An artist is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo. And an artist takes it personally. Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient. The medium doesn’t matter. The intent does. Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another. ~Seth Godin
When I was 16 years old, I was asked to speak at an FCA camp and share the story of how I came to faith. I remember getting motion sick on the rickedy bus that wound around country roads because I was feverishly writing out my heart on a red spiral bound notebook, jotting down things I didn’t want to forget to say. I wrote FCA is huge bubble letters on the cover of the notebook and filled every page with doodles and journal entries and bubble letters and feeble attempts at angsty high school poetry. I carried that notebook around like it was a baby, often clutching it to my chest while I walked between buildings at the camp. I kept that notebook for 25 years until our house fire.
Why? Because it was the first “art” I remember offering to the world. It was the first time I shared my story and the first time I saw the power of offering my heart and creativity to other people. Pretty soon I bought my first glue gun and was making fabric covered journals and photo albums and spending HOURS getting it all just right. Then I learned to cross stitch. Then I learned to sew. And pretty soon, I saw what a gift it is to use your own hands and your own ideas to love your people. So when I make soup? That’s my personal gift of art. When I redecorate my bedroom or write an essay or take a beautiful picture? I’m offering a personal gift, an act that I hope changes in some small way, the one who receives it. Here’s why I think you should offer your art, your work to the world.
It Sustains You
The things that I do that are creative—cooking, writing, knitting, sewing, gardening, decorating, etc—those things are sustaining. They give back as much as they require. They feed my soul and force me to be present in the moment. When I do things with my hands, it grounds me in the world and takes me out of my own head. There is nothing so comforting to me as to use the work of my hands to make something beautiful, meaningful. It’s a good antidote to the modern life of gadgets, constant communication, and running to and fro. I crave down time so I can use my hands to make something.
It Sustains Your People
So much of our art and work nourishes other people. We make food, we paint pictures, we write words, we grow vegetables, we make things pretty—we use the work of our hands to care for others, to inspire them, to love them. It’s the kind of thing money can’t buy. It’s the kind of personal gift that no one else can give to them in quite the same way and you do.
It Inspires Others to Do the Same
This is my favorite thing about blogging world. I’m so motivated, encouraged, and inspired by so many amazing women who are offering their gifts to us everyday—teaching us to cook, clean, organize, paint, write, save money, decorate, and a million other things. I’m so thankful for this space, for the people who are brave enough to do good work and share it. It make me want to do the same.