I recently spoke in a class at Drury University and the class collectively asked me 10 questions about my work and my motivations behind it. Please let me know what you think and give me any suggestions you may have to help me become more effective at my passion.
What are your most important sources of inspiration and motivation?
My central source of inspiration is God’s design for the world, our lives, and His bigger story. I find this in the metaphors, narrative and imagery of the Bible, His creation, and his beautiful yet broken people. I also find a great deal of inspiration from modern visual language and psychology and the books, magazines articles and museums that lead the world in creating and refining this language.
How I intend for my art to be used?
This is pivotal. Simply put, I want to grow the kingdom of God. My work chips away at our false reality and reveal the truth of God’s reality. I challenge ho-hum Christians to journey down the rewarding, yet unpredictable path of the kingdom of heaven. My work presents elements of that character of God in a compelling, fresh way to people who have bitterness toward the modern church.
Who is your intended audience?
I want Christians to join me in a journey beyond a superficial outer appearance and a plastic smile and dig into the reality of our mutual brokenness and encourage us to completely give our lives in full submission to God. This is a path I’m just now realizing exists. I intend to winsomely challenge non-believers to push past their idea of what Christianity and church might be and look toward the reality of what it is: a full life following a God who loves us, a God who is bigger than the modern church often shows that He is. I specifically connect with an audience often estranged and misunderstood by modern American church culture.
What is the ideal physical setting for your work?
As an instrumentalist, my work is meant to be displayed in galleries, screened internationally, gather wide exposure, and open new doors of dialogue in the art community. The more people it reaches and engage with, the more effective it is.
What is the balance of will and unpredictability in making your work?
I am a hyperplanner and think about projects at great length and detail. Usually, I have projects completed in my head before the first brush stroke. That being said, I love surprises and often try to create situations where they can happen. For this reason, I try to incorporate natural patterns, textures, tones and processes into my work to create a complexity that I simply could not create on my own.
What is your attitude toward making something beautiful?
Beauty is never my goal, but a only tool to be used to better convey the meaning of a work. Currently, the themes that I’m exploring do not lend themselves to beauty and incorporating it could be inappropriate and water down it’s potency.
Does being an artist carry with it any social responsibilities?
Tremendously. My responsibility as an artist is to genuinely know and be known by God and then simply exist and create as I want. Without a heart that is genuine and supernatural inspiration, anything I create will be not only bland and tasteless, but may actually accomplish exactly the opposite of what I intend it to. It could push people further away from Christ and his kingdom. As I create bolder and bolder work, I must build it on an increasingly deeper and more solid belief and understanding.
What do you hate to hear about my work?
Anything that smells like “that’s cliche” and “that’s on the nose.”
How would you describe your work?
My work is entirely metaphorical. My paintings and narrative films use any device necessary to communicate accurately the message the specific piece entails. The last few years, my paintings have reflected on our broken nature and the brokenness of the world and my work has been darker with heavy and powerful spiritual undertones contained in the textures, colors, and materials used.
What is the work of the artist?
The role of the artist is to create for the glory of the master Creator. Soli Deo Gloria.