Today I had one of our potential artists on "the planet" ask me a question. What type of images are downloaded most? Or something like that. I tried to answer the question gently because I know his intentions were to submit work that would fit appropriately with all the other art that is on avisualplanet.com. Good intentions. I had another artist tell me that he wanted to make sure what he submitted was beautiful and "inspirational". What I got was sappy and predictable.
I really think it is time for artists to quit looking side to side before creating what they were meant to create. Side to side as if paralyzed by fear or doubt that they are going to get slapped down the minute they show an original thought. Side to side comparing themselves with the tragic result of looking like each other, squeezing out any God-infused originality in the process.
We don't need to do this.
I would love to see every artist tackle inside herself the one thing that God has for her to say. That expression that longs to get out and bless the world.
It doesn't have to be a big deal. Sometimes I think we try too hard and get in the way of ourselves. But worse we look around and craft something that has already been crafted because the territory has already been tested and therefore safe.
God expects so much more.
What is inspirational to the human heart is that which often breaks it first. If we are to have any impact as artists in the emerging culture then we need to step away from the candy-coated and step into the real. If we are truly being honest to the depth of our artistic being, I doubt we will find pictures of flowery fields and romantic sunsets. If we can visually bring forth our longings I think we might see something completely different, and far more interesting and ultimately more God honoring.
I hate to say that we are locked into a pattern that visually sedates the church, but there it is. If not locked then at the very least tempted to rest there. It is easy and obvious and takes so little effort. Why have we reduced art into something "pretty" in order to feel that it is "christian". I think God is calling us to something higher. I want this and long for this, and yes am often tempted not to bother. But I think we should. God plants in us the longing, we just need to act on that longing honestly.