by Albert Mueller
I never hear anyone refer to themselves as Christian truck drivers, or Christian factory workers, airline pilots, doctors, or lawyers. The list goes on. Most of the time a person will tell you what their occupation is, and then you might find out later that they are Christian also.
The band U2 is one of the most popular pop rock bands in the world and has been for some time. Not many people think of them as Christians, much less as Christian artists. They are generally considered a secular rock band as opposed to a Christian worship group. I don’t imagine too many churches would consider calling them up to lead worship in their church.
As a visual artist I do not consider myself a Christian Artist.
I am simply an artist, but will always be a Christian first. The word Christian is used as an adjective to describe the person or the type of art a person makes. When a person is called a Christian artist the person is now compartmentalized into making only Christian art.
The artist is no longer making art for the sake of being a creative person that God made them to be.
Making art is my activity and my form of worship. Not the image themselves but the work and the outpouring of effort to imitate Christ the Creator by creating.
My identity is in Christ first and my art will reflect that lifestyle naturally. Raphael McManus states in his book, The Artisan Soul that “All art is an extension of who we are.”
Who I am in Christ should come through in my work if I am following Christ daily. It doesn’t matter whether you are a visual artist, writer or a composer of music. If a person is a Christian then their work will reflect who they are. A person who works in a factory doesn’t produce Christian products much less than a school bus driver driving only Christian children to and from school.
The Christian in any occupation lives for God and not the world. Art as an extension will bring light to the world if an artist is a Christian first.
I have been inspired by different artists. The abstract expressionists were a group that inspired me in particular The work was a stream of consciousness, automatic, expression. I made art in this way also. I would look at the work I made, and learn something about myself upon reflection of the work.
Today in all that I see around me I learn what God is teaching me in the things that He has made. As I am filled with all that He has to show me, His work will naturally come flowing through by simply making art.
Being an artist is really an augmentation of being Christian. We are made in God’s image and He is creative. One might say that everyone is an artist but has not yet realized it. To say that I am a Christian artist might actually be over-emphasizing the fact I am an artist.
I love God and I love making art.