Speak to me until I understand
Why our thinking and creating
Why our efforts of narrating
About the beauty, of the beauty
And why it matters
Like the statue in the park
Of this war-torn town
And its protest of the darkness
And the chaos all around
With its beauty, how it matters
How it matters
-“How It Matters” by Sara Groves
I’m always listening to music, especially while I create art. The above song resonates with me because Sara Groves is asking a question I often think about—one that I hope many of you artists are pondering. Does art have eternal worth? How can it glorify God? What makes art beautiful in a worshipful way?
Storytelling boldly speaks truth by breathing out worlds and exploring characters. The same power courses through a painter’s brush. Paint strokes can be the most honest way an artist worships her Creator, without any words at all. This is why Story Embers has decided to begin cultivating its official art department for Christian artists seeking support and community. Together we will learn to understand the necessity of Christian artists, the importance of true beauty, and why art matters.
What is a Christian artist?
Before I continue introducing the Story Embers Art Department, I want to define a pivotal phrase: Christian artist. When I use this phrase, I do not mean that you must draw biblical images only or that a Scripture verse has to be printed on your work. I mean that you are a follower of Christ who creates something new out of pencils and paper (or whichever medium you prefer).
No matter who you are, your worldview affects every area of your life. If you hold on to your Christian worldview and are steeped in Scripture, your beliefs will be tucked in the corners of your art—perhaps without you even realizing.
As a Christian artist, you should desire for your work to be a form of worship to your Creator. Tolkien coined the term sub-creator. If God is the Creator of all, we who are made in His image are called to be sub-creators. We cannot help yearning to make beauty because it is part of our nature. We should want our art to pierce the darkness and reflect the light of our Creator.
I have said a lot in this section that needs some serious unpacking. These topics will be discussed heavily in the guild (keep reading to find out more information about that) and future articles.
What are the plans for the Story Embers Art Department?
You may be wondering how SE is going to help Christian artists hone their talents. Ultimately, we want to establish a welcoming community of Christian artists, where we can learn and grow alongside each other. Being alone can be unbearably hard when we’re struggling to see the value in our art, which is why I hope that SE becomes a haven of encouragement and support.
First of all, we’re continuing to build the art gallery on our site. As you may have noticed, we have a page dedicated to displaying art by SE subscribers. My hope is that one day people will enjoy scrolling through the numerous pieces that are examples of great Christian art. Please don’t be shy or think your art isn’t good enough to submit. Just check out our guidelines.
Second, we’re beginning to publish articles that will help artists improve their techniques and skills. We welcome submissions for articles, and you can expect them to start popping up on the site shortly.
Sign up for the Artists’ Guild!
If you’re familiar with SE, you know about our guilds where writers can participate in discussions and challenges while receiving accountability and support.
This small-group environment isn’t just for writers. This is why I’ve opened the first artists’ guild. It will be a unique place for people to request feedback on a piece, learn techniques from other artists, and hold a variety of in-depth discussions on what it means to be a Christian artist. You can register here. This guild is limited to 20 members, so sign up now to claim your spot!
Along with the guild and articles, we have plans to further expand the art department in the future. I’m excited to watch how it grows, and I hope you are too. I’m so glad you’re going to come along for the ride of discovering the purpose of art with me! Hope to see you in the guild!
Christine Eaton is a student attending Providence Christian College in Pasadena, California who loves stories and art. She can usually be found happily sipping tea, pouring over her studies in literature, education, philosophy, caving into her chocolate addiction, or listening to music. Art is one of her largest passions, and her walls are covered in her sketches and paintings. She has a strong admiration for the prose of A.S. Peterson, Marilynne Robinson, Wendell Berry, Joan Didion, Sylvia Plath, and Sandra Cisneros.
Christine is excited to be a part of Story Embers and heading the social media department. She enjoys meeting new people, so feel free to shoot her an email at email@example.com if you want to make a friend.