The “Artisan Soul” in All of Us

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When I first encountered the idea that I was an “artist,” I literally laughed out loud. Although music and art forms of movement like dance have always been a part of my life, I’ve never felt like these hobbies grouped me with the artists and creatives who do those things for a living. But when I encountered The Artisan Soul by Erwin McManus my outlook was completely transformed.

Performance at Mosaic Church

Erwin McManus is the pastor of Mosaic Church located in LA, a melting pot of culture, creativity, and those who courageously call themselves “artists.” Erwin himself has a creative streak with experience in fashion and modeling. This kind of experience seems almost like a requirement for someone who holds his platform. It’s not surprising that a large portion of Erwin’s message center on the ideas of creativity and human agency. But in a sea of people tirelessly striving to make their art form worthy of recognition, Erwin challenges the status quo by proposing that to be an artist does not mean that you have the special skills to create something unique. To be an artist is to be human.

Jesus statue outside of H.J. Long Gym
Picture by: Di’Mond Salmond

We are made in the image of a Creator. A being who delights in crafting complex systems out of nothing, imagining color, movement, sound, senses. Creating order and rhythm patterns, while leaving room for chaotic movement and spontaneous variation. Our ability and desire to create is an inseparable part of our humanity.

 Whether you think of yourself as an “artist” or not, take a moment and reflect on the number of things you create each day. Heck, this could even include your uniquely curated plate at the dining commons. Whatever medium, we as humans cannot go a day without creating something. The most powerful thing you have the ability to create is your life. 

No, you cannot choose where you are born, how you grew up, and you cannot always choose how others treat you. However, you are capable of creating your future. One of the most depressing phenomena is watching people THINK they are helpless, and seeing this thought shape their behavior. In the face of circumstances that you cannot choose, you choose how to respond, and you choose your perspective.

To ignore our power to create is to ignore our responsibility and privilege as human beings. Evolutionary psychology interprets all human behavior as motivated by the drive to reproduce. However, evolutionary psychology has been critiqued for its inability to account for social change. We as humans have the ability to change our behavior, our culture, and therefore our futures. 

If you have the capacity to imagine, you have the ability to create. 

Make your dreams reality. Dream of a future, of a life that you want to be told as your story. With vulnerability, speak that dream into being. And with courage, create.

Erwin McManus

“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.” ~ Erwin McManus

Media by: Di’Mond Salmond


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