Last month I wrote about forming a group to brainstorm and mentor artists who want to turn their non-musical gifts into a ministry.  I believe this is indeed necessary, but I am no longer sure I am the person to organize and head up such a group.  I say that because, after talking with a few trusted friends who loved the idea, a point was made that I had not considered:  Did I feel led of God to do this, or was I entertaining the idea because it entertained me?  In other words, how much of my time would I devote to this vs actual art?  I happened to be between projects at the time, and was searching for a next step.  I believe God wants me involved.  Can I do both?  I have no idea!

But now, I have received from Him a new vision for a future work project.  And, it blows my mind!  It’s putting into visual form the prophetic messages of some of the prophets of both the Old and New Testaments.  Fantasy art.  Yes, you read that right!  Fantasy in that the Bible is replete with visions containing all manner of many-headed, many-horned, multiple-eyed monsters and beasts, evil villains, and debauched women, fiery places and a new world.  We have to imagine them because we’ve never seen such things.  There are also mystical, beautiful, but powerful godly creatures who battle the forces of evil in a dark spiritual world of warfare, and visions of heavenly kingdoms and roasting hells we cannot begin to fathom in our finite world.  But, like so many others before me down through the centuries, I must try…  And so, I will, because that is my next project.  This is an entirely new genre for me!  I am so used to painting what I see, what I know, the beauty I revel in and gaze on with wonder.  How do I start?  At this point, with a lot of prayer, I can at least start with what I know: horses and clouds and women (learned from my last project!) and riders…  Eventually branching out into phantasmagorical weird stuff.  I guess God will help me out!  Scary!  Definitely stepping out of my comfort zone.  What a challenge, though!

How would you start?  Would you leap right into the depths, or stick your toe in first to test the waters?  Wait, what about the group?  What would their visions be?  Would this not be a great place to brainstorm how to bring such a project about?  I wish the group already existed!  I could ask them for help!  But, since it doesn’t, my only alternative is to express what I’m dealing with and working on to the online group I belong to.  “Created To Thrive” members are more than happy to mentor.  They will walk along with me on this journey of discovery.

Bottom line:  if you do not have a group of artist friends or mentors who can help you achieve your visions for the future, find a group online and join it.  They can be invaluable help with constructive critiques of your work, suggestions for managing you time better to achieve what you want to accomplish, and simply serve as inspirations themselves.  They also serve to let you know you are not alone on this journey.  This helps you create visions for your future, too!  Future art, future relationships, future income, future solutions to nagging problems, and so much more.  The benefits can be enormous!   Who knows, maybe you’ll become inspired to start your own group!  It takes having some vision!