I collect what I find beautiful. The easiest way for me to do this is with my camera. There are some moments when a photograph really excites me. At times, I see glimpses of Glory in how light dances or reflects. Other times, I witness slow and beautiful Grace freezing, for just a second, as I snap the photo.
Over the past few years, photography has been my greatest artistic expression and my creative therapy.
I love to head out into nature, spend time with God admiring His creation, and capture that which I see as beautiful. It’s something intuitive, I guess.
I’ve also searched for ways to express some of what I see from behind the camera in other creative outlets. Of course, I can share them on Instagram, sell prints, and fill hard drives. Yet, my creative spirit felt there had to be more. More for me to do and more for the photos I’ve created as well.
In addition to photography, I’m inspired by many, many things. Here are just a few: -photographs by others – color -light -water -vintage anything -beautiful papers -textiles -wax -cold wax
-wherever there is love
-wherever there is joy
-smooth writing pens
-Japanese paper – oh the world of paper
-heavy body paint
Of course, this list is by no means all inclusive!
Now, to read the above list, it looks as if I am all over the place.
I’ve struggled with this being somewhat of a hindrance to my creativity.
Why can’t I just pick that one thing and move forward with it as my creative muse; and be fulfilled by it?
Some people tell me my photographs are beautiful. Thank you. I’m honored that they can touch your heart with beauty. For some of them, when I took it, Jesus touched my heart in that moment by sharing that glimpse of grace and beauty with me. I love to share those images.
This is where my creative process begins.
I capture and I collect.
I collect beauty, memories, inspiration, words, feelings, emotions, sentiments, Truth, and oh my goodness – the art supplies!
I collect because deep within me are bits of experiences, blessings, love, joy, hope, and victory that long to be expressed in some way.
It is my absolute joy and life’s purpose to bring Glory to God through the creative process. This journey began over 20 years ago as a result of a car accident that left me in debilitating, life-altering pain. God answered my prayer for relief and purpose and led me towards all things faithful and creatively beautiful.
So my dear friend, if you long to create, to explore, to express some of what is inside of you, start by collecting. Whatever catches your eye, whatever inspires you, collect it somehow. Even if you’re drawn to something and don’t understand why, still collect it. Photograph it, write it down, cut it out, sketch it, etc. Save it. This process is magical, really. The simple and the magnificent details, that are indeed woven into the fabric of our very existence, awaits our discovery.
After you have a bit of an accumulation, begin to gather your collection into various categories. Beautiful little piles of images, baskets of fabric and textiles, color snippets that speak to your soul, etc. As you spend time collecting, trust this one thing. That which you find beautiful is an invitation to discover more about Jesus, His grace, and beauty in your life.
It will also take you on a journey to discover so much more about yourself. I know it sounds so simple and it really is. These moments touch our hearts and touch our souls as they give us purpose to embrace exactly who Jesus is and who we are in Him. As we invite Him into our creative process, guess what happens? It becomes a form of devotion. There is no inspiration I’d rather have than time with Jesus and expressing it in various ways.
I also must point out that not every moment creating is going to manifest in such beautiful and moving ways. There are days I shoot lousy photographs and make ugly art. Without the ugly and the lousy, beauty and inspiration would cease to exist. They indeed go hand in hand and it’s a process we must work through. Just be sure to do so with kindness and grace towards yourself. Some sessions are just for fun and discovery, some are to process and cope, and others are just because, and for some I happy with the process and the end product.
The process of collecting, of gathering is just the beginning of something beautiful and amazing. As artists, we will always collect and gather, just be careful to not only collect and gather. Try something new, take a course, set an intention of allowing yourself creative time each day. You’ll be glad you did, for it will allow more and more fragments of beauty to fill your life.