  9. I’ve never considered myself artistic, though some have used the term “crafty” to describe me.

  10. I know God created me to be a great artist–I’m the one that keeps myself from it. Fears and misconceptions have often bound me from that purpose. This is my biggest frustration. That’s why this post was such an encouragement-Thanks!

  11. I am an artist in my third grade classroom and when I am refursishbing something from the local garage sale. I wish I was more crafty…I wish I could sew….it all about fears of
    “I won’t be successful…I can’t do it…”


  12. As a reading teacher, I am always encouraging my draw to Draw or sketch what they visualize of think. I tell them that ” I can’t draw” and that they will not be marked or graded on their sketches. They are reminded that my sister is the ART teacher, and I just do stick figures, but that is still fun for me.

    Once the stigma of a grade or judgment of skills or color is removed, all of my boys and girls become more willing to try and comply! t is amazing to see the look on relief on their faces, and they begin to smile and sketch. For me, that is an ” aha” moment of courage and creativity. I’d love a copy of your book Life After Art!

  13. No, I do not consider myself a great artist. In fact, I don’t consider myself an artist at all. There is a part of me that would love to explore art, especially painting, but I’ve never been very good at drawing and am nervous about trying. I have a good friend who started painting several years ago as a stress reliever and she feels as if God has released this creativity that’s been locked inside her for years. I have a great to desire to create and used to do crafts for many years before having children. Now that I am an empty-nester mom (except for college breaks!), I have the time and an increasing desire to explore this creative arts side of my life.

  14. Although I love to do art, I don’t take the time to do it. My daughters are great artists, though!

  15. Sadly, no. I have often wondered when I became so unsure and self-conscious. This book description resonated with a long-forgotten place in my soul. I would absolutely love to win a copy!

  16. I thought I was a great artist until I moved across the country and joined a church that was seemingly filled with artists. No longer is my gift of any need because there are others here before me with their hands waved high and jumping in to do all the very things I used to serve the Lord with. Many of them are far better talented than me, too! I now feel ordinary and unneeded.
    So… I no longer feel like a great artist!

    • Yep – that’s exactly what my students do! They think they’re great – until they start noticing what their classmates are doing. 🙂 There’s nothing worse than feeling unneeded. I assure you that your gifts are not unimportant (sorry for the double negative). Perhaps you haven’t found the audience that fits you.

    • Heather, maybe God has placed you in this church with talented people so that you can learn from them and grow. He has plans for your future far greater than anything you can imagine. This could be a time for you to be fed and nourished so that you will grow stronger. The process of ‘becoming’ is more important to God than our ‘doing’.

  17. I have the ability to create with paint, sewing, cake decorating,etc when I take the time to start. My hang up is that I can’t always visualize an end results before starting. I do better at adjusting as I proceed.

  18. Oh my goodness! I was amazed to read your words here this morning. You put to words and mental pictures exactly what my husband and I have said for years. Why is it children stop “dancing to the music” in church as they get a bit older? Why do we as adults stop them?
    Am I a great artist? No but I’m becoming one. I’m learning to let go and let my creativity come out.

  19. I can remember the night my artist heart broke into tiny pieces. I was about 8, creating with glitter, crayons, collage pieces (anything I could get my hands on to complete the piece). I was making it for my mom while she was in a meeting. We all know adults can talk for a long time, the length they took to communicate with each other is the length I took to communicate with art for my mom. Excitedly, I put the my papers by the door, the best one on top, so I wouldn’t forget them. My mom’s meeting let out, and I stood there art in hand ready to dazzle her. She remained with the remnants of “talkers”, eyeing me ready to raise her eyebrow if I came any closer to interrupting her. During the long time of waiting, minutes pooling, eyes drooping, I forgot my gift on a desk. I begged my mom to take me back and get it. She hadn’t even seen what I’d done for her. To her, it was a practice paper filled with easy to repeat art. To me, it was the Mona Lisa, made just for her. Fast forward to now, and you’ll find a thirty-ish woman whose went from “art dabbler” to “creative”. I belong to a church whose art ministry is amazingly encouraging the inner artist I am. When talking with the Lord about being an artist, or writer with a specific label, he revealed to me some awesome scripture. Its when Solomon goes to rebuild the temple, and he’s been referred a man who can help him. The list of the creative mans capabilites, goes from craftsman to fabric maker to a long list of capablilites. He never stopped at one kind of creativity, he added to his talents following through at such a level, the KING could use him for all of them!! May we all move in creativity saying, “yes Lord, more creativity in me to bless your kingdom.”

  20. I do not consider myself a great artist. Although, when my twins were babies I escaped twice a week to art lessons with a local artist. And I learned that it’s not what the hand does that makes the artist, but what the eye sees.

  21. I am an artist when it comes to scrapbooking and photography. There is nothing like taking the unexpected picture that was taken at just the perfect moment.

    My son is very artistic. He is 8 and loves to draw. I would love to receive your book.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

  22. I really don’t consider myself an artist…but I am learning to love the creative side of me. I love playing the piano, I love seeing beauty in old, ugly objects and turning them into something new and attractive. I love crafting words that speak to the hearts of the hurting. Does this count? 🙂

    I would love to win one of these books!

  23. I used to consider myself a great artist…ironicly, when I was not ‘thinking’ about being a ‘great artist’, and just doing the work–performing, singing, writing, etc. I think I still aspire to being a great artist as I grow older, and in the not having the opportunity to express it often–I feel the urgency and importance to ‘be’ an artist for the whole of my life! Hope to read your book – sounds so wonderful!!

  24. I didn’t really think about being an artist too much until kindergarten. AND THEN, the teacher brought out the easel! I remember we were told that every child would have a turn at the easel PAINTING about once a month. Well, I couldn’t wait to hold that brush in my hand and have that BIG blank piece of paper all to myself! REMEMBER?? It was my time alone to do whatever I wanted. No instruction, just do whatever came to mind! I remember the smell of the paper, the feel of the paint, the wetness of the painting afterwards and watching them dry on the heaters. And then to take it home…oh my! Painting was one of my clearest memory at 5 years old. I will be 54 tomorrow and still paint and create and play! It’s the best. Thank you God, and Mrs. Reich—who used to give us a trick to remember the pronunciation of her name, she would say “REACH” for the sky, and that’s exactly what I did.

  25. I didn’t really think about being an artist too much until kindergarten. AND THEN, the teacher brought out the easel! I remember we were told that every child would have a turn at the easel PAINTING about once a month. Well, I couldn’t wait to hold that brush in my hand and have that BIG blank piece of paper all to myself! REMEMBER?? It was my time alone to do whatever I wanted. No instruction, just do whatever came to mind! I remember the smell of the paper, the feel of the paint, the wetness of the painting afterwards and watching them dry on the heaters. And then to take it home…oh my! Painting was one of my clearest memory at 5 years old. I will be 54 tomorrow and still paint and create and play! It’s the best. Thank you God, and Mrs. Reich—who used to give us a trick to remember the pronunciation of her name, she would say “REACH” for the sky, and that’s exactly what I did.

  26. I love to create, but calling myself an artist, much less a “great” artist is difficult… I remember when I was in elementary school always carrying a sketchbook with me, just to draw ideas, doodle, whatever. Thank you for the giveaway! I plan on reading your book (regardless of the giveaway outcome)! 🙂

  27. How true this is!! All of the things I loved in childhood — writing, music, art — slowly disappeared from my life. It is only in the past year that I have returned to these things, as The Lord has shown me that I am INDEED an artist, and created for His glory. I have since written more than 50 poems, returned to singing, playing handbells and piano, and truly enjoying every minute of it!

