Design can move people, it can connect, it can tug at heartstrings, it can resonate, and it can touch souls. Design is also known to be a reflection of a designer’s innermost character and personality. A world without any form of art would be so cold, so mundane, so bland.
When I first embarked on my journey to become a graphic designer, I aimed to glorify God through my design, but I didn’t quite have any real understanding of what that meant.
It took me the whole of my freshman year in design school to learn and realise that glorifying God through my design work didn’t equate to making every piece of design obviously evangelistic or Christian.
Whatever you do, do it for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
I learnt as a visual communicator, that glorifying God through the designs I create is in essence about communicating the beauty and the truth of God. I communicate for Jesus. What I had to do was to align my heart to God and reflect that in my work.
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. (Colossians 3:23)
In order to produce any form of art that truly reflects God’s beauty we must first seek to know the fullness of God’s beauty, by pursuing an intimate and personal relationship with Him. What good is there when we produce an artwork in God’s name but yet in reality we ourselves are distant from Him? Who then does our art glorify?
Because the danger in seeking to glorify God through our work is the risk of making idols of the artwork – making idols of our own creations, believing that our creativity is valuable in itself.
Then our identity becomes that of a designer, an artist, a painter, a sculptor, a creator, rather than that of being the beloved sons and daughters of the God Most High. We start to forget that we were first created by the Creator God.
We have to remember that we were first called to our vocation because God has given us the specific gifts and skillsets to work and excel in this area.
Do you see a man skilled in their work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men. (Proverbs 22:29)
PRAISE IN EVERY STROKE
A friend once told me, “There is no glory in sitting in front of a screen and clicking for hours — all I know is that design can help make our invisible God visible.”
Since this is what I do, I do my best. To put it simply, we glorify God through our work by ensuring that it is done with our all and our best; with a spirit of excellence.
Every experience of beauty points people to eternity.
That they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
As a graphic designer, it is my privilege to be able to use the colours, shapes, forms and letters that He has created, and the skills that He has given me, to communicate His beauty and truth.
So I’ve learnt that it’s time to take the focus off myself as an artist and my art, and put the focus back on God.