Friday’s FYI – David Wierzbicki

David is one of my friends on Twitter, and a fantastically talented artist. I personally really love his style and want to own all of the artwork that I have seen of his!

David Wierzbicki

Age? 30

Where do you live? Brantford, Ontario. Small-ish city southwest of Toronto.

What is your favorite colour? I’ve never been able to answer this question. When I was in grade school I always thought there was something wrong with me because all the other kids could tick of their favourite colours immediately. That said, when I play RISK I’m always red.

What is your favorite website at the moment? Twitter. I really enjoy the blog at http://www.colourlovers.com/blog. There is great, creative conversation going on at http://missionaltribe.org. If you have any connection or attraction to Missional Church that is the place for you. (Artists especially) Overall, I think as of late I’ve been more intrigued by social networking projects such as twitter than by any one website.

What are the 3 things that you most like doing with your time? I’ve been reading more in the last couple years than I have in my whole lifetime. Drawing and sketching. If I have a surface within arm’s reach it will be doodled upon. Relaxing with my wife, Amy.

Illustrator

Blueface

Battle of the holidays

When did you first start using your creativity for God, and how did that come about? It took me a long time to understand that God really did have a use for artists. It wasn’t something that was explicit in my upbringing. Artists were generally seen as being on the outside, discontent with the respectable plan that God really had for their lives. When I went away to art college I began to see again the creative draw that God has and has put inside all of us as co-creators and imaginers. While in school I had the opportunity to illustrate a calendar for Wycliffe Bible Translators. That was the first time I had ever used my art in an expressly Christian avenue.

What inspires you? When I start a piece I often just let my pencil move. As it creates I draw from that energy and begin listening to where I’m heading. In addition: conversation, dreams, music, long drives in the car, smells, sounds, hot showers, good drink, good food, the river…

Who are some of your favorite artists? Much like the colour question, I have don’t have a really solid answer for this.
I could say Egon Schiele for the incredible life and linework of his figures.
And Gustav Klimt for inspiring Schiele.
Ralph Steadman’s influence on the world of illustration is hard to deny.
Also, my friend Ben Weeks (benweeks.ca) is a massive inspiration for the life of his lines and the freshness of his approach and our conversations on art and faith while in school.

What is the most amazing thing that you have seen God do? I’m amazed at how he sprouts faith in the dirtiest corners of our neighborhood streets. The places where faith, hope and love have no business being are the places where they seem to be most often found. I don’t thank God enough for the times when he makes that apparent to me. I don’t know. The most amazing thing I’ve seen God do might be the way he has used the smile of a poor child to change the atmosphere of an entire room.

Do you have any particular projects going on at the moment? The biggest project I have going on right now is my work toward a theology degree. Other than that, I’m working on a variety of ideas and projects with friends; ranging from book covers to animated shorts.

What can we expect to see from you in future? I’m fascinated with the idea of creating a space for creativity, art, interaction, conversation, community, help, prayer, danger, safety, disagreement, and agreement. Oh… and firstly, LOVE.

A group of friends and I are currently dreaming of a church community that emerges out of the neighbourhood garden that surrounds it. Creativity and neighborliness are our number one motivators. Church is Art.

What would you most like to see come out of the Christian Creative scene in the next few years? Connected to our dreams of a church plant is the concept of being deeply local.

I have a real hope for a more radical localization of Christianity. While the past couple decades have seen incredible bursts of creativity from Christianity in everything from music to film it has also been a time of cultural homogeneity and borrowing.

We have been losing our locally unique characteristics as we have been told that we have use such and such music and such and such presentation software and such and such graphic appearances etc… I would love to see our church communities really embrace their local-ness and encourage the creatives among them to develop and design art and creativity that is unique to them; and not just so they can farm that talent out to entire continents.

If we can stop leaning on the creativity of a few “professionals” and start recognizing the deep pools immediately around us we could see beauty and art re-engaged by the Church.

Where can we find more of your work? My main online hub is found at http://davidwierzbicki.com. My twitter account (twitter.com/diecast), art portfolio, blog and more are all linked from there.

Anything else you would like to say? …Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Interview with Chad Jarnagin

In this post our friend Carole Hicks interviews Christian musician Chad Jarnagin.

Chad Jarnagin

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your heart with the readers here at Artists for Christ! We are honored to have you here. Would you start off by giving us a bit of info on your background, where did you grow up, what is your life like now, that sort of thing.
I am a songwriter, lead worshiper, pastor, & artist.. I’m passionate about mentoring young musicians, writing songs, and leading The Church in worship to their Creator. I grew up around Cincinnati, OH, and now live in Franklin, TN / Nashville where I am the Worship Arts Pastor of Rolling Hills Community Church (www.rollinghillscommunity.org)

I’ve toured over 1800 shows / events over 10 years including major sporting events with the NBA playoffs w/ the New York Knicks & Indiana Pacers, NFL w/ Tennessee Titans & Kansas City Chiefs, MLB w/ Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Dodgers, the NHL, AFL, and more. I’ve also led worship for conferences and conventions including Youth Specialties, State & National Evangelism conventions, as well as many worship & leadership conferences. Most of which happened while with my old band Among Thorns.

What kind of training or schooling do you have that has led to your current success or situation in life?
I went to Carson Newman College. Much of my education has come “on the job”, I have done some schools of music, conferences, & leadership training programs as well. I will truly be a student of life until I am done in the world.

What one thing do you do to find creative inspiration?
I have to find time to be in silence… while reading, writing, or whatever. When I make time for that, all the noise tends to fade so that I can sense the “still small voice”. The true translation of that really means in the “stone silence”. I believe God speaks through many things, but we have to stop ourselves to see and hear Him. With Facebook, Twitter, iPhones, and video gaming we all have our share of distractions / entertainment.

