Perhaps, arguably one of the artists of greatest influence in history today continues to be Van Gogh. Everything from coffee mugs to tee shirts are adorned by his starry night paintings. Any exhibit are like bees to honey.
I distinctly remember the Van Gogh exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, in Melbourne in April 2017. It saw close to half a million people visit; the largest attendance ever at the NGV!
How can it be that Van Gogh died in poverty, only selling a painting or two, in 1890 and continues to have an ever growing influence in the world? Surely, Van Gogh’s creative genius is at the centre of this phenomenon.
Opportunities arise for the creatives.
Doors of influence open for skilled creatives. Look at Proverbs chapter 22, verse 29: “Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.”
I recently was asked to make a series of video’s painting video-workshops titled, “Paint like Van Gogh - Family art workshop.” This was for my local library, for primary school kids.
The librarian told me to look at existing videos they are using. Then, another person asked for a video from a primary school again. God was in this I thought.
Anyway, I saw one of the artist’s videos. The artist-videographer was happily showing people how to draw dinosaurs on his computer. ‘Circles are like potatoes,’ he said. ‘These are the shape of the dinosaur’s toes,’ he spoke as he drew.
Anyway, as I watched I was confronted with the challenge. Will I follow his approach?
Maybe you are faced with the need to be creative in your work or situation?
A new project demands a fresh creative touch. Or maybe you have used the covid period to reassess how you do things and want to create a fresh look and approach in your business? Or maybe the way you are raising your kids requires a fresh approach in the way you relate or coach them?
The same-old, same-old causes boredom. How can we tap into the spring of continual creativity.
7 things that will boost creativity.
Don’t let others determine your limit.
Learn from others, but get in touch with your desire. As I reflected on making my ‘Paint like Van Gogh” series I determined not to adopt that “clinical computer feel I saw.” I know me and my creative side.
Don’t be afraid to have a try.
My mind went blank when I was asked to make my video. But, I persisted. I felt to go outside to make it. It’s winter here; easy to make excuses to stay inside. For me creativity is an adventure!
Get feedback from others as you step out.
Ask various people about their perception of your work without pre-empting them. Thank God for the really critical types. A positive comment from these confirms you are getting somewhere. And they help you to strive for excellence. My wife is my greatest critic!
Release your imagination and boost it by learning broadly.
Don’t be narrow. My solution to painting my series came from a zoo. I liked the Steve-Irwin-total enthusiasm-style, and how he went on location to present his animal findings.
Get in a creative place.
Turn on your favourite music and find a pleasant space. But, too often this is not possible. Instead, I say, “Don’t jump in the river, but let the river of creative thought flow from your inner being.”
An example of this is Exodus chapter 36 where God supplied the river of his spirit and creativity to the craftsmen building the tabernacle. 30Then Moses said to the Israelites, “See, the Lord has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 31and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills- 32to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 33to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic crafts.
The name Bezalel means “in the shadow of God”. The best place to be when creating is being overshadowed by God in our area of work or our enterprise to flow in creativity. It enables joy and optimism. We will excel and become a light.
Love what you do!
Creativity flows from the passion you have to perform your task. It is particularly potent when it translates into a love for others. Let’s tap into the greatest love; Jesus said, “love others as I loved you.”
Creativity has a use-by date
Friends, we all have a powerful creative potential! We are made in God’s image. However, our creativity needs to be used and applied for it to grow. You will lose what you don’t use.
Remember, Matthew chapter 25, the parable of the talents. The master multiplied the talents of those who used their talents. They entered his joy. We too can know his joy today. Step out.
“To him who has he shall be given more.” We must be born again in Christ, in spirit and water to reveal his kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
I did my Van Gogh painting of the Melbourne Museum cube. It was a completely clear blue sky, but I chose to release my creative side and paint the sky with clouds (see photo attached). I trust it reveals God’s glory!
The master gave the talents. What we have is not really our own.
Jesus will return one day. Are we ready to meet our maker? Someone said, “What we are is God’s gift to us. What we make of ourselves is our gift to God.”
Mark Rusic was born in Melbourne and has a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering. He became a missionary to many, suffering hardship and poverty on Madura Island in Indonesia, in 1990 for about four years. He worked as a pastor-life coach with Hope International Ministries from 2002 to May 2023, playing a key role in raising up leaders and elders for the local Melbourne Hope church, which lead today. Mark has also been active in conducting yearly trips to remote Indigenous communities, bringing teams for training and outreach, which he initiated from 2015. He also established a salt and light ministry to empower saints of influence in the marketplace from 2017.
Mark is also an artist and an author and has written two books which are both a collection of his own paintings, photography, and poetry. These include ‘Iconic Melbourne of Australia’ and ‘Iconic Animals of Australia- With a voice to release your giant potential within,’ which are available now on booktopia.com.au and at leading book retailers. He has been counted among some of Australia’s best authors on several occasions through Dymocks since 2014 and continues to be a motivational speaker in various community groups, organisations, and churches.
He is currently pioneering his itinerant ministry to bless Indigenous people and empower the body of Christ, while working as an artist, author and speaker.