Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Artisan Soul

I have to say that The Artisan Soul by Erwin Raphael McManus is one of the best books I've read in a long time....and I'm not even halfway through the book! From the very first chapter, the words I read made my soul burn with yearning, agreement, and connection. I've highlighted most of the book so far, wanting the words to be imprinted on my heart, for they encourage and motivate me to be creative, to be brave, to risk, and to truly be an artist.

McManus is not just an artist. He is a creative who uses his gifts to further the work of God. He started a church in LA, CA called Mosaic where the people of his congregation use their creative talents for the Kingdom. And what he calls us to in The Artisan Soul is a life of creativity...every day...no matter the medium or vehicle through which we create. What he teaches is that every soul is a creative soul, whether they think so or not.

"...the great divide is not between those who are artists and those who are not, but between those who understand that they are creative and those who have become convinced that they are not."

We are all creative. We are created by a creative God who made us into His image.

"Yet what humanity needs most is for us  to set creativity free from this singular category of the extraordinary and release it into the hands of the ordinary. Creativity should be an everyday experience. Creativity should be as common as breathing. We breathe, therefore we create."

A person might say that not all people are creative and that saying everyone is just sets a person up for failure. But as people who have the Spirit of God living within them, we are creative beings. We want to create whether it is through decorating a room, cooking a fabulous dish, writing a short story, blogging, painting, making a yard look good, or crocheting a blanket.

Being creative doesn't mean there won't be failure. There will be.

"...we live in the fear that if we aspire to be more we will discover ourselves to be less. We live in fear of failure, convinced that failure will prove us to be frauds. We have bought into the lie that creative people never fail and hence failure is proof that we are not creative."

"Fear is the shadow of creativity....The creative act is inherently an act of courage....To make our lives a creative act is to marry ourselves to risk and failure...creativity is born of risk and refined from failure. If we are at the core both spiritual beings and creative beings, then the artisan soul is where we live when we have the courage to be our truest selves."

It's so hard to step out and risk it all to share our creative selves. When we hit send on the manuscript we have written, we feel we are sending a part of very essence out for the world to judge. We fear we will judged as inferior, which reflects on who we are at our core. But those rejections are the building stones of creativity. They are what grounds us and molds us. We are indeed "refined by failure".

I just can say enough about this book, The Artisan Soul. I am reading it slowly to imprint the words on my heart, and I hope to share more of it with you as I glean from it's wisdom.

Do you consider yourself creative? Do you embrace your artistic soul? Or is it hard for you to say you are an artistic person...whether it is with word, paint, landscape, or food? 


This post is brought to you by
 Sherrinda Ketchersid

Sherrinda is a minister's wife and mother to three giant sons and one gorgeous daughter. A born and bred Texan, she writes historical romance filled with fun, faith, and forever love.


Krista Phillips said...


Paint--- nope. Unless a painting that looks like a 1st grader did it counts....

landscape--- I should post a picture of my yard. This would tell the truth.

Food--- I make pretty rolls....

Words is pretty much ONLY the place where I have a fighting chance at being called any type of artist... It's the place where my creative side of my brain likes to come out. And even then, I don't write "pretty" like some do. I'm much more plot oriented and have to work to add in any pretty:-)

So yeah, I definitely wouldn't call myself "creative". Weird... I think that's what I'd call myself!

I also love numbers--the opposite of being artistic. :-)

Beth K. Vogt said...

I am so buying this book, Sherrinda!
I'm finishing up the book The Courage to Write.
Underlining a lot of what the author says -- not all.
Even the snippets you've shared in your blog today from The Artisan Soul have encouraged me.
For so, so long I didn't think I was an artist because I didn't -- couldn't -- paint or sketch or play the piano or the guitar.
But now, now, I do embrace that as a writer I am an artist. And through my words, God allows me to reflect His image to the world.

Pepper said...

WOW!! the 'creative act is inherently an act of courage'
Love it. What a fantastic book!! And post, Sherrinda!!
Boy, fear is such a strong adversary to creativity! Well, to about anything.
What a great reminder that God's powerful creativity, birthed in us, can overcome our fear and give us the courage to take risks to walk in His gifts.

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Sherrinda, I loved this post. The quotes . . . the thoughts you shared are encouraging and challenging. Fear is at the root of hindering creativity, isn't it?

I've always liked scrapbooking and card making. So, I've tapped into aspects of my creative side for years. Writing has taken it to a whole new level, both because I have to depend on God to give me the stories and because it takes me outside my former perception of myself, if that makes sense. But I love it!

And, I loved this: "To make our lives a creative act is to marry ourselves to risk and failure...creativity is born of risk and refined from failure."

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Yes, Krista, you are an artist. You are creative. Creative people are not just crafty or painters. They are people who love to create, whether it is tasty, beautiful rolls or a funny manuscript. You have an artisan soul...a weird artisan soul!!!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Pepper, I hear you, girl! Fear can be so paralyzing, but coming to terms with our creative, artisan soul is to know the power of God within us and letting us be free taking risks in whatever we put our hand to. Seriously, this book is awesome.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Jeanne, I loved that quote too! To be creative is to marry risk and failure! That almost seems opposite, but when you think about it, it rings true. But think of the outcome of risking and then succeeding!!! Woohoo!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Oh Beth, you are so an artist! The story world you paint with your words is a beautiful masterpiece! You are truly an artisan and are sharing God's beauty through the stories you write! I'll have to check out The Courage to Write. It sounds like something I would love.

Laurie Tomlinson said...

This is the second recommendation I've had for this book! Going on my wishlist :)

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Laurie, move it to the top of your list! It will bless you!

Sherida Stewart said...

Sherrinda, thank you for this post! I have been wondering why I continue to make attempts at writing when my life is so filled with duties and other responsibilities.

But, I feel filled with creativity...and FEAR....but SO filled with the desire to write. A book that has words which, as you put it, "encourage and motivate me to be creative, to be brave, to risk, and to truly be an artist" is JUST what I need. After reading your post, I realize God did indeed create me to be CREATIVE!

I'll be putting The Artisan's Soul and The Courage to Write on my list. Thank you!

Casey said...

Wow, must be a really great book to make such an impression. Thanks for sharing, Sherrinda. :)

I love the line: we breathe, therefore we create.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Oh Sherida, I'm so glad you were encouraged. It is so easy to let the fear and our busy lives suck all the joy out of being creative. But I think that knowing that we are created to be like Him and "create", it helps to free us up to let go and be an artist in whatever outlet we choose! Thanks for sharing!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Casey, yup! It is a good one! ;)