I imagine painters see, feel, breathe bursts of color. That pigments of every hue run through their veins, pulse in their chests. I imagine there are days they can’t not paint. Moments when their minds are a blur of brushstrokes waiting to break free, yearning to pour out a message through paint and canvas. That there is an image or emotion, landscape or lesson that must leak out in artistic expression before it is lost.
Musicians see, feel, breathe chords and melodies. Those notes and lyrics course through their bodies, syncopated rhythms dictate their hearts’ very beat. I imagine there are days they can’t not sing, compose, or play. Moments when their minds buzz with musical phrases, magical verses, harmonies, interludes, or stylistic attitudes. That there is a song that must be birthed through voice or instrument, inspiration that must move from conceptual feeling to tangible expression lest something in them be lost.
I don’t know these things to be true. I’m not a painter or composer. I’m not singer, songwriter, print maker, or piano player.
But if I had to put my money where my imagination is, I wouldn’t hesitate because of what I do know as an artist.
Yes, I am an artist.
I’m a writer.
My medium isn’t soft pastels or rhythmic runs; I don’t create with acrylics or arching melodies.
My art is made of words. Nouns, adjectives, and verbs strung together to tell the stories that vibrate across my heartstrings. I see the world not through color or song, but through description and analysis.
My mind begins to craft the retelling even as I’m in the middle of the living. It’s not contrived—it’s how I’m wired. It makes me come alive.
Surely writing, like all artistry, requires discipline and intentional focus. It’s not all creative inspiration just floating by. But one way I know I’m an artist is when I’m not trying to make art, but art is trying to make me.
The art I can’t not create.
The words can’t not write.
(The ESL teacher in me cringes at my repeated use of a double negative, but sometimes the incorrect is just plain right. There’s no truer way to say it.)
But there was an invitation to art I can't ignore. Every week I try to create something. Sometimes I can exhale the deep satisfaction of doing the thing God gave me to do. To make art. Not perfect masterpieces—no, messy blog posts, yes—but to get to know Him through the messy, mundane, beautiful process of making it.
God calls to me through my art. The Word lived out calls to me.
Through my art I respond, and invite others to join with me.
How has God used art in your life? What does making art mean to you?