In the beginning…..God created the heavens and the earth….
Most of the people I have spoken to say they like to create because they want to share what they have made with others. To show them how they saw a particular event and how they choose to interpret it. To invite people into their way of seeing things. But not only that, we create because really it is just a pure joy. That’s why we got into this stuff called “art” in the first place.
We have this urge to communicate!
We say, “Mom, the wave… it went like this!” And so we draw it out boldly or subtly or how it made us feel.
Or we say, “Dad, the song, it went something like this…Bum, bum, BUMMM!”
Or, ”Grandma, the tree branches rocked back and forth like this…” So you motion it with your hips.
Art is created by reacting.
We didn’t think first. We did it.
As we grow up, we mature. Our bodies as well as our thoughts.
But that first spark…that creative energy can either lie dormant or continue to show itself once in a while or it can just be a lifestyle.
This is for the artists out there..
Lets not get overwhelmed by creating a masterpiece.
Lets just make something….just because…
well, just because we like it.
I guarantee you that we don’t have to burden ourselves by becoming work-a-holics.
What are we racing for?
Why are we trying to be better than others?
When there will be something else to take its place…
I mean just observe… isn’t it already true?
Long story short…
Go from your gut.
Draw from what inspires you and how it affects you personally.
Your the one signing your work at the end of the day.
Now is the time to make personal work, not tomorrow or the next day or the next day…
But on a side note~
God created this earth, so that he could invite us into his creation. Its all so beautiful too. We are apart of it. Basking in it. Sitting in it.
He created out of deep love. Creating all we see so that we could know that it comes from a dad that seeks intimacy with his children.
I was saved last summer (May 30, 2013). I used to be very selfish and very reserved with my art. I put it on a pedestal and I let it lead my life at any cost. I cared about it so much that my relationships with others suffered. It was self expression at the cost of relationship. It was either, keep my friendships together or art. Keep my family together by being involved or art. Art was this grandiose thing that was somehow unobtainable. It was sitting on a top of a huge mountain and I was going to do whatever it took to get there. I mean I wasn’t desperate, I was just extremely passionate. That passion turned into obsession and in chasing this “unobtainable” thing I was leaving my childlike spirit behind.
When you eat pie, and I mean good pie it tastes amazing! The best pie ever! Better than any other pie! In my mind art was that pie. The fork was the pencil (my method of engaging). I was a pie connoisseur. But in doing this I was eating it all the time. When you do this over and over. Its value lessens. It becomes cheap. I forgot how good it tastes. Eating that pie just became work. Then I was getting depressed.
Like building a house you need a foundation, the ground that this foundation is being built on is called life. But I was living a life that was void or without God, so I was forever frustrated with my art. Thinking that frustration was the key of becoming a better artist I allowed myself to think that it was truth. That that was the only way to have things going.
So back to the depression, I was so depressed, wanting to kill myself. Because art was my only foundation. Like a stack of pancakes. Art was the base. Each pancake added on, was me trying to keep things balanced on this foundation of art. Always being frustrated.
I had been really depressed earlier in my life, but people told me that I was good at it. So I laid down my foundation in middle school. I BUILT MY LIFE ON IT. It was either art. or death….
So last summer I got really depressed, art no longer tasted good. You might think… Well how could you be sad? You worked at Disney when you were 16? You could be super stable? You could have a smooth running life because you are so talented? You have a family that loves you? Friends and close friends? You have it all! You don’t have a reason to be unhappy.
I still was.
I was empty.
I was so focused on the external, keeping things in order, making my appearance perfect. Being in the know how with artistic knowledge. Being intellectual. A know it all. Trying to be “wise.” Trying to always grasp something that was out of reach, and if I did finally get it I would just exhaust it and move onto the next thing.
I focused on the external, while all the while their were no roots in my life.
You know the difference between an orange and an apple tree. Its because of the seed. But not only that. The only reason we are able to see what is visibly seen is due to the seeds and the roots that are planted underground.
So I had no real planting. I was constantly changing. Constantly trying to mold myself. All the while frustrated. I. had. no. identity.
Think about it, If I knew who I was I wouldn’t have to keep telling others all the time. I would just be living it. Engaging in it. But instead I just kept outputting and changing all the time. Trying to figure what type of tree I was going to be. My own personalized tree, that only cared about itself. A parasite tree taking the life from others to build myself up.
