Oliver & I were fortunate to be able to attend this year's Pulse Arts Conference here in Madison, WI. The event is hosted every year by our home church, Blackhawk, where Oliver helps run sound and plays bass on the worship arts team. The conference is directed at connecting creatives from surrounding churches and offers workshops on how we can improve our craft and better point our creative expression toward God. This includes anyone from painters & photographers to musicians & slam poets.
This was Oliver's third consecutive year attending Pulse and I have secretly always wanted to go. He was always so energized and excited after coming back; raring to go to work on his music projects and give them direction.
Since I've been developing as a photographer, I've been struggling with finding my voice or simply, what makes my work "my work" when someone looks at my photography. As a Christ-follower and growing creative, it can be a struggle to connect my faith to my creative expression and I know Oliver has expressed this also in writing his songs. What makes a piece of art point toward Christ without being overtly religious and cliche? How do we tell our story through what we create? I know these questions will guide me as I continue to tell our story through this blog.
Oliver & I attended workshops on visual branding & design, building an effective rhythm section in a band, developing your own unique guitar tone, expressing faith visually, and a moderated Q&A session with worship artist David Crowder. I know we both came away brimming with new ideas and goals and refreshed from hearing other creatives' stories.
The main takeaway for me was mostly derived from the "expressing faith visually" workshop with local Madison, WI photographer Barry Sherbeck. He talked about starting out as an artist and how that journey can be a struggle due to expectations we put on ourselves or perceive others are putting on us. There is a stigma that comes when you label yourself as an artist and this can be overwhelming. Instead, we should remember that artists see things from a different perspective and accept that not everyone will love what we create and put out into cyberspace.
Some encouragement & a challenge to anyone doing anything in this life:
Whatever you do, commit to a high level of craft.
Continually learn & improve.
Try hard things.
And embrace failure as part of the process.
Thank you for allowing me to create and use this space to share our story. We are far from perfect, but trying our best to be an encouragement to you all
Can't wait to see where this creative path will take us!