  28. Yes! I am a great artist when I stay open to God’s Spirit creating in and through me. I am a mediocre artist when I close myself to God’s leading.

  29. I’m so happy to hear you are helping these child artists the right way. My mother claims that my elementary school art teacher killed my love of painting because I wasn’t doing it “the right way”.

    • I can’t tell you how many adults I’ve talked to who had a similar experience. There is a difference between holding kids to high standards (i.e. not letting them get away with lazy work) and making kids feel like outsiders.

      Guess what? There is no wrong way, as long as you’re trying. 🙂

  30. My creativity is in cooking, primarily. I also love to sew, make baskets, knit, crochet, make cards. My mother does amazing needlework and embroidery; my oldest daughter is very talented with photography and painting; my son, with Lego and models; my youngest daughter, with clay sculptures. It doesn’t matter where or how we exercise our artistic gifts. It’s most important that we do something and keep learning all through our life. We are all artistic in some way.

  31. I am learning to call myself a writer…to see the artist He made me to be. I “get” the idea of relearning what was already there…I look back now (at 36) and see it was always there showing up in poems for my mother, letters never mailed, high school and college papers that I enjoyed and excelled in writing. But no one truly saw the artist in me and so my creativity ebbed away…this is not a sad story,however, because having Creator open my eyes and heart…having Jesus be the one to call attention to the possibilities that my words, His words, hold is both frightening and amazing. I’m so the kid who grew bigger and more afraid! But I’m not going to stay that way!

    Thanks & I love the cover of your book!

  32. Absolutely not! I am the least artistic person I know. But I’m ok with that, most of the time! LOL!

  33. I consider myself to be a work in progress of the most beautiful artist ever but not an actual artist myself. I would love nothing more than to be able to create with an open heart, without fears, worries and insecurities.

  34. I think of myself as an artist, but I would be the first to excuse my art as doodling or whimsical style because I don’t think I can compare with a “master” who draws or paints realistically. 😉 I use this same argument with my daughter sometimes – who is a very good artist and a teen. I tell her when she complains that she’s not good enough that as long as you are creating art – practicing – loving what you do – it doesn’t matter what it looks like – that someone out there will love it. Even if that someone is only yourself. I think the trick to being confident with your art is to quit comparing yourself to others.

  35. I definitely don’t think of myself as a great artist at all. I have trouble being creative. I admire creativity in the art of others, but for myself, I have difficulty with things that aren’t black and white or don’t fit neatly into little boxes. (I really like math!!) You’d never know this by looking at my messy, chaotic house, though!! Since having my own children, this is something I’ve been working on–as I do not want to stifle my children’s creativity and dreams.

  36. I have always enjoyed the arts, both as a participant and a spectator…whether it be fingerpainting or listening to a choral performance. I have also worked with preschoolers and love the “unadulterated” joy they express in creating. It’s as we ‘grow up’ that we put limitations on what we can imagine and create, and, become more concerned with what is expected or preferred by our peers. We also limit what our Creator can do through us in that process…

    I’d take a group of pre-K kids any time over their jaded and disillusioned parents. ;D

  37. I’ve never had a talent for drawing. That is my brother’s arena. But I have always pursued music and, more recently, writing. I think there is room for creativity in all aspects of life.

  38. I don’t consider myself a great artist. I’m still hung up on the fact I can’t draw a cow leg after all these years!

  39. I enjoy art, but wouldn’t consider myself a great artist. But I have been rediscovering and imagining and recognizing my creative side more and more. Having a little one in the house helps!

  40. I am not a great artist because I am not good at drawing “things”. But I do love to doodle, practice handwritng, especially cursive, and color in my kids coloring books. I even have my own smelly markers and large box of crayons.

  41. I am an elementary art teacher in an urban area where families hardly see the value in reading and math, much less art and music. I do the best I can to help my students see the beauty and importance of creating…but sometimes it feels like an uphill battle.

  42. No. I do not consider myself a great artist, as the world would interpret such. In God’s eyes, however, I would consider myself a great artist. With His assistance and guidance, I’ve created a happy home, with three wonderful, God-fearing and God-loving teenagers and twenty somethings, painting memories on the canvases of their lives; I’ve created wonderful relationships in my life, sculpting comfort, encouragement and hope where there otherwise wouldn’t have been any; I’ve befriended many a less fortunate person, helping to mold their psche into one of self confidence and love; I’ve helped save many unborn children, by helping their mommies envision their lives on the canvases of eternity–unfolding–sculpting–playing a dramatic role in the creation of their unborn babies’ lives. So….yeah, I guess I am an artist. Even tho, in real life, day to day, I’m an accountant. sigh.

  43. Right-brained, left-brained, I am both. Have always been creative…music, art, writing…never knew what I want to be when I grew up because there were too many things I wanted to do, and in the end I became the mother of five children. I rediscovered myself in 2000 and have slowly come back to life in the creative realm, focusing on song/lyric writing of late. Am I great? Sometimes! Evolving into a better artist? Oh, yes! And what a glorious process it is! So exciting, frustrating, heartbreaking, terrifying, and magnificent! Through prayer, humility (down there, on the floor, on my knees humble, like “who do I think I am, writing all this music stuff???), God at the helm…it is His music, His words, I am just the vessel. What a privilege and honor to be a vessel for His glory, His work. I am in awe at what He does. And throughout this process, yes, my work is getting better. Have faith, do the hard work of your craft, be diligent, surrender ANY ability God gave you, and see what HE can do with it. 🙂

  44. I found when I practised enough I was decent at drawing things, but it’s been many years since I held a paintbrush. I loved your book; as you say so often we do think of ourselves as artists, yet being made in God’s imagine means we are one. Creating for me means baking, organising chaos into tidiness (even ironing falls into that category!), talking, photographing, and simpling living each day for my Creator. Great reminder for me and I will definitely be encouraging my friends to read your book!

  45. Can I say I want to be a great artist. I too loved art in school, but fear of it not being right quickly took root.
    But now God has brought art back into my life and I am so excited at what He is teaching me. I have found the world of Abstract, and I am becoming freer not quite like in K, but differently not that highschooler!

  46. I do dabble, but am I a great artist? Until I looked at this question differently, I would have given you a resounding, “No!” Then I realized with the help of God and my husband I have created 5 beautiful souls to guide in His way and to convince to remain creative and fruitful, and to remind that some of the best art is a collaboration!

  47. OK, I am SOOO excited to buy your book…loved your blog post today..just discovered you through the link via another blog I subscribe to. I am a “shackeled artist”. I have painted in the past, LOVED being a volunteer art teacher at Cristo Rey KC High School, until curriculum changes ended that “gig”, I dream of writing illustrating children’s books….and I can’t wait to read your book. Thank you for writing it… and encouraging the child artist in all of us! Oh, and you live in KC!!!! Wow!!!!!

  48. I know I am not a good artist. I do believe I thought I was when I was very young, and that’s strange! I have never thought of it like that before! That’s a wow moment. Very interesting- as I’m sure your book is. I’d love to read it! Blessings, Stacy

  49. So, so, so loved this post! I will be getting the book. We are planning a church spiritual retreat day and I am so excited to have creativity incorporated in it. Last year we did some praying with clay! Thanks for sharing today. I don’t know about being an artist but I am definitely learning to be me!

