I kinda forgot to announce this, but…. I’ve switched my blog over. This is now “The Songbird’s Pencil”, dedicated to my more thoughtful, non-business related writings. My art and studio stuff will go on Hearthside Studio…..and I’m excited. So, come see me!
Art consists of limitation. The most beautiful part of every picture is the frame.
G.K. Chesterton wrote that, and he was right. If we don’t have a standard by which we measure what we see and create, we have no right to call a masterfully executed painting ‘art’ and that overflowing trash can ‘not art’. If there is no limitation, you cannot call one thing beautiful and another ugly. You have no point of reference for discerning between the good and the evil. I read this article a while back, and it really stuck with me. The author, Zach Franzen (himself an illustrator), talks about many artists in our modern day– who set themselves up as the standard for beauty, and expect their audience to bow to their definition. Why is that garbage can, littering the sidewalk with noxious refuse, art? Because I said so. Because I decide my own limits, or lack thereof.
“No limits!” sounds like a battle cry of freedom– when really it is a declaration of slavery.
I’ve been working on a project, an illustrating/handlettering set for friends. We went over and over different designs. Days were spent trying to perfect one concept after another, only for us to come to the end and decide that they weren’t right after all.
Time was running out yesterday afternoon. Schedules were packed, and yet this important project was getting nowhere. One more design was set forward for drafting.
I started praying over it as I bent over my paper once again. ‘Lord, please, please, guide my pencil and help us find the right one soon…’
In all things, give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus toward you.”
-1 Thessalonians 16-18
I was about a third done with the concept draft when plans were changed again. Time had run out: we were just going to settle for a ‘meh’ design that no one was particularly excited about.
“O.K.,” I replied, laughing to ease the stressed nerves between everyone. “No worries.”
Just for the sake of it, I sent a photo of the design I had been working on. “I’ll stop this and work on the new one.”
“Wait. Hold on.”
Guess what? That prayed-over, last-resort design was EXACTLY what my friend had in mind originally.
I don’t like working with pressure to finish a thing ASAP. I did it. But I rushed at the end. And that messed it up, and messing it up upsets me. You know, one of these times, maybe I’ll learn? Continue reading
I like to draw my own greeting cards, and I occasionally practise my handlettering. This was for a dear friend, and I took a quick picture with my digital camera to show you. What do you think? I’ve designed some cards– not just like this, but in the same style– that, Lord willing, I’ll be selling in the next few months. And that excites me!