Get involved with the first AfC zine!

Immanuel

Because it’s Christmas, I thought it would be a great excuse to get a load of artists together to make a zine full of creativity based on the (very loose) theme of Christmas!

Above is an image submitted by Gospel Graffiti artists, Rhyse.

We have had some great submissions so far even including a tasty Christmas recipe!

Since writing about inspiring websites and over the last couple of days scouring sites such as Flickr and Ffffound, I have been….you guessed it SO inspired! It’s been frustrating sitting at my desk at work, because I just want to leave the office and go paint!

Because of the new year holiday I have the next few days off, so it is going to be perfect for setting some time aside for creativity, and getting my submissions ready!

I understand that over Christmas it has been a busy time, so I want to open up the zine submissions for another week or so.

Please email your submissions to christmaszinesubmissions@artistsforchrist.net.

Everything is welcome, so please, get involved!

– James

Which websites do you visit for inspiration?

Inspiration

Recently I asked the question “Which websites do you visit for inspiration?” to our Twitter followers.

I was curious, because I find the internet such a rich source of inspiration. Browsing other artists’ websites, blogs and image sharing sites often really gets me pumped and excited about being creative.

So here is a short list of websites that some of our twitter followers recommend:

The Resurgence – A fantastic website which has some great Christian resources. Personally I follow the blog, which is full of very down to earth, real, raw, issues and biblical teaching. They also give away excellent e-books on often not talked about subjects, as well as recommending books that are worth reading. (thanks @obed)

The Rebelution – I had never seen this website before, but I am so glad that it has been recommended. The Rebelution is run by two 19 year-old boys who are passionate about seeing young people being radical for Christ. They even have a book out called “Do Hard Things” which I think will be one of the items next in my amazon shopping basket! (thanks @oksy)

Flickr – This is a great photo and video sharing site, which is for me, without doubt, such a huge source of inspiration. There are thousands of amazingly talented creative people displaying their work on Flickr. Check out our article about setting up a Flickr account and get involved! (thanks @oksy)

Etsy – Etsy is a great service which allows people who make handmade products to sell them online. It’s great for inspiration, and I love what Etsy stand for. I always think of sites like Etsy when it comes to Christmas and Birthdays, as I think it is always best to support independent creatives, and generally by doing that you get some great quality gifts too! Also if you are looking to start selling online, depending on what your product is, Etsy could be a great place to start. (thanks @oksy)

Vimeo – Vimeo is a video sharing site similar to YouTube. Vimeo claim to offer the “best HD video on the web”, and personally I would have to agree. I have seen some great videos on Vimeo, and the high quality video is very refreshing. (thanks @brianhunttv)

Ffffound – An image bookmarking site which as you start clicking will lead you on an endless journey of highly inspirational images. I often use this site to get excited about creating and I highly reccomend it. (thanks to myself… @james_brooks)

So, which websites do you visit for inspiration? Please do share in the comments section.

– James

The New Generation Exhibition

spirit

So I was out visiting a friend back in June when I stumble across a Christian art exhibition being held at St Mary’s church in Chepstow. I was not prepared for what I was to find inside. The following brief was taken from the artists website and describes the collection:

“These paintings are based on a prophecy given at a leaders meeting in 1989 at Camber Sands. It was suggested to Anne that she might illustrate the prophecy. And so this exhibition was born. Anne painted the 31 silk screens over 4 years; many of them are over 5 feet tall”

The exhibition was absolutly breathtaking and the use of colour and detail was both incredible and moving. None of the images I have found do the originals screens any justice. I managed to speak to the artist, Anne House, whilst at the exhibition. She told me how much of an impact the images were having, not just of church goers, but all who were attending the galleries and churches it was being held.

What I like most about the exhibition is that it was being used as a form of outreach by all the chepstow churched who had come together to put on the exhibition.

If you would like to find out more about Anne House or view more of the exhibition, please click here

– Russell

Call for musicians: “Portraits of a King”

A couple of months ago, at a time when I was feeling as if I was walking through spiritual bog, I opened the book of John and began to read it with my girlfriend Robyn. We had only intended to read a little, but ended up sitting there in stunned silence broken only by a “wow!” or “Jesus did that?!” while we read the book cover-to-cover in two sittings. The majestic and truth-saturated gospel of John reawakened my love for the Lord Jesus and reminded me why I was a Christian. Although not the main point of this post, I would advise anyone feeling cold in their faith to do the same!

A fragment of the Gospel of John

A fragment of the Gospel of John

Shortly after this experience, I decided that I wanted to share the portrait of Jesus that John paints through a collection of songs called “Portraits of a King”. Now this is where some of you come in. I am looking for people who are willing to prayerfully and carefully write a song based on a passage from John. For example, I am beginning to write a song on John 11 – the resurrection of Lazarus and Jesus’ proclamation “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”. I am not yet sure what style this song will be. I hope the collection will be a mix of rock, acoustic, hip-hop, jazz, soul, classical, poetry, and anything else that might come up.

