Friday’s FYI – John-Marc Grob

John-Marc Grob is a Christian comic book artist and illustrator based in the USA. John-Marc has worked with various big names over the years, and has a fantastic line of childrens books, comics, posters and DVDs.

John-Marc Grob 1

Age? 41

Where do you live? New Jersey

What is your favorite colour? Purple

What is your favorite website at the moment? www.fulfilledprophecy.com As a Christ follower, this is so amazing and what the Bible speaks of is coming true.

What are the 3 things that you most like doing with your time? First I enjoy quiet time with God, Love being a Dad with my two kids, I love my career as an artist.

John-Marc Grob 2

John-Marc Grob 3

John-Marc Grob 4

When did you first start using your creativity for God, and how did that come about? I was in Middle school, my church needed some art for a mission trip and they asked me, from then on I have been doing a lot for churches and still doing it today.

What inspires you? Being an artist the cool thing is how God gets me into a wave of creativity, from hearing a song and working in the yard, or sleeping! I get the bug when I’m really sleepy and a lot of my best stuff has come from when I’m dead tired.

Who are some of your favorite artists?
Boy this is a long list, I’ll try to keep it short. One of my new friends who helped us with our comic book, his name is Jeff Slemons. These are a few others: Claude Monet, The classical Disney artists, The Hildebrandt brothers, Ansel Adams. You’ll see I enjoy all Artists, I really enjoy looking at new Artists too. I owned a gallery for 3 years and I had every kind of style showing.

What is the most amazing thing that you have seen God do? Boy this is the biggest question. I have seen so much too! The two which are big in my life right now is seeing our two children being born and God healing me.

Short story, this past April I went for my yearly eye check up and was told that I was going blind. Believe me when I say I was fine when I heard that this is the truth! No fear or sadness, just peace. As you can see my favorite website tells the whole story too.

The signs of the times I heard in my heart when the doctor told me, I have been studying prophecy for 5 years now and I heard God speaking into my heart as I was being told of my blindness. The doctor was flipping out as she told me, I didn’t flip out, I said “okay” she said again, you’re going blind! I said “okay” and smiled. I didn’t know at the time that someone from my moms church worked there too, more about this too. I told my wife and mom and they were really sad and my wife was really sad for many reasons. I was fine with this news.

I called my pastor up and talked to him and his wife and they prayed over me that night, he too said I’m fine with it? I said yes, he said dude like that’s not normal! I know I’m an artist I said and smiled. I told him what I had on my heart with the times we are in now, and gave him the facts and said God has put this on my heart to reach out to Christians and let them know the truth.

At the time I was part of a mens prayer group friday mornings at our church. I asked for their prayers and told them what I knew was happening, there were about 25 plus guys there. Their prayers were so amazing I couldn’t pray myself and had tears of joy in my heart. That day I had to go to a doctor to see how fast and how bad it was getting. Sitting in the chair and having peace in my heart still, the doctor took me into his room which had some state of the art equipment. After the testing was done, he didn’t see anything wrong with my eyes as the other doctor had. I was touched by God and my sight was restored. Still tears of joy come from knowing the God of the heaven and earth stopped for a second and took time into my life and healed me. He took time His time to answer and heal me, who am I? I’m small little speck on this earth and He took His time to help me.

This goes to the other question about What would I like to see more Creative Christians do? do you understand now? He’s calling you and me and join Him in His fight! This isn’t a game, this is real people who are dieing, family and friends. I pray for the one reading this now to stop and pray to Gods for wisdom to come into to his life. And if you don’t know Jesus Christ as your personal savior I ask you to pray for him to be part of your life right now. This is real stuff, this is eternal life He has for you. God Bless.

Do you have any particular projects going on at the moment? Yea, like any other Artists don’t we have more then we can do … LOL. I have one project called “FriendFish” this is a childrens DVD, then our comic books Mecha Manga Bible Heroes. I do have a few books I’m working on as well too, from coloring books to drawing books, and kids story books. I’m in the beginning of doing a cartoon for a company in Australia called ” I hate my PC”. Working on a series for kids to teach them how to draw on DVD. Again I have a few projects under the box right now too.

What can we expect to see from you in future? My FriendFish could be the first big thing you’ll see, then my coloring books, and my drawing books which will be in a series. I’m working on a full length movie too.

What would you most like to see come out of the Christian Creative scene in the next few years? I want to see more Christian Artists who work in there field as the top ten doing more of His Kingdom! We have a lost great talented people selling them self to the World, and giving God the short end of the stick. I worked for Warner Brothers, Disney, Marvel comics, just to name a few. I have been a Graphic Artist since 1988, I have worked for some of the top AD companies in our area. All of which really didn’t do anything to help spread the Gospel. Since 1998 I changed my thinking and started to do more art and projects which filled the vast hole we have.

