On Making Marks…

abz.ps.11.little green stub goes digital

God is so wonderful…or I could say God is so cool…. or God is the “cat’s pajamas”… when it comes to creativity. Think about the life around us and how creative God is…and then to think this: “God’s spirit is dwelling in us.” Do you know what that means? It means we are all creative!

One of God’s creative designs is that when God made each one of us, we were given our own individual set of passions — things, ideas, places, gifts – that we love and think are so wonderful.

In his book, Platform, Michael Hyatt says it is a good idea to come up with an elevator pitch… a statement in which you can tell someone what you are passionate about in the time it takes for an average elevator ride…

Here is my elevator pitch…
I love giving sketchbook journal workshops. They are designed to help anyone make marks to capture their life inside and out. I promote, blind contour, cartoon, and imagination mark making along with writing, collage and digital mark making & photography. I open new doors to expand your creativity.

I ask myself, “Where did this passion come from?”
For some reason, and I do not understand it, I have always loved art.

My first sketchbook dates back 40 years ago — to the fall of 1974 when I was taking a drawing course in college… Mr. Patterson, our instructor, encouraged us to keep a sketchbook.

I was not consistent when I started out — after that first sketchbook for school, my second one lasted 5 years. Then one day, in that second sketchbook I wrote: “Starting to draw again on September 27, 1979. Yes. Keep it up.”

But even after this, I did not draw every day. Then I started a written journal — very little drawing in it — from June 1981 to August of 1984… still have it, still some blank pages in it, still visit it once in a while when something big happens in my life.

In 1982 I completed a project called “Artist and Companion: exploring artist / sketchbook relationships of artists using sketchbooks to record their world.” During this project drawing, writing, markmaking and collage all came together in my “sketchbook-slash-journal” work.

When I give my workshops, many times I get artists who keep a sketchbook and they never write… or I get writers who keep a journal and never draw. And then I get people who say “I can not even draw a straight line with a ruler.” So I get everyone doing a bit of everything: I call it sketchbook journaling and what we are doing is “mark making.”

I tell myself that my minimum requirement is some kind of mark in a book each day. To make my mark and add the date. I see making a mark in a book as some evidence that I am alive for this day. Sort of a prayer of thanksgiving that God has given me the ability to make a mark today. And to do it.

So what does making marks mean? How can making marks on paper be translated into other forms? Do we make a mark when we give someone a compliment? In this digital age we seem to be making marks all the time… when we send an e-mail, a text message, take a digital photograph, do a Facebook or blog posting — we are making marks. I believe our cool and wonderfully creative Creator is all about making marks — from the stars, to grains of sand, to snowflakes. Jesus is all about making marks that give life… and the Holy Spirit can urge us on and form our creative, life giving marks that are yet to come.

reflection given at the Kirkwood Baptist Church
Kirkwood, Missouri — 23 February 2014
Andrew Brian Zampier: 25th Jubilee Reflection Portfolio

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