The purpose of this song collection will be twofold. Firstly, as an encouragement and exhortation to followers of Jesus to look at him more closely, follow him obediently and love him more dearly. Secondly, I hope that it (at least in part) might be a powerful tool of showing Jesus to non-believers who might not otherwise here about Jesus’ life. I believe that so many of people’s objections to Christianity are simply because they believe it to be centred around a set of rules, when in fact it is centred around a real person: Jesus Christ. With this twofold purpose in mind, those who wish to be involved will have around a month to compose and record a song, which we can then put up on the internet for free download or distribute by CD (probably both).

If you are a musician and this stirs your heart then I would love to hear from you. This song collection may well end up being low in quantity, but so long as it is full of Jesus then I do not mind! If you do commit to this, then it is not a matter of writing a song off the top of your head, but you will need to prayerfully read through the scripture you are writing on, and with a mindset of reverence and faithfulness to the Bible, begin to write. Don’t worry if you have little experience of Bible study or songwriting – all who love Jesus and are willing to put in time to getting into the scripture are warmly welcomed to get involved. Get in touch with me at stephen.hibbs@spc.ox.ac.uk if you want to join in or have any questions. Hope to hear from some of you soon!

For His glory,

-Stephen

Christmas Zine!

Christmas Zine

Ok guys, i’ve had an idea!

For a bit of Christmas fun, I am organising a Christmas zine, I have gotten a load of the guys from Gospel Graffiti involved, and thought it would be great if AfC readers would get involved too!

How can you get involved?

Create a greyscale image (it can be Painted, Photographed, Doodled, Photoshoped, whatever) that comes under the loose theme of Christmas, could be something about your faith, could be a drawing of your family, could be anything you like! Be creative. Creative writing would be great also.

You can make more than one submission if you like.

How about collaborating with another artist that you know?

Please spread the word! This is going to be really fun, and an opportunity to have a copy of the artwork of lots of different artists.

The Zine, when produced will only be a couple of dollars to buy, and will be awesome!

So join the fun, don’t take yourself too seriously, this is just a fun little spontanious project that isn’t intended to take up all of your time!

Email your submission, name, country and website to christmaszinesubmissions@artistsforchrist.net by the end of december for your place in the zine.

Looking forward to receiving your submissions!

– James

How to Set Up a Flickr Account

Flickr logoIn  the first of our series about online exposure for visual artists, we will be looking at a service called Flickr. We will be looking at how to set up an account, and the various benefits of using this service.


What is Flickr?

Flickr is an image and video hosting website that’s main use is to neatly store and organize photos online. As well as being able to upload your images onto Flickr, you are able to browse other people’s images, and make and receive comments on your images. This makes Flickr not only a service you can use to display your images online, but almost a mini social network where you can communicate with other creative-types from all over the world.

The other great thing about Flickr is that there are various tools and widgets that you can use for doing neat things like displaying your flickr images on your blog, although, if that sounds a bit daunting to you, don’t worry, stay tuned to our RSS feed to keep up to date with all of our articles, where things like this will be explained!

Ok, so, lets get to the point, i’m going to walk you through how to set up a Flickr account.

Continue reading

Friday’s FYI – Dustin La Mont

Dustin La Mont is a graphic designer and musician based in the USA.

Seedvibe Cards

Age? 24

Where do you live? Meridian, Idaho

W
hat is your favorite colour? Green

What is your favorite website at the moment? My favorite currently would have to be Twitter.com. Not really a “design” site, but I’m ok with that. 🙂

What are the 3 things that you most like doing with your time?
1. Recording new drums tracks for our band’s songs 2. Playing drums for worship at church 3. New design projects

Red Light District Ministry

Leeland Poster

Kid Check Logo

When did you first start using your creativity for God, and how did that come about? I basically just started designing at age 13 with a buddy of mine, and have been self taught ever since, using inspiration from well known sites.

What inspires you? Designers, and sites such as: FaveUp.com, and LogoPond.com

Who are some of your favorite artists? Chuck Anderson, Logoholik, and Dache

What is the most amazing thing that you have seen God do? I’ve been faithfully tithing off of everything I make. I used to not do this. I would consider it as just “extra” money. But as I’ve been faithful with God has given me on every project, I have seen an incredible amount of blessing, and for that I have not had to do any marketing whatsoever. I also have had to turn down projects. I don’t like doing this, but when you don’t have time to work on the project, and they need it ASAP, that’s really the only thing you can do. God has truly blessed my business exceedingly abundantly above whatever I could’ve asked for. It’s great. God is faithful.

Do you have any particular projects going on at the moment? Yes! I am working on:

1. Website design for a local company called Pavement Specialties
2. 2 business card designs for 2 separate companies
3. A full page & quarter page magazine ad for a company called Extreme Nazarene. We are hoping to publish them in Collide Magazine, Relevant Magazine, as well as a few others.

What can we expect to see from you in future? Honesty, Integrity, and Quality design.

What would you most like to see come out of the Christian Creative scene in the next few years? I would really like to see the Christian scene step it up in the area of design. That means, more designers, and higher quality of work. I think sometimes we tend to lack in the quality aspect. We can always go higher. And we can always improve. I would like to see this continue!

