Do You Have a Lurking Dream Killer?

Then they said to one another, “Look, this dreamer is coming! Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit…We shall see what will become of his dreams!” Genesis 37:19-20

The Sixth Commandment says, “Thou shall not kill.”

Do you have a lurking dream killer in the darkened closets of your heart and mind? The voices of well-meaning (and not-so-well-meaning) parents, friends, colleagues, and critics who squash your artistic dreams in favor of pragmatism.

Beware the lurking dream killers in your life.

You are not alone. Joseph had a whole family of dream killers.

Revisit your dreams today. Re-engage your imagination.

Dreaming and your imagination are gifts from God.

Dream today in massive, biblical proportions.


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3 Ways Parents Can Develop Creativity in Children

[I] think every parent likes the idea of developing creativity in their children. Who doesn’t want creative kids? The problem is many parents don’t always how. Creativity and innovation are admirable qualities in kids and adults alike, but if you were raised in a home where creativity wasn’t valued, developing creativity in your children or grandchildren can be a challenge. Two weeks ago in the first Question of the Week, several of you shared stories of being raised in homes where creativity wasn’t encouraged. I’d like to see that change, wouldn’t you?


(Click here to watch Janae’s Super-8 SLO video on Youtube)

As a parent, one of my goals it to cultivate creativity in my kid’s lives. The fun part is, you never know when their creativity is going to pop up. Just this past weekend, our family went on a little adventure to San Luis Obispo to visit our daughter, Ellie, who is a freshmen in the school of architecture. As we walked through the campus, my oldest daughter, Janae, shot clip after clip of video on her iPhone. Later that evening when the rest of us went back to our hotel, Janae stayed with Ellie in her dorm room to put together this fun Super-8-ish video. No one asked Janae to create the video, but we all enjoyed it. She put her creativity to work and we received a wonderful little gift to remember our adventure together. Read on…

Welcome to Art, Life & Faith by Joey O’Connor

Maybe it’s a bit redundant to say “Welcome to my new Welcome Video,” but welcome! I thought it was about time to develop a more personalized introduction to my Art, Life & Faith blog, so I took a few minutes to create this video to engage with you in a different way.  Whether you stop by on a regular basis or if it’s your first time here, I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch this video to learn more about why I created Art, Life & Faith.

Good Advice for Young Artists

How many young artists have abandoned the Church because they weren’t offered any good advice, mentoring or a place to use their artistic gifts? Or, to put things in perspective, how often has the Church failed to acknowledge, affirm and empower young artists to use all of their creative talents to reflect the beauty, truth and goodness of God in this world? Imagine what might happen if young artists were given the very advice and help they needed to pursue who God has called them to be and what He has called them to do?

In this video, professional photographer Virginia Dixon shares her story of coming to America as a young girl and eventually becoming a professional photographer. Whether you are young or old, take a moment to listen to Virginia’s story and consider how you can encourage a young artist today.

Top 10 Writing Tools & Inspiration

I speak to a lot of people who write, who want to write or who like the idea of writing. What I’ve found is that people need both good writing tools and the inspiration to get writing. (I know I do!) The top two questions I’m always asked about writing are: 1) What do I need to submit a book proposal to a publisher? 2) What books will help me become a better writer?

In mentoring young or new writers, one of the reasons I started this blog was to put all of my ideas, favorite tools and resources in one place. What has emerged over the past year are a number of posts that offer the practical tools and resources I use.

God of Love & Lightning Strikes

Krista and I were driving home from Las Vegas. As we left the artificial glitz of Vegas in the morning, the clouds and rain ahead were dark and ominous. We were headed into a storm and in for a wild ride. The dry brown scrub of rock and sand, yucca and Joshua Tree contrasted with deep greys and black skies overhead.

CIVA Biennial: Matter and Spirit

This week is CIVA‘s (Christians in Visual Arts) Biennial Conference at Biola University in La Mirada, California, June 16-19. The Grove Center for the Arts & Media, the non-profit ministry I serve, is hosting the Soul Space hospitality area. (Click here for a $50 Friends of The Grove discount.) Please join us for free drinks, snacks, creative projects and a chance to meet other artists from across the United States.

This year’s theme, Matter and Spirit, explores how matter and materiality shape our understanding of both art and faith. Through general sessions, top-notch presenters and workshops, CIVA will present how digital information and the hard and soft technologies that support it are transforming contemporary life. I’m particularly interested in the CIVA conference because…

Swimming in Grace

In his book Practice Resurrection, Eugene Peterson talks about grace and the art of writing. As he read poet William Stafford‘s book on creative writing, Stafford’s analogy of swimming reminded Peterson of God’s grace. This is a beautiful passage for anyone seeking to follow Christ and live a creative life in Him.

…any reasonable person who looks at water [grace], and passes a hand through it, can see that it would not hold a person up…But swimmers [followers of Jesus] know that if they relax on the water [grace] it will prove to be miraculously buoyant;

What I Love Today

[dc]L[/dc]ast Sunday, my wife Krista bought a new stamp set labeled, “What I Love Today.” She took a new journal and put the stamp on the cover (see photo) and now the O’Connor family has a brand new “What I Love Today” journal.

That night, we each took turns writing in it and sharing what we loved about our relaxing Sunday.

Have you taken time to think what you love about today? It has a huge influence on who you are and how you do what you do!

Creativity is Unhurried

[dc]A[/dc]lan Fadling is a friend and the author of the Notes from My Unhurried Journey blog. He has some great things to say about creativity and our relationship with God.

A couple weeks ago, I loved reading his post, Creativity is Unhurried. I asked Alan if he’d like to be a guest blogger here on Art, Life & Faith and he generously agreed. I hope you find his words as encouraging as I did.

Alan writes…