The Crossroads of Creativity + Faith
I have been so overwhelmed at the enthusiastic response to Revive Creativity so far! Thank you to all of you that have emailed me, sent me DMs, and otherwise let me know that this topic and resource are meaningful to you.
Creativity is so powerful in part because it looks at problems and life and the status quo and says “This is not the only way.” And boy do we need that right now.
Creativity can lift us up out of the concrete situation we find ourselves in and be a conduit of light and possibility - just like our faith is. That’s part of why the combination of faith and creativity is so powerful and makes so much sense. The world needs our faith, and just as much it needs the eyes our faith gives us - the vision we can cultivate in ourselves and transmit to the world through our empowered use of creativity.
Later today I’m going to share this quote on Instagram that I thought you might enjoy pondering from author and artist Julia Cameron:
“Those who speak in spiritual terms routinely refer to God as creator but seldom see “creator” as the literal term for “artist”. I am suggesting you take the term “creator” quite literally. You are seeking to forge a creative alliance, artist-to-artist with the Great Creator. Accepting this concept can greatly expand your creative possibilities.”
Julia Cameron is one of my great teachers of creativity. I embarked on her “Artist Way” program of artistic discovery while I was studying art in Florence, Italy at the ripe age of 20. Though I have no idea of her personal religious beliefs or affiliations, she emphasized throughout the program how much a sense of a Creator, whether religious in nature or not, was essential to tapping into your own ability to create. We, of course, know this Creator to be God, and I find it interesting (though honest unsurprising) that even a book on secular artistic growth cannot grapple with creativity without Him.
He is creative energy. He is renewal and revival. He is force actively creating each of us each moment of every day. If we’re looking breakthrough creatively we’ve got the hook up - He’s the one we need to pay attention to.
So here’s my challenge for you this week: look at your spiritual practices, your prayer life, religious reading, Bible study, attending church, and think of a way to bring something creative and new into at least one of them.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- If you listen to religious podcasts, worship music, or other faith based audio, trying doodling or coloring the mandala style coloring sheet from the package while you listen.
- If you like to pray in your own words, why not try writing out your prayers? You could even try your hand at a poem prayer, especially if you haven’t attempted poetry since your vaguely emo high school days. Other options include writing a dialogue between yourself and God, kind of like a play, or writing a hypothetical letter from God to yourself or someone else.
- When you go to church, try to dress with some creativity, putting thought into it prior to getting ready. This is not about vanity or being showy, but accepting how God created you and working with His creation, your body, to creative effect.
- Another beautiful way to pray is to watercolor or paint while you pray. The outcome can be abstract and doesn’t have to be Instagram worthy, but use the brush strokes as you pray.
- Experiment with movement, cooking, art, sculpture, music, or rhythm in conjunction with your spiritual life this week!
There’s no right or wrong way to be more creative and God will rejoice in any efforts you give to him, no matter how cringe-worthy you might deem them. This is for you to grow with the One you love. I think everyone that’s married will tell you that laughter is recommended throughout the loving and growing process.
To sum this all up I have a simple little lock screen for you that you can use throughout this month to remind you of the goal of your creative endeavors. It features one of my favorite quotes on the intermingling of spirituality and creativity from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:
“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.”
That’s all for this week, but I will see you next week to chat about creativity and people that swear they aren’t creative. (Spoiler alert: I think they really are.)
PS. If you have friends that you think would benefit from the Revive Creativity resource package and the other content we are putting out this month, I encourage you to point them to this link: https://pinksaltriot.com/creativity/. There they can sign up and receive the packet right away in their inbox and follow along with the emails for the rest of this month and beyond.