  50. I think I am a former child artist. I used to love to write, even up til high school. But then life. I am struggling to find that person now 🙁

  51. I never really thought of myself as a great artist; I love to draw, but sometimes I find flaws with my own work that others don’t notice, I guess as far as artistry, I like it being perfect or almost perfect. I love working with beads, and it makes me feel good to hear my mom say that she’s wearing one of the necklaces or bracelets I made for her; it also kind of hurts to see key chains or other jewelry I’ve made for people, for them especially, to end up at a yard sale or something. I need to remind myself that it’s theirs to do with what they want, and to keep making jewelry because it is fun and rewarding to see the final product, and what people think of it when I give it to them. So grateful to God for giving me a love for arts and crafts.

  52. How wonderful for you to do something so rewarding for the next generation of Believers!
    Now my answer to your question… I know that God’s word say that I can do everything God’ s called me to do and do it with excellence.
    But I don’t “feel” that way most of the time.

  53. No, I don’t consider myself a great artist, but I am an aspiring one. I remember being surrounded by art as a child – paintings created by my great-grandmother and her sisters hung on our wall and still do, almost 60 years later. I have taken art workshops from a friend and artist whom I truly admire, and she has helped me see more colors in everything. I feel I have an artistic eye and love to express it through photography. I still cannot draw too well, but God has blessed me with some inspiring scenery in the Northwest as well as opportunities to travel and behold more of His beauty. I appreciate His art all around me. Bless you for writing this book that others may be inspired to creativity!

  54. Thank you for your blog and I can’t wait to buy your book! In answer to the question, I do not think of myself as a great artist in the sense of drawing, sculpting or painting and I know exactly what you mean about how carefree we were as kids about it. It was so great before we started comparing ourselves to others and the thought of tapping into what God has given us is wonderful and I can’t wait to share your book with my oldest, who is off at art school! Thank you.

  55. I am an artist. (I just recently got to the point of being able to say that confidently–I’m going through Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way.) However, my inner censor still has a hard time with “great.” I like to do things like qualify adjectives. As in, I have the potential to be great.

  56. “Do you think of yourself as a great artist?” For me it is a million dollar question. I used to think that I had some menial talents, but that I was nowhere near an artist. Now… after the Lord has challenged me to discover new talents and to use them for His glory, I have come to see that I CAN be an artist as I let Him lead me to great opportunities, to let Him teach me new things, to be OPEN and vulnerable and sensitive to His Spirit. It is not IN ME to be anything good, but, through Him, and my availability and talent that HE has provided, wonderFULL creations can be accomplished. It has been an amazing journey looking as some things I have created with my hand but have known with my eyes and mind that the LORD worked through me. It wasn’t in ME to accomplish the end result. it was a collaboration of my desire and HIS amazing artistry. hahah… I love it. I am a student of the Master Artist, an artist in training, if you will, but I have not “arrived”… I have so much to learn. It isn’t just a physical thing, it can so be a spirtual thing, too…

  57. “The child artists who entered my room weren’t growing…

    …they were disappearing.” I have seen this! It is alarming! but… there is hope! God help our kids to find themselves in YOU, and so You can use their talents and abilities for YOUR glory! Amen!

  58. I used to love art – in high school it was my favorite class and back then, I thought I was better at art than other things. As an adult, art has kind of disappeared and I don’t even know if I could do it if I tried anymore. But I still love looking at other’s art only it can be overwhelming to see the talent of some!!

    • I get the same feeling going to conventions and events. Sure, I’m inspired by the keynote speakers. But then I can just as easily go home and think “wow, they really have it together. What’s wrong with me?”

      What a silly way to think!

      I bet you could get in touch with that child artist inside you. I hope the book encourages you to do so.

  59. When my son was in early elementary school, he had an art teacher who also believed that children start out all being artists and that it gets taught out of them. I had never considered my son to be artistic, but through this teacher, we discovered that my son, even though he has a color deficiency, has a great sense of color balance and contrast and proportion. My son still considers himself an artist, and I hope he keeps that his whole life.

    That experience has helped me to see myself as more of an artist. I also recognize that there are many different kinds of art. I have always been a creative person, but I have squelched that part of me out of necessity. It’s time for it to come back out and play! This sounds like a great book and I hope to read it!

  60. I am an artist, hoping to become a great one. I studied art in college, but employment in another field, motherhood, and homeschooling buried my creative side. Midlife, I am rediscovery a healing joy in creating art, but at the same time finding a real struggle to quiet the inner voice that tells me I have no talent, or nothing to say. Recently, a friend suggested that my struggle to paint and draw may be spiritual warfare as Satan knows I am finding healing and life through art. I look forward to reading your book.

  61. Artist? Yes. Great artist? No. I create food, peaceful and pretty places in our home, passionate and emotional words on screens /pages, and I like to do “crafty” art more than paintbrush kind. However, the art I manage to do isn’t great…in comparison to others. However, I am sure the act of comparison is exactly what you are trying to get people to avoid. It is what I encourage my 6 year old artist to do…to just create with no expectations. And I truly think she is an awesome, fantastic, inspiring and great artist!

  62. I remember clearly the day I came to believe that I was not an artist. In the second grade I created a mouse out of a lightbulb for the art show. I loved it! The art teacher did not. Now I am learning to love myself and I am learning to believe that maybe I am creative. Maybe it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of my creations.

    • Ultimately, what you create is between you and your Creator. 🙂 As my students’ teacher, I tell them that the only people who get to critique their work is them and me. (But I usually do more praising and let them do more critiquing.)

  63. I do believe we are all made creative by our Creator..but I struggle with being very critical of my work..I love working with paper and mixed media, but feel my art is never up to par…I love your words- how true! I was a first grade teacher for 10 years and there is an innocent delight at that early age-thanks for the giveaway! God bless!

  64. I *think* I am a great artist, but like you say in this post, I’ve become “less free” and lost my confidence. But when I decide that Yes, I’m going to create something beautiful today, it just happens…. And then I’m totally in awe of the something beautiful that God does thru these hands. I know it’s in there, I just need the confidence to realize it 🙂
    I would love to win this book… help me to learn confidence as a human. I don’t know that I’ve ever had it….not since kindergarten anyway.

  65. I don’t think of myself as a “great” artist; but I do think of myself as a growing artist. I have always loved to make things to give away. For me, creating things is a way to show my love to others.

  66. This sounds like a FABULOUS book, something I can truly relate to.
    I’ll admit I still struggle at calling myself an artist, even though I’m creating just that, ART!!! I never went to art school, I learnt online to do alot of what I do and just played, so think that since I am not professionally trained as an artist I can’t call myself one, I’d say I am still being developed, honed, I’m under construction so to speak.
    I remember as a kid I LOVED to create, in Highschool tried art class, but failed and gave up. What I realize now I just didn’t fit the fine arts mold, I was meant to create different art.
    My kids like to be creative little artists, and I don’t want to see them loose that gift, it is so freeing to just create. We just need to let go of what others think and just love what we do, I’m still learning to do that too!

    Thank you!

  67. I don’t think of myself as a great artist, but my kids do! They adore creating art with me, and we paint together (not often enough) and we create art sometimes with stickers, paper, markers and glue. I love to make art, but don’t do it nearly enough. I am helping create the people my children will grow up to be. They are my greatest pieces of art, still in process.

