Words by Scott Axtmann
The above picture is a little painting I did a while back. I’m not an artist by trade but I do love art and love trying to make art, though I did fall away from it for many years. When I was a kid I was always drawing and because my teachers always pressured me to draw things that looked like something I did realism. I was told that was real art but I loathed it. I hated the process and the result. I always saw the flaws in everything I drew and, as a result, threw out about 99% of what I made. In my heart I told myself I’m not an artist and I buried the brush.
Later in life I found the longing to paint resurrected. Instead of realism I threw myself into abstract painting. So now, instead of worrying what people will think of my paintings I paint just to paint. As recreation. As an expression of my soul. For fun. I don’t think my paintings will show up at the Museum of Fine Arts any time soon but I can say that I really find painting enjoyable. It feels right. It feels like something I was born to do. As someone once said, we are created to create. I believe that.
We all have this attribute of being creative because everyone is made in the image of the Creator.
The Christian faith teaches we are made in God’s image and we often think of that as merely reflections of God’s goodness, justice and other moral qualities. But I think it also means we are creative! We may not be artists professionally but we are all creative in unique ways. We may be creative in cooking or in finding new ways to build something or in parenting or in developing better systems. We all imagine things and dream of a better world. We all have this attribute of being creative because everyone is made in the image of the Creator. Everyone is creative. Everyone is an artist. I think it’s a great way to think of all people. Planet earth is inhabited by roughly seven billion artists! What are you creating these days?
Check out this epic TED talk by one of my favorite speakers talking about what distinguishes human beings from animals.
Scott grew up in Western Massachusetts and came to the faith at the age of 21. As the outcome of his transformed life, he founded and now Pastors Renaissance Church and CityLove.