Created to create, in the Image of Christ

Art is the basic form of human communication. (Mittler, 2000) From the beginning of time people have communicated through pictures, gestures, and music. This form of expression is a universal language that spans generations and countries. (Adams, 1997) It is relatable to all mankind, and all have an innate desire to create. God is the artist who paints sunrises, orchestrates nature’s melodies, and sculpts the heart of man. (Koonty, 2016) It is my philosophy the desires to create come from our Creator.

Pablo Picasso said, “Every child is an artist; the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.” Einstein believed “imagination is the beginning of creation, you imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you want.” Every one is created as an original masterpiece, (Proverbs). At some point in life we use our resources to create. Why do we choose to make, perform, and respond to art? Creating is not necessary to our survival; or is it? I believe that it is an essential part of our survival as humans. The need to create is part of our formation, (Jeremiah) instilled in us by God.

In the book of Genesis we find the first act of God is to create. A series of marvelous events follow where God generates many spectacular things. Some He designs with His hands and others by His spoken word. Each time He created, He declared, “It is good.”(Genesis 1:1) Ephesians 2:10 states, “For we are God’s masterpiece..,” and He forms us in His image. The Scripture does not refer to our outward appearance, but the inner-man. We all have the same desires and attributes that reflect the image of God. The compulsory need to innovate comes from God. Verses refer to God instilling or placing within the spirit of man the ability to create. (Exodus) These scriptures found in the book of Exodus are teeming with instructions from CREATED TO CREAT 2 Moses to support art as worship. Job states how God gave man “knowledge and wisdom” to craft specific pieces which honor Him.

Creative expression is a window to the human experience. We examine this expression and learn about our past. It becomes a “written documentation” that provides us with information allowing the study of ancient cultures. Permitting extensive research to their traditions, lifestyles, cultures, and how they worshipped. (Mittler, 2000) According to Mittler, there are five reasons people create, they are: aesthetics, morals, historical preservation, political viewpoints, and to express ourselves spiritually. A spiritual demonstration using the arts is not an uncommon practice. This very act can be traced to Attica, and even farther into the Bible. God used His artistry to communicate to man, and likewise, man offers theirs as worship.

Art has a way of reaching the soul of man, beyond verbal words. It stirs up images of life, death, peace, and despair. Artistic expressions have the ability to be offensive as a political cry, or vocalization which portrays a victory. Art is valued in terms of materialism, religious symbolism, and political views. Music, and lyrics, or an expressive idea, captured on paper is an articulation of the person who created it. We examine art to help us understand the human mind, perfect our own skills, express ourselves, learn about our past, and to preserve heritages. Art is vital to our survival, it is an inner compulsion placed within each of us by our Creator. (Bell, 1990)

We are God’s workmanship, created in His image to bring edification to Him. (Bell, 1990) The most creative people in the world draw inspiration from the things that surround them. CREATED TO CREATE 3 Individuals, in need, faced with dire circumstances, or expressing deep emotional connections, spark inventions and innovations. Thomas Edison once said, “If we did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” Artists do not construct out of the desire for wealth or glory. Most artists do not achieve stardom while they are still living. Regardless of this fact and artist will still create, appeasing their desire to be innovative.

Creating, making, mastering, inventing, experimenting, drawing, constructing, singing, dancing, playing, acting, and writing all require action. When these words are used in the arts they become an essential part of the human experience. They express the ability to perform. In Scripture, they are all linked to worship. Each one is gifted to individuals with the intention of bringing pleasure to God. Art does not have to be obvious in its ability to glorify God. The fact that we are using our talents to the best of our ability accomplishes this task. (1 Peter)

When we are young we dream in bright colors, filled with spectacular visions. We perceive that we can accomplish anything without fear. As we grow older unfortunately we suppress our ability to invent, create, and design. Nursing homes across America ironically use art because it is therapeutic, and the human mind remembers how to create when all other skill disappear. (Anderson, 2014) Picasso’s statement, “every child is an artist,” touches on this philosophy. God in all His infinite wisdom placed inside each of us a desire to create. Why is a toddler not afraid to draw in the sand, or play in the mud crating imaginary pies? Why do adults join them in their imaginary worlds for brief periods, participating in their creative aspects? I believe Einstein stated it best, “creativity IS contagious.”

 CREATED TO CREATE 4 Art has broken language barriers, set us apart as a species, and ignites our spirituality. (Wilson, 2019) According to Centennial Health, (2019), the power of creativity can be found in every human; the problem is unlocking the genius, and getting in touch with our creative ingenuity. This ingenuity can be found in the source of our essence, and that is God. Creativity isn’t the exclusive domain of artists, inventors and brilliant scientists; it’s not a magical gift bestowed upon only a few at certain ages. It’s a part of being human. (Baker, 2019) Every human has the ability to be innovative. As an art teacher it is my goal to coach students in the discovery of their creative spirits. I aspire to help them conquer their fear of failure, and embrace the joy of creating. It is a great pleasure watching them come to the realization that we are all created to create.