Make. Good. Art.

I'm a comic book nerd.  

When I was in my early twenties, I collected comics, but my weekly comic bill got up to about $75, and with a new baby on the way, I decided my collecting days were over. 

But I did amass a pretty good collection full of rare comics and a host of first editions.  

During this time, I was introduced to author and creator Neil Gaiman through his Sandman series, which became one of my favorites.  His use of mythology, religion, and pure imagination appealed to me.  

Sandman was recently released as a series on Netflix, and I loved every episode.  Other books of Gaiman's that have been made into movies are American Gods, Good Omens, and Coraline.  

He's written scores of books and comics that have won almost every award you can win as a comic creator.  He has worked on musical projects, plays, and episodes of Doctor Who, along with other TV projects.  

It's not fair, is it?  How can one person be so talented?  

I discovered a book that Gaiman wrote on creativity a few years ago entitled Art Matters and read and reread it several times.  The quote below is my absolute favorite: 

Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make. Good. Art.

So there's so much about this quote that I love, and something about it is terrifying.  There's freedom in this idea, but it comes only through a willingness to be vulnerable and to allow for failure. 

If we want to become the people we long to be, we must be willing to fail occasionally.  We need to be completely fine with making mistakes.  We don't need to double down on denial when we mess up.  We also don't need to blame others (which many of us do).  And we don't need to try to cover up our blunders. 

The trick is to allow ourselves to follow Gaiman's advice and make interesting, unique, glorious, and fantastic mistakes that speak to our willingness to try something new even when we have no idea how it might turn out. 

Each mistake we make is a step in learning the lessons we need to discover who we are and how much we are capable of. 

We also need to realize that if we venture nothing, we gain nothing.  So many people spend a lifetime holding on to their god-given gifts because they worry that if they share them, they won't be well-received. 

Who cares? Share them anyway.  

Author Bob Goff once wrote, "Don't fail watching, fail trying." 

I love that so much.  There will be critics because there are always critics who risk nothing, share nothing, and then stand around critiquing those who do. 

Critics are not your crowd, your people, or your audience.  You are not sharing your gifts to please them because they are seldom pleased.  You share your gifts because you can't keep the fire in your heart contained.  

You share your gifts because there will be someone who resonates with what you are doing and will almost certainly tell you so by affirming your gifts and what your sharing has meant to them. 

God has placed a desire in your heart and a purpose in your life.  It may change with age, wisdom, or ability, but whatever form it takes throughout your life, be true to it.  

Make. Good. Art.  

And know this:  Art can be whatever you are compelled to create, share, or let loose into the world.  

Let it loose without fear.  The world needs what you have to share. 

May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen. 


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