My art was just planted on the surface. It had no roots either.
So when I got depressed last summer I was in that same place. Art wasn’t fun, my life was perfect on the external but I felt so alone at the end. Searching for something to fill the void, that nervous itch. Moving from one void filler to the next.
So I thought there is no point in moving onto something else when I will be at square one again. So it was Art or Death.
On that night, or morning rather. I knelt down to pray…
Now get this, I didn’t pray, I did, but only in church, but even then I felt ridiculous.
I have gone to Christian schools all my life, except for CalArts.
So I was familiar with God. But didn’t agree with him. In fact I was rather skeptical. Because you see thats how I trained myself.
Art is about skepticism. Thats how I taught myself, I don’t know if thats true for those reading this, but it was for me.
Art, Philosophy, Thought process, being a thinker, always in this state of “what if” but never grasping anything. It was all about looks.
So I really wasn’t a Christian. I would ask “If God is a ‘good’ God then why is there evil in the world? What good God does that. Why was my life bad in certain situations then? Why wasn’t he there?”
Those questions where deep in my heart while fronting like I was a Christian.
So that summer morning I prayed. He was my last hope. But as I prayed I thought it was stupid. It felt like I was talking to a wall. So I stopped. But a voice, or a whisper, or something was telling me to keep doing it. So I realized again I was trying to fill God up with “holy” language. I was focused on the appearance of praying. Rather than talking with God plainly. I began to be blunt as I prayed longer. I led God into the furthermost recesses of my brokenness. Into the dark place that I even locked the door to. I didn’t want to go back to my roots. Because i was afraid that if I looked inside myself, that there wouldn’t be anything there. So I opened it and to my surprise.. there was nothing there…
God asked me…”Do you want me to live in here? There is just enough room for me?”
I was hesitant. But I said “I don’t know…sure….yes, yes, YES! Please, you are my last hope! Everything I try to put here expires, so I locked it up. Come God!”
And he did. one moment I was praying and the next moment I’m stretched on the floor. It felt like I was drunk. The feeling equated to the first time I drew. What I used to call inspiration. The goosebumps.
IT was that, but times a million.
Then I realized.
That all those past times of that feeling of goosebumps, which lead me to pick up a pencil and gave me drive was God all along.
Like the story of Hansel and Gretel…. my moments of inspiration and the feelings I had along with it was God placing candy at points in my life. He was leading my to him. Wooing me with his gifts and love. He was inviting me.
I accepted the invitation last summer. And I understood who he was in that moment (I’m still learning about him now).
He is my Provider, my Redeemer, my Love, my Hope, my Strength, my Father, and most of all my Friend.
He loved me so much that he looked past all my brokenness, my mistakes, my sin, my pain. All he wanted to do was fix it so that I could fully be myself, my true self. I was sick in his eyes, a child who was sick and just trying to get by from day to day. I was finally in His embrace and he didn’t care he let me hug him snot and all. God can’t find fault in my sickness. No sensible father can in their children if they are sick.
They know how they are when they are not sick.
They are full of life. And fully original.
God showed me that my identity is in Him and that he came in the form of man called……Jesus. He is my teacher, and all I listed a couple lines above.
So I no longer have to worry about appearance. I have roots. I know what tree I am. I have a seed that cannot be uprooted. My Father is the creator of all there is and is to come. What do I have to fear. I’m in good hands!
I’m learning more about intimacy. In order to be close with others I need to be close with Him first and foremost. Because my whole life was lived without God I know that only frustration will be birthed.
I’m a new creation in him. He has called to life my healthiness. My identity in Him. Where else is there to go. Except upwards to him.
He is already around everywhere. In fact He is with me as I’m writing this. Right on my eye level. That’s what He sent his son Jesus for.. for intimacy again. The one he had with Adam, but Adam chose to live without God…but God loved us so much that he didn’t care, he was building a bridge through those who loved him. Those he found favorable and did His will. God is love. He had to redeem us. He is love. That’s who he is. That is his job. He wouldn’t be God if he wasn’t entirely good.