  68. I think I am one of the few…. I was raised in a home that nurtured creativity and art. being raised in a communal setting just added all sorts of mediums and ideas to work with. I found art to be an avenue for me, to live through grief, to bring me through a time of poverty, to be my company when I felt friendless…. But most of all it gave me something to Worship Christ in a way that expressed my heart and my soul. This book would be something that I can share with those around me….

  69. You expressed who i am. Strugglng all these years to see how and where i fit into Gods plan. I love being creative but it too gets swallowed up like those 5th graders. Im learning liberation with God but it is slow. Im growing in freedom and unlocking those shackles but i fumble with the keys.

  70. You expressed who i am. Strugglng all these years to see how and where i fit into Gods plan. I love being creative but it too gets swallowed up like those 5th graders. I’m learning liberation with God but it is slow. Im growing in freedom and unlocking those shackles but i fumble with the keys.

  71. Is it too late to look back if you’re over 60? I love to make quilts and to sew things, but I always use someone else’s pattern for my creation. I wonder if there are any of my own patterns inside me.

  72. I consider myself an artist that is never satiated with the time I give it. I do carve out time for art throughout my week but I always want MORE! That is the reality with small children at home. I am excited to read your book!
    Sarah M

  73. This is so true for so many, however, I believe that as we grow older we may not realize that we are still artist in the way we as Mothers, are designing our children, our homes, our meals, our chores and all the other things we do as Mothers. Daily we are painting pictures in what we do. (I’m 71)

    • Amen to that! That’s something that I make a big deal about in the book – that “creativity” takes lots of forms, not just making “art” in the conventional sense.

  74. No. I have a degree in art. I am married to an artist(a painter & professor). I have two incredibly creative and free children. But somehow, all those years ago when I picked up my degree and walked away from school, I walked away from art and the creative process. Or from allowing myself the freedom to pursue it. Time consuming, daunting, failing… those are the words or feelings that come up when I begin to think about being creative. This year I tried to push back on those feelings/thoughts and with the help of my husband I taught a painting class to five jr. highers. The class itself was lovely. The students were great, they wanted to be there and they worked hard. My teaching was even okay, helping me feel like my degree was somewhat useful, at least for that class. But the struggle came at home in preparing for the class. Every week I had to fight the doubt and insecurity, the class time would come and go really well, I would feel encouraged but it was always short lived. The doubt was always back the next week. The class ended well. The students final projects were wonderful! But as soon I as I came home, I put the supplies away and have not touched them. I can make myself fight through to help benefit others but to try to push through just for myself. Ugh! The struggle continues.

    • Jeniffer – what a sad irony! You know, I walked away from art for a few years after finishing my degree, so I feel your loss. I hope the book encourages you to work through those barriers you are feeling.

  75. I have never been artistic in the way that our culture traditionally defines that word. However, I am creative in the kitchen–throwing together whatever is available in unique ways that (usually!) taste great. I’m not afraid to cook for hundreds of people and I’ve even served untried recipes to large groups… but I can’t draw a recognizable anything… maybe we just need to stretch our definition of “artistic” a bit.

    • Me, TOO Nancy!

      Can’t draw a thing but stick figures, but can put together good meals!

    • Absolutely, Nancy. Isn’t it strange that there is a “conventional” definition of “creative?” Shouldn’t creativity, by definition, be free to work outside of cultural norms?

  76. Oh my, I noticed that exact same thing I worked in a Playgroup and as a youth worker at the same time. I had such a longing for those young people to love themselves and be free like the preschoolers were. I would love a copy of your book. I don’t consider my self to be a great artist I see God as the greatest artist and I get a real kick out of creativity

  77. Matt,

    I was/am not a creative person & I can’t draw for diddly. But an Artist I am. I try to create beatiful, delicious meals for people. To me that is an art form all in itself.
    Also love to dance & express myself. Yes I am a dancing, cooking artist! 🙂

  78. I’m starting to consider my self an artist as in the past few years the creative part of myself has been unlocked. But great? That’s another story.

  79. Wow… You brought up a memory. In kindergarten, I cried because we were supposed to draw an apple, and I couldn’t get mine to look ‘just like an apple.’ If I was that self-critical and restrained in my art then, no wonder I expect so much of myself now. I don’t think I ever could ‘let go’ like the children you describe, but I want to…in many areas of my life.

    I always took art classes, including achieving a minor, almost a 2nd major, in art. My college prof said I had all the techniques down, but ‘there was no meaning’ in my work. That didn’t really help with my confidence level! But I’m pretty sure it had to do with that letting go thing. Like others here, I rarely paint or ‘do art’ any more, because I’m afraid it won’t be good enough now. I’ve done simple quilting and cook and bake for my family. My mom decorated cakes, gardened, baked, sewed, etc, etc, so I have sort of hard time with thinking I have to do it all and be great at all of it. I am realizing that’s not quite so. I homeschool and am happy to see that my kids are more expressive, free, and courageous in their lives than I am.

    I have a growing urge to get back into sewing, and be more expressive in my quilts.

  80. I do not think of myself as a great artist. But I do think of myself as an artist. And I have even sold some pieces. But great? I never feel that. I’ve definitely experienced that transition of judging myself as I grew older. Sometimes I try to shake it off, but as we age, again, it gets harder!

  81. I have never felt God gave me the gift of being an artist. I am a second grade teacher and tell my students I can’t draw and I probably shouldn’t do that. They are very creative and I am thankful for that. I am going to have rethink this a bit more.

  82. I am a great artist because God created me and I honor His creation by making things out of practically ANYTHING. I love to create things from things that people throw away and love to show children how to use their imagination and broaden their minds to think outside the box and make things out of things they are going to throw out. This gets them to think and wonder when they see things and wonder what they can create…….and ignites a passion for art. If I can change one child into imagining THE POSSIBILITIES, then I am a GREAT ARTIST!

  83. I think there is more than one way to approach the question “Am I a great artist?”. I was born with an ability to draw what I see with accuracy, so was my father. But unlike my father I feel a calling, an urging, even desperate at times to create things (paintings, fiber art, sculture, drawings, photographs, even food, any chance to create and I’m all over it). If I compare myself to other artists, especially professional ones, then I feel amateurish at best, in my opinion, but comparison destroys confidence, so I try very hard not to do that. I want to focus on the gift God has given me and use it in whatever way He wants me to. So I use it for therapy for myself so I can be calmer, kinder, more centered towards others. And I use it whenever I can in service to others around me…family, friends, church, community. I pray for God to guide me and use me for His purpose, and that has brought me a calmer feeling than trying to think of ways to use it for my own benefit.

    • Cyndy – that is a great perspective! Yes, you are absolutely right that the question is deceptively simple, with many hidden angles. It can take a lifetime to discern the answer. 🙂

  84. I’m not much of an artist. I do like to make beautiful things (usually cross-stitches or maybe food that’s pretty and tastes good), but I almost always follow a recipe or pattern. It allows me to be somewhat creative but to rely on the expertise of other more creative people at the same time.

  85. I loved art for a long time. I was never amazing, but I loved mixing medias and experimenting. lately though, I have been intimidated by a blank page or blank canvas. I feel like I don’t know where to start and I don’t want to “mess up” the blank white perfection.

