Parable, Passion and Purpose: searching for God's plan in my work. 

I use symbols in my family crests to tell stories. I often put a cross at the center of my pieces to show a family's faith at the center of their lives - the "glue" that holds all the pieces together. I'm considering God's purpose for my work - trying to glean some meaning from the disjointed set of skills that I've honed and the reasons for the challenges God has placed before me.

Choosing to make a career from my art has been a leap of faith for me. If you asked me last year, I would have told you that the family crests were not really my "true" voice, that they were something that I paint for money as I struggle to bring my "real" art into the world. I was afraid to ask for the money for them that I might need to make them sustainable. The truth was that I didn't know how much that would be, and I wasn't sure how to figure it out. I thought there must be some other way that I was missing, because this way was just too hard. 

custom family crest

When you've been painting these pieces and creating stories behind them for so long, clients assume that you're just as put-together as the art that you create. But I felt like I was still trying to hold the pieces of my tiny little business together as more people discovered my work. I couldn't figure out how to explain what I did. I didn't have the confidence or the systems to guide my clients efficiently through the design process. I'm still working on that and probably always will be.

I put such care into the details of the pieces that I create for my clients - just like God put such care into creating the rich tapestry of our lives. This year I have come to realize that as we create works of art, we are worshiping God - we are celebrating that creative spark that He put in all of us. We are trying to be more like Him as we create. We create to send joy into the world. We create messages with meaning just like Jesus created parables to teach us. God is working through us as He considers and creates every small detail to breathe purpose into our lives.

These pieces are His gift to me, and they are my gift to give. They are a mirror for my clients; they show them their stories and dreams in a way that inspires joy. They are a way for me to honor God's creative spark and bring joy to the families I work with. They are a perfect intersection of joy, purpose, and praise. I'm ready to trust Him with these pieces. They are God's plan for my work, and I and am ready to receive His gift with joy and gratefulness.

jamie hansen