God enraptured me in this love, and now I’m learning how to walk with him. Not looking away from his gaze, but directly at him. Just as a baby walks towards its father or mother so am I with God.
And a little side note…..this love is for every human being on earth. To repent literally means to be walking one way and to just stop and turn around the other way and head that way. We make it to be this big thing.
I decided to turn to Him. To face Him. Then accept his invitation.
Now I’m really alive, alive in Him.
So my art is just a tool. Everything is. Everything has a name and a purpose and God has the copyright on everything. But God is not thoughtless. My purpose was to be with Him, dwell with Him, just as he dwells in his creation. Just as a fork is used to help us eat. Without it we would grab it with our hands. A plate/bowl is used to keep the pie in something. Without it the pie would be lying on a platform or table or the floor. Without the floor/ground, I would just be drifting. In space. Not only that but in order to see the pie there needs to be light. Without it I’m just drifting in darkness. Constantly groping at nothing…because it would just be space.
God just wants to dwell with us. It was never his intention for it to be a relationship based on rules. He just wants us to focus on presence, His presence. And society now doesn’t even recognize presence… I mean some do but most are living a YOLO life. So in a hurry to die.
I can’t fill God up with thoughtless words as I pray, God is not a balloon. He made the balloon, and etc.
Its not enough for me to think intellectually about something. I need to be doing. I need to be loving. Engaging. Its not enough to just talk about something.
You need a resume.
And God’s is vast. His resume was creation and also his children that loved him dearly… for example Abraham, Isaac, Jacob….David, Solomon…then finally Superman haha…. I mean God himself came through these amazing people. Jesus. Thats the bridge I was mentioning. The only stairway to heaven. Now all he does is offer freedom and forgiveness to all who are willing to turn to him. To believe that he died for them.
If I’m in debt to the government, the bank. I deserve and also the law that I need to server jail time. But what if the accumulated debt was so much that I would have to spend 100 years or more to stay in jail. I would be dead right? I would die in jail. So God, being the amazing dad he is, decided to serve the time himself. For our irresponsibility and being disobedient and rebellious to the law. He died in that jail…but him being love…love cannot die. It just rose up again… the debt was broken. Actually death just doesn’t apply to love. This isn’t the ying and yang. God is fully love and fully light.
I’m rambling, but I just love the Lord. If God could write out how much he loved us it would be endless.
He loves you the same way, he has never stopped, never will. (so cheesy, but true)
So art or my work on its on accord is no big deal. But in Him it makes a difference its a tool to help engage in him. The kingdom of Heaven. It is linked to heaven. Manifesting itself. That’s what every tool has the potential to do. It all depends on who is holding it. Are they responsible or irresponsible. Are they a man or a child?
It goes on and on. hope this helps someone today.
May God work wonders in the lives of those reading this~
So, with him on my side I’m fearless, afraid of no one and nothing.
When vandal hordes ride down ready to eat me alive, Those bullies and toughs fall flat on their faces.
When besieged, I’m calm as a baby. When all hell breaks loose, I’m collected and cool.
I’m asking God for one thing, only one thing: To live with him in his house my whole life long. I’ll contemplate his beauty; I’ll study at his feet.
That’s the only quiet, secure place in a noisy world, The perfect gateway, far from the buzz of traffic.
God holds my head and shoulders above all who try to pull me down. I’m headed for his place to offer anthems that will raise the roof! Already I’m singing God-songs; I’m making music to God.
Listen, God, I’m calling at the top of my lungs: ”Be good to me! Answer me!” When my heart whispered, “Seek God,” my whole being replied, “I’m seeking him!” Don’t hide from me now!
You’ve always been right there for me; don’t turn your back on me now. Don’t throw me out, don’t abandon me; you’ve always kept the door open. My father and mother walked out and left me, but God took me in.
Point me down your highway, God; direct me along a well-lighted street; show my enemies whose side you’re on. Don’t throw me to the dogs, those liars who are out to get me, filing the air with their threats.
I’m sure now I’ll see God’s goodness in the exuberant earth.
My name is De'Von Stubblefield. I'm 18 years old and am a BFA 2 at CalArts for Character Animation. I graduated from Ryman Arts class of 2011. In the summer of 2011, I was blessed to have interned at Walt Disney Animation Studios for Character Design.