  86. No, not a great artist. But I have found my multimedia that free me. Baking, decorating a cake with frosting, I can do that and haven’t yet taken a Wilton course! Painting pottery was a love I found when friends went out together, and I painted a castle by a lake…the only other friend who worked as long as me was an art major from Bryn Mawr! Drawing I couldn’t do (spent my childhood coloring) until in my late 20s I took a Chinese class and in learning to draw the characters I discovered the joy of step by step detailed learning of lines in a correct order and fashion. I can do that?! Then when baby was decidedly artistic and we got the Usborne I can draw books, I read and did them and she watched and learned. So I’ve really been learning to release the self-judging and do (all) things in love. There’s a certain mood in which nothing can go wrong. I write poetry in that mood and cut my family’s hair (after looking at it ponderingly for a week). Hey, thanks for the good question and the chance to answer and know myself better. I’d like to win the book, but I feel blessed already.

  87. Not really. I want to think of myself that way, but it’s usually more along the lines of “I’m not really creative,” “I’m not really very good,” and such. It’s frustrating. Because I know that I’ve been made in the image of GOD, the ultimate Artist, so a part of His creativity and artistry exists in me. Your book sounds very interesting and I hope to have the opportunity to read it soon.

  88. Yes!! And my three boys are the perfect subjects –insiriping, beautiful and fun!
    Thanks for the give away….

  89. I’m a great artist, but…I’m just not sure what kind of art I am great at right now…

  90. Matt,

    Thanks for this blog today and for your book! I do not consider myself an artist, never have. I am a twin and everything was about comparing. 🙁 And all too well I remember the pains of feeling like I didn’t measure up. In fact, in 6th grade I remember faking being sick on art days so I wouldn’t have to go humiliate myself again (one of my friends was gifted in art). But, now as a mother, I focus on the strengths of my children and how God has uniquely created them in a certain area. Can we all be good at everything? No. And that is okay. I am giving my kids permission to magnificently create in ways that God has gifted them, whether drawing, writing, singing, dancing, playing instruments…the list goes on. I would love to win your book and share with my kids this gift you have given us – to find our purpose from the Lord and be free and enjoy it! Thanks again, Matt

  91. I am not an artist in the sense of drawing but I love to make floral arrangements. Your article is amazing and I’m sure your book is also! What great insight! Makes the verse “unless you become like little children ….” come alive.

  92. I’ve never thought of myself as an artist, and definitely not a great artist. This book sounds very interesting and who knows, maybe it could bring out the long lost artist in me!

  93. I saw myself in the classroom standing at the easel with my paint smock on; blending colors on the paper and smiling as I read your words. I love to color but I don’t. I love to create with paper but I don’t. I have ideas that don’t find expression in the light of day. Yet I long to. I watched my two artistic and creative sons go through the same shackling you described. There is sadness without an expression of creativity. Your book’s premise sounds so intriguing. Thank you for pressing in to express.

  94. This is a great give away! I cannot draw worth a flip, unless you count stick figures, but I love to create with textiles. Quilting is a passion of mine, next comes crochet. Never learned to knit, but I am pretty handy with a glue gun!

  95. There was a time when I thought of myself as a good artist with lots of potential, and believed that was the talent God had given me, but I have not painted or sketched anything in a long time. I lost something after I got married, and after starting my family, put myself on the back burner. Paint and canvas was too expensive. I’ve always wanted to work with glass, and learn to make sculptures using a welder. I loved writing as a child and teen, but I haven’t written poetry since I was 23. Somewhere along the way I lost something. I would love to find that artist that I know lives within me once again. At 45, I would love to be the free and creative child that I once was before responsibilities and family life took center stage. I think I COULD be a great artist if I gave myself permission and the time to create.

  96. I’m a great artist, with numbers (I’m an accountant)! 🙂

    Also used to feel like a great artist in the traditional sense, but now am somewhat stuck in the rut of “if it’s not perfect, I’ve just wasted perfectly good materials…”

  97. I have long struggled to see myself as artistic…my mom and sister have always been my idea of artistic and since I can’t draw a stick figure, I dismissed myself as not having artistic ability. I have since been able to expand my idea of what art is and see that the pictures I take and the scrapbooks I make are also art…I would still not call myself a “great artist” but do see that I have creative ability – even if it’s different than others.

  98. i have the privelege of being a great artist as I teach second grade students, helping them to build their knowledge and academic skills. More importantly, I believe I help them build their character/heart. it is only by HIS power, wisdom and understanding that I can do anything 🙂

  99. I am learning that I am a great artist in many ways. I am a photographer, handspinner, knitter, ‘ukulele player, guitar player. But I need to let go of the bondage that says I can’t draw!

  100. I don’t know if I am an artist. I love to cross-stitch, but I don’t design. Still people look at the pictures on my wall, and then move closer and say something like “That’s needlework! I thought it was a painting!” But I still don’t know if I qualify as an artist because I follow someone else’s design.

    My husband paints. My daughter creates beads and makes beautiful jewellery out of them. They are artistic.

  101. Honestly, not right now, no. I still get very frustrated with myself when I can’t get whatever I’m attempting ‘perfect’ the first time. 🙁

  102. Hi Matt,
    I love to write words and I absolutely love to cook and create in the Kitchen. I never thought of those as artsy or creative and some how I have stumbled upon blogs that keep speaking this message of creativity and our lives being an artform of God. I am slowly but surely getting it. I am anxiously waiting to read Emily Freeman’s book due out in Nov and now that I have found your blog…I want your book and will follow your blog. I went to a church service where a woman had spoken over me that God was moving me into a season of color, art and creativity…..I trust his steps will guide me to what he is wanting me to understand. Anyway, this is definitely a step toward that. Thanks so much!

  103. I think I am an ok artist. I am always surprized when students say “Oh miss, that is lovely writing” or “Wow – I wish I could draw like that”… and I have to curb my tongue not to respond in a away that makes their compliment sound anything other than genuine.

    I know I am wonderfully and fearfully made, but I have trouble acting like I know it..

    Surprizingly I am happiest scribbling, creating, doodling and being artistic.

  104. Yes, I do think of myself as a great artist. I might not be able to draw or dance, but I’m able to express myself in many ways, such as cooking and just putting together outfits every day.

  105. Honestly, no, I do not consider myself a great artist. Especially not when I compare my work with that of everyone else. Deep inside, however, I think I protect the thought that I think I am an artist of words. I think I hesitate to believe it because I don’t want anyone to further squash my belief. At the same time, I do try to encourage my girls in their art. It amazes me how confident they are. Your book sounds like one to add to my “to read” list!

  106. Aha!! You hit upon a true point! Got fourteen years I did first grade art with our art teacher who would say You can’t mess up in art!
    But my precise movements did not look as striking as the free movements of my first grade budding artists!
    I am now brain injured. My art ability is much improved unless I’m to make a spatial figure like I see. But when I draw, it’s so much better than ever before. Especially trees, leaves, so yes, I am an artiste!!! But much hindered even yet by adulthood!!!

  107. I have said many time I am not an artist, yet I love to do creative things. I sometimes don’t “get” art in galleries or museums, so I don’t see myself as an artist. A friend once challenged that everyone is an artist, so my radar has tuned itself in that direction. Your book sounds like something I really should read!

  108. Yes. I am a great artist. I don’t think I’ve ever admitted that. I actually studied art in college and became an art teacher. I used to do a lot of art for myself, before having 3 kids. . . I’m still that great artist, even though its channeled into different things . . . And it’s still art, even if its only an idea in my head that never makes it to the canvas. God knows. He placed the idea there in the first place.

