Crickets. That’s all you’ve been hearing lately from me. The crickets started cricketing last summer and they’ve been buzzing for quite a few months now. (My last post, Great Power and Beauty Await You, was way, way back in July…cricket season!) For me, it’s been a question of focus. A question of focus with my art, life, faith and creativity. I’ve simply been focused on larger projects requiring greater time, energy, faith and focus than ever before. I know many of you will benefit from them, but since many of you have been long and loyal friends to this Art, Life & Faith blog, I am sorry for my silence. It really has been a question of focus… of where I believe God has uniquely made me to make my best contribution. I’m also learning a lot about my limitations. What I can and can’t do. And the reality that I can’t do it all.
Jeff Walker, a favorite author and market strategist I follow, recently wrote about focus in his book Launch. “Your most scarce resource is focus, ” Walker writes… and here’s why!
Are you a flourishing artist? Or do you feel discouraged and overwhelmed like you’re floundering? Whether you’re flourishing, floundering or somewhere in between, I’d like to invite you to listen to this free webinar, 5 Secrets of Flourishing Artists. As a writer for over twenty years, I’ve certainly gone through seasons where I feel like I’m floundering. There are days when it seems like I can’t get traction for where I want to go. And if it’s not my writing or film projects, it could be my spiritual life. Or key relationships with my family and friends. Can you relate?
Discovering what it means to flourish as an artist can be an elusive journey, but I am convinced it’s not out of our grasp. Jesus did come to give us life and life abundantly in the here and now. As we find our life in Him, I believe there’s great overflow — a flourishing, you might say — that pours into our art, life and faith. So with this is mind, a couple artist friends of mine in our Grove community and I hosted this free webinar through The Grove Center for the Arts & Media. The response we received to our 5 Secrets webinar was overwhelming! Read on…
Last year I wrote a blog post titled, “7 HARD Questions for Every Artist.” The post was designed to help all of us cultivate a more beautiful life. I don’t know about you, but the EASY questions never do much for me. Easy questions keep me in my comfort zones, never pushing or prodding me forward. Easy questions don’t lead to the thriving life I long for…
Since then, this 7 Questions post has become one of my most popular posts, so I decided to turn it into a short ebook as a tool to help artists, creative teams, worship teams and leaders of art retreats. Even if you’re not an artist, I think you will find it helpful. This free PDF workbook has fillable form fields to write your responses to each question. Or you can just print it off to take to your favorite park or lake.
After editing the 7 Questions and adding a bit more content, I hope this ebook helps you cultivate a more beautiful life. If you like it, feel free to share it with your friends. I’m making it available as one of many free resources we provide through The Grove Center for the Arts & Media.
Take some time alone with God or a few friends to talk through these 7 Questions. I’d love to hear what you learn and discover along the way.
Answering these questions my seriously improve the quality of your art and life!
Every year in California and across the nation, we see more and more cuts in art education in elementary schools. This is a deep and pervasive problem. As Calvin College art professor, Jo-Ann VanReeuwyk, states in her list of highly insightful reasons to save art education in elementary schools, “The arts teach problem-solving, risk-taking, creative thinking, collaborative thinking, innovative thinking. Indeed all of the higher level thinking skills.”
If you’re a parent, artist, or art educator interested in cultivating creativity in kids, I’d like to encourage you to read Jo-Ann’s 18 Reasons to Save Art Education in Elementary Schools, which she generously allowed me to share with you today. Even if you’re not an artist, you will find Jo-Ann’s points will expand your knowledge and appreciation for the arts. Why is arts education in school so important? Here’s why…
One of my goals is to be a life-long learner, which is why I really enjoyed this TEDx video on creativity, kids and hackschooling. As the parents of four children, Krista and I have tried hard to figure out the “secret sauce” for what makes each one of our kids tick. And without naming names, our four kids love school, hate school, like school and tolerate school.
But school does not always equal learning, creativity or education, which is why I hope you’ll be inspired by 13 year old Logan LaPlante and his creative approach to learning in this TEDx talk. If you have children, especially teenagers, this is a great video to watch as a family and discuss. If you have a creative team, build into their lives by having a conversation about the importance of lifelong learning. Click here to leave a comment now.
When you look back at the end of your life some day, will you be able to say that you were an audacious, brave and creative artist? If you want to cultivate a beautiful life, don’t be lulled by the anti-artistic Siren songs of safety and a risk-free life. When I look back at the end of my life, I want to see audacious, brave and creative risks taken so when I breath my last breath, I know I’ll be waking up in beautiful kingdom knowing I lived well in this one. Throw in courage, kindness, loving, humble and generous… those are a few more adjectives I want to describe my life.
My family and I recently went to see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Not only did we laugh and love the movie, I was inspired by Ben Stiller’s character breaking out of safety, security, and mediocrity by becoming the man he dreamed of being: Audacious, Brave and Creative!
To get 2014 started off right, I’d like to offer you and your friends two free gifts from The Grove Center for the Arts & Media. The first gift is a free copy of Create: Transforming Stories of Art, Life & Faith ($9.99 value). It’s the first book I produced specifically from and for artists. Create is filled with thought-provoking essays, dynamic videos, and digital artwork from 21 artists who share their spiritual and artistic journeys. The second gift is a free 50% off coupon for Grove Online Classes…
As you celebrate the joy of Christ at Christmas with family and friends, I hope you experience the fullness of God’s grace, peace and lavish love for you! My prayer for you is that God cultivates in you a deeper love for him and every person you encounter in the coming year.
“Let your prayer be that He, the living Vine, shall link you so close to himself that your heart will sing: He is my Vine and I am His branch–I want nothing more–now I have the everlasting Vine. You are my Vine and I am Your branch. It is enough, my soul is satisfied.” Andrew Murray
For the past week, we’ve been hammering away on creating a lot of great new content on The Grove Center for the Arts & Media’s website. Now, I’d like to introduce you to many of our artist friends who are a part of our Grove Community. One of our goals with The Grove is to become a collaborative, creative hub for artists to develop greater community with one another. We do that through our monthly Grove Gatherings,Artists Getaways, and creating Grove Online Classes & content for many of you who don’t live in Southern California. We want to share our friends with you so you can enjoy their creative work and share it with your friends. On The Grove’s new Artist Pages, you can…
As you think about your creative work and walk with God, have you ever asked yourself, “What does it take to become a THRIVING artist?” How does an artist thrive personally, professionally and spiritually? It’s been a question that’s been muddling around in my mind a lot the past month. The Lord keeps impressing on my heart the word… thrive.
It’s one thing to be alive. It’s a whole other thing to thrive. In the 12 acre organic lemon and avocado grove I work and oversee, there are parts of the grove that are healthy and thriving. Lots of fruit everywhere. There are also definitely parts that are not thriving. The lower portion of the grove is susceptible to freezes in the winter, killing off our avocado trees. In other parts of the grove, we have squatty, bare, anemic-looking lemon trees that resemble Charlie Brown Christmas trees. If you want to thrive, read on…