In April I had the amazing opportunity of going to see Ben Howard perform live. If you don’t know who he is, where have you been? Ben Howard is an incredibly talented musician who brings such raw emotion, unforgettable lyrics and a truly humble presence to the stage. After witnessing a two-hour performance from Ben and his band, I began to wonder why it is we really create?
As I have mentioned before, being created in the image of a creator God, we are all creative beings. But I think we should also question why we, as individuals, decide to create. Why do we pick the paintbrush up? Why do we sing that song? Why do we design?
Recently, I’ve started asking why it is I draw and create the illustrations that I do. I very much believe that God has blessed me with a great gift of creativity, however, after a project for a client I began to notice my desire for money was becoming far greater than my desire to simply create. I had let money get in the way of my passion to create and this was becoming noticeable in my work ethic. The freedom I usually feel when I create had become tainted by money.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” The book of Matthew puts it perfectly in this verse and clearly my heart was not in the right place. I was after the wrong kind of treasure. After conversations with various people, I made the decision to change my viewpoint and get back on track to creating for the right reasons.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be creating for money as I believe that the money we are blessed with can and should be used to bless others, but our heart should be in the right place.
Instead of asking how much someone is going to pay us before a project, why don’t we first ask God what He wants us to create for? Will it be for the money to bless others? Maybe God will put us in business meetings, galleries, studios and festivals to simply bring the Holy Spirit to that space or people we engage with. Our creativity may even be used to heal people or just to put a smile on their face.
During my graphic communication degree, I didn’t have the desire to gain money from my creativity; my ultimate aim was to please my tutor, to get the good grades and pass my degree. People-pleasing and working for the wrong audience will always cripple your creativity. We should be working and creating for the One.
“Whatever you do, work at it wholeheartedly as though you were doing it for the Lord and not merely for people” Colossians 3v23. As creative beings, let us be creating for the right reasons, for God, so that we can delight in the freedom that He will give us through it.