Would you mind sharing the story of how you came to know Christ and how he shows up in your day-to-day life as an artist?
When I was 15 I went through the motions of saying a prayer, doing the “right” things and trying not to do the “wrong” things, but came to find that by the age of 22 I hadn’t surrendered me to Him. I found freedom when I began a relationship at that point when I was 22. Funny thing is, I had already been in Christian music for 3 yrs at that point. I’m glad God is bigger than the religion we substitute for Him sometimes.

I create space in life to read the Scriptures, books, and meditate as much as I can. God is everywhere everyday. He shows up in conversations at coffee shops, pubs, school, and even Urban Outfitters if we pay attention. <smile>

Do you now or have you ever felt isolated as an artist in the world, or do you have a strong community of believers that you stay connected with throughout the day?
I do have some amazing friends. Most of which have their own artsy tweaks to them. The sense of community in my town of Franklin is pretty rad. There is a Godly synergy that is sometimes unexplainable.

As artists we will probably always feel a little different, which can lead to isolation. I have worked on staff at churches and have been made to feel alone. The bigger picture is to be aware of who God has made us to be. He wired you the way you are for a honkin’ reason! I am still wrapping my head/heart around that.

Do you ever use your art as a medium to help others and share the gospel?
I hope so! It’s my heart and strategy that my music, writings, and art relates to people where they are. I hope it engages Believers to respond in worship to their God. For others, I can usually begin to connect just b/c of my appearance. In other words, I probably don’t look like I just walked out of church. <wink> Music is something that everyone can relate to. When people hear that I’m a musician they are 95% willing to converse b/c they are genuinely interested in the music.

I have a few plans to use music to influence positive change in my community through my church I might add.

Do you have any nuggets of wisdom, any tips for young artists who are just starting out?
I started out in music when I was 15. Begin as young as you can, b/c you will be learning forever. Make time to read, listen, love, and create. Whatever you are dreaming, go for it. With the technical tools at our disposal today, you can do it all. If you are a song-writer, write and record it with your Mac (or a friends Mac). If you are an actor, act. Be it at school or wherever. Filmakers, shoot, film, and edit away. Designers, create, craft, and dream on.

The world is waiting for you to show up to the party. If you are a Believer, wear His name well. Don’t run from the world b/c it is different from you. Run TO it. Love it b/c it needs loving… and it needs inspiration with new beautiful, thought provoking art.

…If you are on Twitter you can follow both Carole and Chad – James

Friday’s FYI – Jono Hale

Jono is a young Graphic Designer and Musician based in New Zealand. He has a passion for seeing the gospel shared through the creative arts and is particularly gifted at web design.

Jono Hale

Age? I was born on 11/10/1989(so for you guys in USA, 10/11/1989, October 11th πŸ˜› ) so that makes me 19.

Where do you live? I live in Ohau, which is a little town south of a larger little town, Levin, in the great land of New Zealand.

What is your favorite colour? I love the metallic gradient, light grey – black, or um… black? not sure…

What is your favorite website at the moment? Right now… hmm… *looks at bookmarks* possibly, www.gomediazine.com & www.videocopilot.net

What are the 3 things that you most like doing with your time? Well, Gaming with mates (COD4, Halo, Xbox live gamer tag: otenic add me πŸ˜› I’ll play nice first game, lol j/k no i won’t I’ll pwn ya πŸ˜‰ ), working on designs for youth group, helping out at youth church & church with sound, lighting, drumming…

Living Victory Shirt - Jono Hale

More Than Youth Website - Jono Hale

Love Out Of This World Shirt - Jono Hale

When did you first start using your creativity for God, and how did that come about? When i started designing! πŸ˜€ around 5 years ago when my mates at school got me back into web design, then got excited and we started work on our youth groups first website!

What inspires you? God, the world around me, other creative peoples work and more then often while listing to music.

Who are some of your favorite artists? Definately God, Andrew Kramer(www.videocopilot.net), Aj Dimarucot & Danny Carlsen the designer for Parachute Music, www.parachutemusic.com, Andy Francis (Planetshakers designer, www.planetshakers.com) anyone that works hard to set new trends! oh and the guys over at RedisWhite.com!

What is the most amazing thing that you have seen God do? Gave me meaning and my talents! only 5 years as a designer and no formal education, that’s cos God isn’t dependent on what the world offers, he can use you any way you let him! oh sorry back to questions.

Do you have any particular projects going on at the moment? I recently applied for the position of Lead designer at NZ largest Christian youth mag (www.soulpurpose.co.nz) so hopefully get that, Working on Motion graphics for Youth of the Nation Conference including promo video, intro videos and graphics for during worship as well as being Visual Director (live video production etc). I also have another project that is secret so can’t say. sorry πŸ™ + I’m working on getting my blog back on track πŸ˜€

What can we expect to see from you in future? Hopefully some cool new prototypes for sermon podcast stuff, social network stuff & even awesomer motion graphics! πŸ˜€ oh and if all works out a new Faith based T-Shirt company, check back here I’m sure I’ll let these guys know.

What would you most like to see come out of the Christian Creative scene in the next few years? Well what not? I want us to start setting trends, becoming the ‘beginning of art’ as God was and is, inspiring work that gets people thinking and brings them closer to God!

Where can we find more of your work? right now on my company’s website: www.finenoises.com (almost finished!), my new blog www.jonohale.finenoises.com oh and my CreativeMYK space: www.creativemyk.com/finenoises

Anything else you would like to say? Keep using our talents for God, but think outside the box, use thought provoking words and ideas to get your message across, and remember God deserves your all, don’t hold back on your designs. And don’t be afraid to use resources like CreativeMYK, Gomedia and others to help enhance your designs, underline the word enhance! and remember He loves you!

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