Liza Kotar is a recent college graduate living in Seattle, WA. In her spare time she runs, travels, bikes, cooks and reads philosophy (and Julia Child's cookbooks of course). She hopes to answer the question "What should I do with my life?" in a way that is both Christian and creative. If only C.S. Lewis were alive to respond...
As a Christian and a creative individual, art takes on a different meaning. As opposed to a hobby or a means of self-expression, creativity is deeply rooted in our humanity. We were made out of the act of creation, therefore we naturally create. Even if you claim to prefer logical thinking, like a mathematician, you are nonetheless creative—perhaps you create structures, lesson plans or visual diagrams.
In the recent translation (translated by my brilliant cousin) of A Singing Heart by Ivan Ilyin, Ilyin writes extensively on a person’s creative inclinations and capacity. His flowery prose states, “A person cannot live without love also because it is the foremost creative power in a person. For human creativity does not arise out of emptiness, nor does it take place within an arbitrary combination of elements, as many superficial people now think. No, we can only create after accepting the divinely created world, after entering it, incorporating ourselves into its wonderful framework and becoming one with its mysterious paths and principles.”
Yet, a Christian does not create solely with his own genius. With God-given talents and materials, Christians are given the opportunity to communicate and express. This solves the issue of the taxing responsibility of being an “artistic genius.” No longer is it a personal duty to originate uniqueness, but rather it is your duty to find the intersection of arts and faith.
As a non-genius, but rather a curious seeker, I look for this intersection.
I look to:
the seasons, the warm light of a home at dusk, the shape of wings, expressive sentences, a unifying meal, a twinkling celebration, a delicate pattern, filling the heart’s valleys that pain left with joy and love, a familial embrace and the joy of vulnerability.
Life, at its core is creative—the culmination of which is creating family. As I witness my siblings bring children into the world and grow their families, I notice that love grows as well. It blossoms into the weak crevices of my family and fills them with goodness. Like Ilyin illustrates, only by bringing our own unique essence into creation can we find our personal intersection of faith and culture.
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