“In the beginning, God created. . .” (Genesis 1:1).
These first five words of the entire Bible are ones that Cory Heimann of Likeable Art asked 62 artists to reflect on and give their own first five words. Leaders in the Catholic art world like Bishop Robert Barron and Dr. Peter Kreeft contributed. From writers to filmmakers to iconographers and podcasters and everyone in between, their words will not only inspire anyone to make art, it will also inspire to make good art. Beautifully, good art always points back to the Creator.
Cory helps connect creators with the Creator by putting together a beautiful book of inspirational words and profound artwork to help us all realize that “we are each Created, and we are in turn blessed to be creators.”
Cory launched a Kickstarter fund this fall and the project exceeded its goal!
Cory writes, “Here is the weird and amazing reality for artists. Every time our pen hits the paper, every time we click the shutter, every time we lay the first brick, we share in that ultimate, lifegiving, unceasing action. Just like the moon reflects the sun, our little acts of creation reflect the moment that first Created us.”
Here are some highlights from the book:
“Art opens windows to eternity”
Fr. Thomas J. Loya, STB, MA an iconographer says that, “Icons are a window into eternity, theology in color…To see life through the vision of sacred art and to touch everything in life through that vision will indeed save the world.”
“Delight the audience”
Sr. Helena Raphael Burns, FSP a speaker, writer, and filmmaker says:”Write the movie you want to see. The personal is universal. The most specific is the most general.” She further explains the motto of her congregation, the Daughters of St. Paul, which is GLORIA DEO + PAX HOMINIBUS, saying, “All glory to God, yes. But don’t forget His people.” How powerful to remember that we delight God by delighting His people!
“Quantity then quality”
Kyle Heimann, a musician and radio host, expands on this: “Design is finding solutions to problems. So first, brainstorm on ideas, try things, experiment, start with quantity. Then, when you finally come up with the best idea, dig into that and spend quality time working on it.” Don’t be afraid to waste time digging through all of the ideas to find the very best one. Don’t settle!
“Icons are sermons in color”
Iconographer Cecilia Lawrence says, “Sacred art echoes the Church’s message of reminding us of what our goal in this life is, namely, to become saints.” Art can draw us through the lives of the saints and reveal the spiritual reality, as well. What a beautiful task and beautiful gift!
“Fish swim, birds fly”
Mark Hart, Vice President of Life Teen International (among other things!) writes about doing what you’re created to do. You create because you were made for it! “You were designed for beauty’s sake. Every time you draw on the creative gifts and talents entrusted to you to unleash beauty upon the world to glorify your Father.”
“Drive yourself crazy”
Often, an artist will say to himself, “This is not good enough.” This constant striving for perfection is a reflection of God – who is perfect. Art is a reflection of Him. But Lino Rulli, radio host and author, says, “The truth is, you’re not good enough. And it isn’t good enough. So you strive for perfection. But only God is perfect. Thus, your imperfect creation– and for that matter, imperfect self– will fall short. And that should drive you crazy.”
“Beauty makes the heart ache”
Brother David Brokke, SOLT, explains, “But when one’s heart, in an instant, is pierced by a glimpse of beauty, one does not want that particular moment to end, but rather the heart aches for that beauty to last forever – it pleads to go ever deeper into that one newly opened prism, because the heart knows there is no way one could ever fully exhaust the mystery.”
“Your art is your prayer”
“The words I paint and the people I paint them for are my prayer, my offering to God,” says Marie Heimann, wife of Cory and watercolor artist and hand letterist. So art becomes a prayer and also a ministry to others to bring all into the glory of God.
“Listen to the hunger pains”
“…the faith is a feast and it’s our job to present it. We have to plate it in the midst of a Christian life fully lived and make it bite-sized, just as Jesus came not in the form of a giant, but of a tiny baby. We also have to make it delicious and balanced, answering the deepest longings of our fellow man,” further explains Fr. Leo Patalinghug, founder and creator of Grace Before Meals.
“Unveil the wonder”
Fabiola Garza, illustrator, artist, author, and Character Artist at Disney Creative Group, tells the story of how a “secular” movie moved her to believe in God’s existence. She addresses Christian artists who do not know if they should only use their talents within the confines of a religious setting or in the secular world: “But I also know that God’s grace is not confined by the boundaries of a church building and neither is His art. The Spirit works through all that is good, and good art is found everywhere. No matter where our creativity leads us, if our work unveils God’s wonder to at least one person we have done our job well.”
Whether you are an artist profession or hobby, just like looking at and being involved in art, or need to find your passion, pick up a copy of this book! It will be one of those books you always want to have right there with you, as the inspiration contained in this book will hit you in new ways time and again.