  109. I love creating. And yes, I am an artist. I do it with pencil and a pad or Photoshop where my creativity soars. I created wild landscapes just for fun. Floating islands in the sky in Illustrator. Arches and doorways with floating keys in the middle of the universe using Photoshop. God, standing on top of the Horse-head nebula with the planet earth jettisoned from His hand like a yo-yo. Fun stuff. Yes, I am an artist. A wild one.

  110. I consider myself an artist, even a good artist. But not a great artist. But I firmly believe that we are all artists, and that anyone who tells me “I’m just not creative the way you are” just needs encouragement and mentoring.

    I’m trying to share my passion for creating and praying together on my blog, Please come check out and share!

  111. I love what you wrote about how kids change as they age. I have an 8 and an 11-year-old and watching them become self-conscious about their art breaks my heart. Yes, I am an artist. And my preferred medium is the written word.

  112. No, sadly there is no time in my life right now to be an “artist” of any kind. But . . . that doesn’t stop me from creating birthday cakes, daffodil arrangements from the front yard . . . you get the idea! Your book sounds great.

  113. I’ve never thought of myself as a “great” artist… but yes, I’ve considered myself an artist.

    Mind you, I also see how growing up has stunted my artistry. I used to paint and doodle and sketch a lot more when I was a young girl. Now, it’s hard for me to just take the time to be creative. I do still attempt it, but it’s not without that “perfectionist” side trying to chime in… or others’ voices in my head saying, “It’ll never be good enough”, or “as good as so-and-so’s”.

    This book sounds wonderful, Matt, and I’ve love to be entered to win a copy, please!


  114. Great post! The word “great” throws me. I make hand made cards and use rubber stamps. That is my way to use art. I’m still learning this craft. So I don’t think I’m ” great”. I am evolving!

  115. My Dad was an artist, he could build steps, plant a garden, draw/paint, and also he was a wood carver. And I thought, you know I did not get a gift. However, as I matured I realize I was a real true “doodle expert”.. smile.. Truly, I have drawn just from “doodling” creative looking creatures, landscapes, sunsets, and some are in the category “other” smile.
    I do play the piano, that is creative… although someone taught me. And I am a communicator. For years I was a counselor with children in trauma. As they
    painted and had play therapy, I often saw in them the artist. And they were hurting, sad, and creative painting, and expressing themselves brought Hope to them. That is truly worth something for sure.

  116. Yes I do but I’m ashamed I don’t make time for art on my own time. For some reason it feels like a luxury. I don’t really believe it is though. That’s why I’ve set up some summer accountability and plan to meet regularly with others who want to create art!

  117. I took an online drawing class about 9 years ago and absolutely loved it! I had never really done much drawing but I was actually pretty decent at it. I was really surprised at how completely relaxing it was….when my mind and eyes were focused on the chosen object, that’s all that was on my mind. It was really nice with a newborn and 2 year old running around the house! Of course, I usually had to wait until naptime or bedtime to do it 😉

  118. I can be, would like to be, but am not sure I am yet …. have been greatly encouraged by my small sketchings in nature journals and my daughter’s talents in art class! 😀

  119. I AM a great artist! I love to create and am continuing to search for my artistic voice. Thanks for the chance to win!

  120. The timing of your post makes me smile. I don’t think of myself as a great artist BUT, I am a writer AND just two weeks ago my friend and I facilitated a retreat called, Heart-Expressions, A Sabbath-Living Retreat. Debbie set up 6 or 7 different art journaling stations. During the weekend we led the women in times of listening to God and then they were free to do what they wanted at the stations. It was a wonderful time and I came away with a desire to start a “Remember” Journal, Psalm 105:5. It is my first sketch book and I’m using colored pencils to do something to help me remember God’s big lessons for me. It is working AND it is fun!

  121. I feel most alive when I’m creating something beautiful. It might be planting a pot of flowers, helping my toddler brush watercolors onto a blank page, or sitting in front of my computer typing the thoughts inside me into words to be shared. Music, sunlight, color…God spills beauty all around us, but in a broken and dying world, we often miss it. One of my deep desires is to help others stop and see that beauty (and therefore see God) — and if I can do that even in a tiny way, then yes, I think I would be a great artist.

  122. Wow, reading about your book bought tears to my eyes. No, I don’t see myself as a great artist 🙁 I see myself in shackles as you said. That is so profound and yet so sad what you noticed about such young children gradually closing up and losing confidence. It makes me want to nurture my own children and protect them from losing their free spirits!! Praise God that he has made a way for shackles to be broken and people to be set free, I long to be free, I know God will do it one day for me! Thank you Matt, I will certainly read your book, bless you!! Danielle.

  123. I am an artist.
    I am great, in God’s eyes.
    I just talked enough time to express all this great artistness that I am. :0)

  124. I am an artist.
    I am great, in God’s eyes.
    I just talked enough time to express all this great artistness that I am.

  125. I am no longer the artist I once was, or long to be again. The world has gotten in the way. Worries. Fears. Hurts. When I was young, it was my creative spirit … my inner artist … that would help me to fight the sadness of my parents’ divorce and my loneliness. Now as a 50-something adult, it is something I long to get back to. To create a home filled with love … of the handmade kind.

  126. I don’t consider myself an artist – although it seems once every few years I come up with a really creative idea and execute it…then I’m done for a spell.

  127. I definitely do not consider myself a great artist much of the time. However what you were speaking of in your post is something that Jesus has been working into my heart the last several months in particular. My life is most definitely a masterpiece that only I can create and that is exactly why God has chosen me to do it. So while I don’t always think of myself as a great artist, I’m getting small glimpses of the truth of my life. The way I listen to a friend, the food I cooked for some friends, or the way I treat others can be just as much an art as painting on canvas.

  128. I have always love to doodle and am definitely not remotely close to an artist. But I finally heard something that gave me the courage to call my sewing space next to the laundry, my “quilting studio”. I create what I think is lovely, but not by the rules but from my heart. I have never felt “good enough” because when I went to school, the art teacher came around in grade school and trashed anyones dreams of being “good enough” if you didn’t reproduce the picture of the Blue Boy just as it was in front of us. I am excited to read your book because our 4 yr. old grandson just did his first hour at an art studio and no one could believe this child drew two palm trees and a blue and orange background just like the ocean. How lucky to have someone tell him “good job”. I believe everyone has creativity in them, truly a gift from God. You just have to find people who appreciate your way of expressing it.

  129. Art is not only defined by “drawing” or “painting”. My art is in my homemaking and child-raising. I used to draw a lot (mostly in math class… lol). Now, I create for my family. Not necessarily drawing, but through cooking, decorating, and helping my children with their crafting.

  130. I never left the art room; I take it with me wherever I go. My babies are the same, at ages 23, 19, 17, and 10. We create as we were made in the Creator’s image. This is life to us.

  131. I do consider myself a great artist. I do, I do, I do! 😀 For as long as I can remember, I have been drawn to creating – in lots of different arenas and using lots of varied mediums. As the calendar draws near to the date of {what I hope will be} my final surgery related to the breast cancer diagnosis I received almost 3 years ago, my heart and mind and soul are being pulled strongly toward going even deeper into the exploration of what creativity and art will mean to my healing. I would also LOVE to find a way to share with my fellow Survivor Sisters the joy and healing that comes from expressing creatively! 🙂

  132. I can see in nature that God is an artist, so that means I must be! Thanks for the opportunity – I don’t buy books, but am interested in yours for sure.

