Sojourn Artist’s Reception

I am so excited to get to share what God has done for the month of December. The majority of this post will cover a very special event – the Sojourn (Out of the Depth’s) Artist’s Reception held on December 3rd.

I was so blessed to be able to present my work and talk about my project to the Sojourn congregation. The coloring book has been six months in the making, and having my friends and mentors attend and support my work was a mind-blowing experience.

When I arrived in Louisville on May 30th, I could not have anticipated any of this. It was completely due to God opening doors and changing my perspective on art and expression.

I was also blessed to hear from a fellow artist from the reception, Joe Cory. I was so inspired by his speech, He was correct in saying; as an artist, the goal of our work is to catch your attention for more than a second and make you feel something.

I’m finally using my gift for something meaningful, for people I care about and for a Creator who gave me the passion to also create. For so long I’ve drawn for myself and for a following on the internet, but during that time it’s never occurred to me to draw for God and his people.

Art can be used as a form of expression, both for positive and negative emotions. It can be used to represent people who have yet to be represented in creative content. It can be used to communicate thoughts and ideas when words aren’t enough.

More and more, I realize what an amazing way art can be to reach people. If God can use a high school graduate with an outdated ipad to reach refugees through a coloring book, imagine what he can do with educated creators or talented hobbyists. The potential is there, as is the need.

God gave us creativity to use for His kingdom. That may sound cliche, but a lot of good can be done if artists in the church demonstrated that belief. Imagine the God given power that lies within our hearts and minds that can be released with our hands? Why not use it for others?

I know that this post didn’t cover a lot of specific events (and I may have repeated myself more than once), but I just wanted to share what I’ve learned and what I’m now passionate about. Christian artists have such an opportunity to use their gifts not just to glorify God, but to lift up others who haven’t seen the spotlight. Refugees rarely have creative content made that depicts them. Even more rare is content made FOR them.

Representation is important. Expression is important. Creativity is important. And it all comes from God Himself.

John Barnett