There are some art projects that I do for my job, ones that allow me to have a little extra cash in my pocket; and then there are projects that I do out of pure joy and inspiration, for nothing but the satisfaction of seeing a daydreamed idea become a reality. Those are always the best.
I spend a lot of my time making art for other people. Whether it’s a painting, a portrait, a pair of sneakers, or some crazy idea we churned up together, I am the make-it-happen girl. A few weeks ago, I started working on a project for a friend of mine: a painted denim jacket for a little kiddo we both know. After it was complete, I was again reminded of how exciting it is to finally see a brief sketch become something so meaningful to someone else.
This simple project turned out so well that I decided I wanted to have a painted jacket of my own. As soon as I’d mentally decided that, I was swarmed by my own thoughts and inspirations. I knew I wanted this jacket to look insane, not psycho-in-a-mental-institute insane, but how-on-earth-did-you-do-that insane. Like all my projects, I started off with a sketch of what I wanted and I somehow found a sliver of time in my week to run to Target to get a denim jacket (that I obviously needed in my closet). I got home, ripped those tags right off with very little concern, and got to work. I spent the next few hours making this jacket mirror my mental design and gosh, by the time it was dry, not only was I completely obsessed, but I was genuinely surprised with how it turned out. I barely even had a plan, and yet, because I loved the idea so much and was so driven by my own passion to see it become something I loved, it worked out beautifully. I had spent so much time creating every detail and every brush stroke of this piece that when it was complete, I couldn’t stop looking at it. I actually ended up sitting in my room watching paint dry.
I couldn’t help but imagine if that’s how God felt when he painted us. I would like to believe that one day God got this idea to make a world full of life, one for which He didn’t really have a detailed blueprint, but one that could be incredible. Perhaps He was hit with the lightning of ideas that I often am, the same lightning that forces me to find a pen so I can get all the thoughts out of my brain before they dissolve. I would like to think that He imagined snow-capped mountains that towered over green valleys, starry constellations that illuminated the night, little yellow flowers that grow between boulders, lightning bugs that swarmed an open field, oceans that gushed onto the shore, and people who He could love more than anything, and who would love Him back. I would like to believe that He became so excited by the entire concept of life bombarding Him that He ran to his workshop, threw off the tags, and spent the next seven days in a whirlwind of creativity, watching as His thoughts became something real. I would like to believe that God broke out the paint brushes He’d always had sitting on the shelf, and began to craft mountains and skies and lakes that were completely imaginative. (God didn’t have a Pinterest account, so he really had to get crafty).
I think He spent each day wondering what He should add, considering ways to make it better. I imagine that He spent His afternoons washing the paint out of his brushes, just as I do, and thinking about this piece of art that was going to change everything. I’d like to believe He spent six days filling oceans with sea creatures and jungles with animals we have yet to fully understand. I imagine that during one of the nights He stayed up crafting the universe, He leaned back on his chair to get a good look at this galaxy He’d just spun into existence, and He applied the final touch: people who were crafted to love and create and dream the same way He does.
Finally, when He felt that He’d finished every brush stroke and filled in every crack to this world that was so uniquely perfect and unparalleled in the history of forever, I’d like to imagine that He put down his brushes, took a step back, and was just as blown away by this world as I am every day. I’d like to think that once all of his ideas had become something tangible, something breath-taking, He couldn’t stop looking at it, which is exactly how I felt after I’d finished my own project. Maybe that’s why He rested on the seventh day: He was just waiting for the paint to dry.
After spending my whole Saturday painting something as simple as a denim jacket and understanding the excitement of creating something out of pure joy, I think I now have a slightly tighter grasp on why God is so obsessed with us: we are his greatest masterpiece, unparalleled in the history of forever. Think about that one.