There is a wonderful interview over on Infuze Magazine with Erik Lokkesmoe, the founder of Brewing
Culture, a non-profit organization that is leading the front lines of
bridging the cultural gap between the church and culture. Here’s a clip:
There is this fantastic quote by a missionary named C.T. Studd…
now that is a cool last name. He said, again I paraphrase, that some
want to serve within the sound of church and chapel bell; I want to run
a rescue-shop within a yard of hell. I think the artist is always
working at that distance. Great artists do so with fear and trembling,
and in and through their work "build soil" for a culture of disbelief.
The good, the true, and beautiful, properly defined and practiced,
contain everything that I want in art and creativity. What other words
could be added? Excellence? Maybe. Substance? Possibly. But those
words, to me, are already woven deep into the richness of goodness,
truth, and beauty. Nothing else is needed. My prayer is that artists
study those words, brood over them, wrestle them like Jacob.
Here’s another snippet:
The hard reality is this: too many people call themselves artists. A
quote attributed to St. Francis says, "He who works with his hands is a
laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He
who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist."
Again, it is this total integration of one’s life and work.
Just because you paint watercolors or strum a guitar doesn’t make
you an artist; the word has lost its meaning, and that is something we
should protect. Moreover, just because you sell millions of records or
earn an Oscar that doesn’t neccessarily make you an artist either. You
may be creative. You may be famous. That doesn’t automatically make you
And let me be clear, I can say that because I am not an artist. I
write. I draw. I used to paint. I’ve taken art classes. I can play a
pathetic Richard Marx song on the piano. I have certain creative gifts,
but I am not an artist. We should be careful with how we use that word.
That is why I prefer to talk about creativity — it is a much larger
concept that invites more people into the conversation.
Don’t miss reading this!