The parents are crying out for better kids stories, better kids toys. Yet we see more trashy toys for our kids and stories which are pulling our kids from the truth to the dark side, its like the Star Wars movie. Luke come to the dark side feel the power! When will we wake up and see our youth, our children are getting the message to hate the Bible and God and love yourself! I can’t say it enough and I have spoken my feelings to other Christian Artists, and I get well I need the money or I wanted to work for this company all my life! I’m like what?!! God will provide! God has given you your gift of Art, and your selling him out! Yeah this is a hot topic on my heart as you may see. Thanks : )

Where can we find more of your work? My art has been selling internationally for over 20 years now, from a lot of different stores, and now since the internet this just opens new doors. Most of my stuff is being sold online and in Christian books stores across the country now. I have sold in Sears, K-Mart, Walmart, and many other chain stores too.

Anything else you would like to say? : )

You can see more of John-Marcs work at www.jmgstudio.net and www.mmbibleheroes.com

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

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

CompassionArt Giving Away 100 Million Songs

CompassionArt - Creating freedom from povertyRecently I posted about the CompassionArt project which is a fantastic project bringing together some of the worlds best-known Christian recording artists (Paul Baloche, Steven Curtis Chapman, Stu G, Israel Houghton, Tim Hughes, Graham Kendrick, Andy Park, Matt Redman, Martin Smith, Michael W. Smith, Chris Tomlin, Darlene Zschech,Kirk Franklin, Amy Grant, Joel Houston, Leeland Mooring, Christy Nockels, tobyMac and CeCe Winans).

I’ve been waiting patiently for my copy of the album to arrive in the post…but now I can get a sneaky preview!

CompassionArt are giving away 100 Million songs, on a first come, first serve basis. The special download features 6 songs from the album, and in return CompassionArt ask that you donate whatever you can afford to the cause.

The artists that have contributed to this album  have all done so for free and have given all rights to their work to CompassionArt, so that all of the proceeds can go directly to the various causes that CompassionArt support.

So, enjoy, give generously, and spread the word….CompassionArt 100 Million Song Giveaway

Note: This is only available to people in the USA and Canada as a special promotion leading up to the North American release of the CompassionArt Album. If you are in UK you can purchase the full Compassion Art Album on Amazon

– James

Friday’s FYI – Panos Vassiliadis

Panos Vassiliadis is a Christian graffiti artist and graphic designer based in the USA. He has done work for various big corperate clients including HP & The North Face.

Panos

Age? 31

Where do you live? San Francisco Bay Area

What is your favorite colour? 39% Cyan, 0% Magenta, 100% Yellow, 0% Black. Look it up.

What is your favorite website at the moment? www.pixelicious.com That kid got mad skills.

What are the 3 things that you most like doing with your time? Spending time with my new daughter Sophie, my wife, and pushing pixels.

Zoroe Dreamy

Dirt - Shadow of the Locust

When did you first start using your creativity for God, and how did that come about? I started graphic design so I could be a part of helping Christian organizations better communicate, visually. For a while I wanted to become a Pastor, but God made it clear to me that it was not my calling. There are so many more ways to share the Gospel than standing behind a pulpit. I started doing graffiti in the early 90’s, which led to lots of drawing, which led to Graphic Design.

What inspires you? My life in general, riding the train in the morning, walking in San Francisco, movies, ads, cereal boxes, socks. Wait, what was the question again?

Who are some of your favorite artists? Zoro One has got to be my favorite. Not only is he strikingly handsome, but he got mad skills. Really. Look him up.

What is the most amazing thing that you have seen God do? The birth of my daughter has got to be the most spiritual / powerful experience of my life. Also, the way He orchestrates events, and uses even the bad for good is amazing.

Do you have any particular projects going on at the moment? I’m working on a Hip Hop showcase event happening in March here in California called “empower”. I also have my regular 9-5 working at an advertising agency in San Francisco, and a ton of mini-projects. I’m also a finalist for a Flip Video design contest, so we’ll see what goes down.

What can we expect to see from you in future? Not sure. I really feel like I got to roll with whatever comes at me at this point. One thing I’m learning is leaving myself open to new things. New projects. New experiences. If I plan too hard, I may miss something God’s been orchestrating.

What would you most like to see come out of the Christian Creative scene in the next few years? More honesty. Compassion. People connect with what’s real. The world is bigger than your church. Meet people. Love. EVERYONE. Add a little humor, and loosen up a bit. Creativity. How are we supposed to be the salt of the earth and come off judging and pretending to the world? It shows in our speech, our art, our lives.

Where can we find more of your work? Various restaurant bathrooms (LOL), and, www.pixelicious.com of course.

Anything else you would like to say? Love. And check out pixelicious.com, and my Bay Area Graffiti Flickr Group: www.flickr.com/groups/bayareagraffiti