Where can we find more of your work? www.seedvibe.com, and some of my featured work is on FaveUp.com.

Anything else you would like to say? Thank you for the opportunity to communicate some of my thoughts, as well as share things about me personally. I am incredibly honored!

Note: Dustin is also part of a band called “The Waiting Kind”, you can listen to their stuff on MySpace. Hopefully we will be hearing about their new album soon!

Write for the AfC Blog

Writing

At Artists for Christ we are wanting to bring the best content to our blog readers. We know that there is some great God given talent out there, and if people are interested in writing for the blog, we want to open up the opportunity for you to write guest posts.

For more information please check out our Write for AfC page.

– James

Procrastination versus “Redeeming the time”

redeem-the-time

Introduction

Apologies to all for the lack of any posts from me for the last couple of weeks: partly this has been due to large amounts of other things demanding my attention, but partly it has been simple procrastination. This brings me nicely onto the topic of this post: the struggle for us as people who want to produce and create things to avoid procrastination. I’d like to start by explaining what has made me think about this topic and its importance, and then to consider the Bible’s teaching and some starting points for battling against procrastination.

Setting the scene

I have almost finished reading a small book called “Men of Purpose” which contains short biographies of 11 Christian men who made a big impact with their lives. They were from a variety of fields: the famous scientists Faraday and Kelvin, the great composer Mendelssohn and the businessman and Sunday School teacher Heinz (of soup and beans fame!) were four of those discussed. Apart from being a very encouraging read, it was very helpful to try and see what threads ran between these great men. They were all men of deep Christian conviction, devoted to prayer and to the Bible, but another theme ran throughout the books. They did not procrastinate: they learnt how to use their time wisely, and this allowed them to get exceptional amounts done in their (often short) lifespans.

Ephesians 5:15 in the KJV talks of “redeeming the time”, a phrase that has stuck in my mind in recent times. James 4 reminds us that our life is but a mist that appears for a short time and then is gone. What am I going to do with my little mist? I am conscious of the amount of things I could do for the Kingdom each day: writing letters of encouragement, putting time into prayer and Bible study, writing songs and poems to build up the local church, recording and processing what I have learnt and spending time waiting on God to name but a few. Yet so much of my time is used foolishly, disappearing on the internet or in other frivolous and meaningless things.

I imagine that this is the case for many of you. The potential of doing great things for the cause of Christ simply from the readers of this blog is immense. Between us, there must be many ideas for creating powerful art and music, writing on Lose Weight Exercisey matters of the faith, doing great acts of kindness for the needy, and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ in many other ways. Yet it is scary and sobering to think how many of these will never get beyond our imagination simply because we will never get down and do them, and so instead we will waste our time on the internet, computer games, television or other idle things. This is a serious subject.

John Wesley: a man who truly redeemed the time he was given

John Wesley: a man who truly redeemed the time he was given

A response

So how do we respond to such things? What practical steps can we take to “redeem the time” and not let it slip by? I have suggested a few points below, but I would love to hear from readers on any other suggestions: this is an ongoing battle in my own life, and so any help would be much appreciated.

  1. Starting our days with a devotional time. John Wesley said “I have so much to do that I spend several hours in prayer before I am able to do it”. It is no coincidence that those who are disciplined in prayer tend to get more done, partly as it means they have learnt discipline in one area and that carries through into others, and also because starting the day with eyes fixed on Christ gets our priorities straight which shows through in our usage of time. This disciplined prayer is something I am aiming towards at the moment.
  2. Remove access to the things that we use to procrastinate most. This may call for radical action. For me, the first step was getting rid of my computer games and consoles, and deleting the games off my phone. A friend of mine has removed his access to the internet at home. Another doesn’t own a TV. Please do consider whether this sort of action is going to help you: if so, then *do it*. In the light of eternity, it will be more than worthwhile. This sort of action alone is not sufficient (you can always find other ways to waste time) but it is a very good place to start.
  3. Learning how to separate rest from work. Counter-intuitively, I think that one of the main reasons we procrastinate so much is because we don’t know how to rest. We find ourselves instead in a twilight zone of half work-half rest, never really doing either. We need to be able to set aside a time of rest (the concept of Sabbath) where we really do rest, and then set aside times of work and productivity that really are full of work and productivity. Making sure one day a week is a day of rest is a very good biblical principle.
  4. Fix our eyes on Jesus. I love the way Hebrews 12 puts it. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Ultimately, we are not going to succeed in using our time wisely without remembering *why* we take out our pen or our Bible instead of checking Facebook again or turning on a Family Guy re-run. We do it because of Jesus: because he gave so much for us, we want our lives to honour him. As Leonard Ravenhill asked – “Are the things you’re living for worth Christ dying for?”
I’ll leave you with a sobering quote from the website “Procrastinators Anonymous”:
“Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.”
May the Lord help us to redeem the time, that the opportunities He gives us see the light of day.
-Stephen