  133. I am a first grade teacher. I look at the confident, free, joyful students in my class every day and wish I could bottle it all up and pass it on. I am creative but life had begun crowding out my vision for any creative gift that I thought I had. I finally have taken my instruction to my students during writing time and have begun to write and send it to others to read. Very scary stepping out of my box but I believe God has given me this gift. I am going to write what I know about as I tell my little ones to do. I am trying not to worry as I write but to enjoy the expression and creativity of the written word. Would love to have a copy of your book.

  134. I’m a ok artist…not so much with drawing more so with writing.People have encouraged me to continue writing. And this may not have to do with anything but i love music a n i love the Voice.

  135. I have always thought of myself as an artist! As a child I loved to draw and paint. I would find the most unusual things to paint on… canvas… rocks… flat tree fungus… crazy stuff but interesting as I created my treasures! I would take art classes not only at school but those summer classes offered through the local art museum. I actually had an art portfolio at one time with all my creations. It was all I ever thought about! Over time… I have lost the “time” to create and explore the gifts that I have been given. I think that if I would just find that extra time in my schedule that I would fall in love all over again with my love of art…. someday. Thanks for sharing your story.. it made me think about what I am “missing” in my life…

  136. Yes, yes I do. But I am so busy doing so much for everyone else.. I don’t make time to indulge in my creative pursuits.

    • I really know how that is. One big point in the book is about how other priorities take over and creativity gets pushed to the back burner. As if creativity isn’t something we deserve to do unless we’ve satisfied everyone else’s needs.

  137. No, I don’t consider myself “artsy” … your book sounds interesting and not intimidating like most:)

  138. I don’t mind when people laugh at me when we play Pictionary; when I have to draw something chances are no one will be able to decipher the lines on my paper. But I think great art going beyond accuracy, and I am creative in other ways.

  139. I am a great quilting artist!! I love sewing, and while it has been a while since the last one was sewn, I’ve been creating great art with my daughters 🙂

    (almost 1 and 2 1/2)


  140. I don’t consider myself a great artist, but my young niece is happy to do arts and crafts with me. At this point, that means coloring and simple cutting projects. It’s fun getting the chance to practice art again, even if nothing I make is worthy of public display.

  141. I am a decent artist in the kitchen, a better artist at my writing table and a beginner when painting or sketching is involved.

    As a counselor who works primarily with kiddos, I am grateful for the frequent reminder they are of living in freedom. Can’t wait to learn more about your book!

  142. Yes, I’m creative, yes, I consider myself an artist… but I’m afraid to say “great.” Sometimes I feel it’s been squelched by the day to day tasks… I feel a little lost most days!

  143. I would say I am an artist, not necessarily a great artist, but one that learns, and grows – it wasn’t until adulthood that I embraced my artistic side;
    I continue to love my art – but am my own worst critic! But God is good, and I continue to stretch my limits – and encourage others to utilize the gifts within themselves!

  144. I used to think of myself as a great artist, now I think I am somewhat creative. I need to foster some growth in my inner artist this summer!

  145. NO. I don’t think that I am a great artist…however I would love to be! ….if I somehow, could…

  146. I WAS an artist. I hadn’t realized it disappeared until I read this post. I don’t know where it went. As a kid I loved coloring, painting, making clothes for my dolls from pieces of fabric. I went to college as a Fine Arts major. I painted, drew, wrote, did graphic design, and did calligraphy on all sorts of objects. Why did it stop? I don’t know the answer. I’m looking forward to reading this book and maybe I can rediscover that thing that brought me happiness so many years ago.

  147. I feel I am a novice. I was never the creative one. I was best at following directions to the letter. My hope is my kids will be free to create what comes naturally.

  148. I am most definitely *not* an artist in the traditional sense, but I’d love to read this book!

  149. This post exactly describes my present journey: discovering the real me I was created to be.

    For so many years I never thought of myself good enough to be described as “creative”.. I was so insecure. I believed so many lies. Only recently did I really begin to understand the Freedom I have in Christ. I feel free to say I love to write and take photos etc. I’m discovering new things about myself as I learn to freely be me.

    A prayer of mine: God help me unlock the creativity You put in me 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

  150. I just wrote about a similar experience on my blog–painting with a 9 year old who was beaming and kept saying, “I think I’m creating my first masterpiece.” I envied her innocent acceptance and enthusiasm.

    I am a working artist, but struggle to call myself GREAT…many days even GOOD is a stretch for how I feel…Interesting to be hit with the revelation of my young art student the same week a friend sends me this blog post…I think Someone is trying to send me a message! ha. Now, to listen! Thanks!

  151. I am so intrigued by this book that I may not wait to see if I win a copy ! I have always loved to create….. And I have come to realize that when I create it feeds something in me….or fulfills something… It’s hard to explain.
    I can’t I wait to read your book.

  152. I feel like “great” is a hard term, for when I think great artist I think VanGogh scale greatness. Edit: But after writing this below I think we are all “great” artists when I rememeber that by being creations of the Creator…we are made to create, even though we may not be what is typically thought of as creative.

    I am mainly a visual artist! I love taking photos and making art on the iPad. The digital media is good for me because I have physical limitations that often make it difficult to work with traditional media (acrylic painting = too much arm movement; scissors for collage can flare nerve pain). I use various apps to make art – digital art journals, digital collages, etc. I incorporate writing in some of my pieces too. I let my visual art go dormant for a long time in my 20s and other than photography, I’ve been off and on with creating visual art in the past decade.

    Creating gives me joy! Creating also nourishes my spiritual life. My views on creativity are similar to those expressed in Creating Space: The Case for Everyday Creativity by
    Ed Cyzewski. I would love to read *your* book!

    I’m very committed to creating now and want to use it on a project or two (a creative ministry). I have two target groups in mind, but both involve people in pain, one both physical its emotional toll, and one primarily emotional pain. I feel like this is what God is calling me to do. Right now I am trying to make decisions as to how to present these projects (blogging? Ebook?) , but what I really need to do it just create and let the details sort themselves out as I go. 🙂

    Thank you so much for the chance to win a copy of your book and having a space for a very important dialogue here!

  153. I used to love drawing and painting, and was pretty good at it. I told my mom when I was a teenager that I wanted to be an artist. She told me not to, because artists don’t make enough money. I kind of stopped making art but I have these sketchbooks of beautiful pictures to remind me of what I used to do. I’ve put pencil to paper a few times to try to get what I had back, but I don’t seem to have that creativity anymore. I just create in my head now.

  154. No for me. I have a yearning to create, but have never felt great (not that I can remember). It does feel great to create though. I long for more opportunities to share that joy with my kids too. My oldest is already so critical of herself, it makes me sad to see that freedom slipping away in her. Thanks for the food for thought.

  155. As you said I did feel confident with whatever I created when I was younger… Even if it meant just copying a drawing or stenciling it…. But now I dare not… 🙂 lol
    However I have found new confidence, I might not be artistically talented, might not is an understatement but I am a masterpiece in progress by the master Artist Himself. I will be complete the day I die and that day will be the day to see if I turned to be the art God wanted me to be if I would inspire another soul if I would draw attention to The Creator and not the created, if I would bring a tear , encourage, bring a smile, or comfort at the end of the day all that matters is that I bring glory to God. Im confident of this that to this I will strive to be His piece of art … Not perfect, not great but His.

  156. I am a great artist. I was a young prodigy and made drawings for everyone in
    kindergarten. Those kids were asking me to share….and I did. My Mom remembers the teacher telling her about my God given talent….and was amazed because she didn’t realize it. Over the years I “quit’ my art because I desired something more challenging. After all….why “just create” if you can succeed and challenge yourself intellectually? Many years later… 52…..and 3 kids, lovely “created” garden later. I re-arrived at my destination. Full circle. It’s ok to be an artist and “merely create.”…as a matter of fact it’s the whole, real me with whole, real joy. Gift of God….poured out.

  157. Yes! My art is in the projects I sew with my sewing machine. I also make cards and scrapbook pages. Occasionally a quilt makes it’s way out and I love to hang them up and admire them. I always said quilting is painting with fabric. 🙂

  158. I am a closet arist with many mediums! I have been attempting to follow my 7 year old daughters lead. She defends being an artist so furociously that she got into a fight at school about it!

  159. I am an artist not because I feel God’s pleasure most when I have a paint brush in my hand, but because as I tell my kids all the time-we were all made for a purpose and that is to reflect God’s glory to this dark world. We all make beautiful when we carry one another’s burdens, choose to be a peacemaker, love when it doesn’t make sense, forgive when everything in us wants to hold the grudge, and take a step in faith when our humaness says to sit on the sideline where it’s nice and neat and comfy….I’m learning that reflecting God’s glory is messy, but like the youngest artists, in the messy can be the most freedom to be who we fully are in Christ and that always paints the most beautiful picture to this dark world!

    • Such a beautiful way with words! my response was much the same!!!!!! Such a wonderful sentiment and so true!!

  160. I love to create but I don’t think I’m a great artist-although I’d love to be!
    This book looks amazing and I’d love to read it! Thanks for entering me in the giveaway.

  161. I believe being “creative” in parenthood is essential! For times when there’s only a few items in the pantry and you need to come up with a full meal for your family, or when the kids say “mom, I’m bored!” despite the dozens of fun things you already engaged them in, or when we don’t know what to pray… God creatively intervenes and speaks through us to our children.

  162. Yes and no I constantly seek new ideas and projects. However, the childlike innonence to boldly finish what i started has been removed. As an adult, the artist has disappeared leaving a faded print of it in me.

  163. I have a growing sense of an artist budding inside after having been frozen for most of my life! It is exciting to see what might emerge now that life has brought me to a place where I am finally becoming more aware of the creativity that the Creator has put in all of us! Thank you for writing on a much needed, refreshing subject. It will inspire many if not most!!

  164. Healing. Healing is what I found when the words wouldn’t come or there was no one else to help me sort the good from the bad or the lies from the truth. So I made art. I took the broken stuff outside of me…the worn out, the discarded, the rough and faded bits…and then poured from the brokenness from within me and made art come alive and God used the process to reflect His beauty back upon my own soul and heal the broken, worn and discarded places inside of me so I can see things with His eyes now. I’m a mixed media Christian living a mixed media world and I have seen that in His hands NOTHING is wasted. (Jason Gray said it first) Blessings

  165. I’ve never thought of myself as an artist. I’m not creative or artsy at all. I tend to be analytical and haven’t given myself much room to create in years.

  166. I don’t think of myself as a “great artist” as I am sure I once did when I was small. But it is an update to consider myself “an artist” in this point in my life. =)
    I make collage journals because I had to move past the point of being afraid to write down what I really felt inside. Now, it can be expressed and yet still “in code” so as not to be too vulnerable in the world. I am looking forward to reading your book.


  167. I would answer no because I equate “artist” with someone who can draw or paint well. So I’d love to read this book to move past that simple notion!

  168. No. I am not a great artist but I was created by the most amazing artist ever, my Heavenly Father. He knit together in me something I am only beginning to see but am so enjoying the process of becoming that in which He created me to be. I may not be able to draw well but I can be the greatest “artist” in the areas in which He has created me to be in…..looking forward to learning more about my purpose every day. Right now….it seems as if my focus is to be on loving unconditionally those around me with His perfect love. I pray to be the best artist around when it comes to displaying Christs love for all of us!!

  169. I used to be. I used to paint with my mom, who is an amazing artist as a hobby. I’m not sure what happened. I appreciate art in any form, but I seem to have lost the desire to create my own art.

  170. No – I don’t consider myself an artist. I’ve always found it hard to create something – art, writing, music. I know God has given me what I need to be creative but I haven’t opened my head to that. Maybe I should open my heart!

  171. Not artsy at all never have or gifted in any area of decoration. That is why I enjoy Pinterest because it gives me the kick start I need. As a homeschool mom “artsy” is so needed but thank God for my artsy children.

  172. I love to create, but I find I have a need for practical application. Creating for asthetics alone does not satisfy me – if the item has a function I am satisfied. Though my latest creation is a felt mailbox set for my son and his friends! This is for my creations alone, I feel differently about others endevours.
    I wouldn’t say I am a great artist, too much of a perfectionist, but I ‘mostly’ love the process.

  173. I was an art major and taught high school art, but my “sparkle” (the word I use to try to describe the piece of who I am that is creative and alive and vibrant) was terribly stifled and seemed to disappear over the past couple years, as I’ve dealt with fibromyalgia. Slowly, through blogging and trying to be more playful and embracing the truth that God made me in His image, and He is a Creator, so my creative spirit is a reflection of Him – I’m trying to get that girl back… the one who gets lost in a drawing, who sees the possibilities in the objects around her, to loves to dive into a work and try to figure out all it is saying, who lights up inside when making art. I LOVE the idea of this book. It’s exactly what I really need right now. I do think I’m a good artist, to answer your question, but the creativity that breathes life into my soul and my art has been heart-breakingly dimmed. God’s grace is sufficient, and I know he is a restorer and a redeemer and the lover of my soul. Thank you for taking time to write this book and share it with us!

  174. Yes, yes! I AM an artist! I teach pastel art lessons to my precious grandchildren, ages 5-15, and it is a great joy to do this! My talented daughter has compiled 40 lessons that I have taught the grandchildren…and now I have students all over the country and even a few out of the United States! I would dearly love to have a copy of this book, and give the author a great big “Thank you!” for writing it!

  175. I would love to be a great artist but I like so many others became trapped by expectations and perfection! I would love to read your book!

  176. I had a friend that is an Artist, and she told me, That if I make art from my soul and heart, then I to, am an Artist. Then, I have had people tell me that if you cannot make a living from it, then you are not an artist, UM! Tell that to some of the old greats, that did not become famous till after they passed away.

    I am an Artist.

  177. Maybe I am on the inside, somewhere buried deep yet waiting and wanting to emerge. We will see!

  178. I do not think of myself as a grat artist. I think of myself as someone with potential to be a great artist….

  179. Hi ! I am an elementary art teacher…or well, I WAS an art teacher…I loved my job and every word I just read feels like it came from my own mouth/mind. I spent hours and hours learning FROM my students..I felt like a conductor in a beautiful orchestra. I handed out an idea and they brought it to life. My own art grew and blossomed from what my little teachers taught me. Not many people understand the importance of such a place in a school environment. Real magic happens every single day…Sadly for me, I was diagnosed with cancer last Fall and had to leave my job to undergo treatments and have been creating magic with my own 4 and 2 year old at home ever since. While I was sick, I received over 500 handmade cards from my students and former students. I still have them all and am now collecting childrens’ original, handmade cards to give to other cancer patients. Art is so powerful and can be so healing. I hope to one day, make magic again with elementary artists and I love that you see what I see. Thank you.