The Power of Art
I’ve always been an artist, although my style has transformed over the years. There was a stage of my childhood when I was always wanting to draw what I saw: sunsets, people, trees. Then there was what I like to refer to as the “dark ages,” and that was when I struggled with addiction. My art was full of skulls and women with blank faces and spider tattoos. I think I was trying to paint what I was feeling on the inside.
And the truth was, I felt dead inside.
I was trying to be someone on the outside that I knew didn’t exist on the inside. I wanted to appear perfect, but I knew I wasn’t. I was struggling with eating disorders that started when I was 10. I felt so ashamed that I moved out of my home. From there I fell into a downward spiral.
When I was 20-years-old, I was raped. I then became addicted to drugs and alcohol. It didn’t take long before I overdosed the day before my 21st birthday. My mom had me admitted to a rehab facility halfway across the country—a Christian facility.
I didn’t want to have anything to do with Christians. I believed they were rude and hypocritical and that they judged me. I grew up unchurched and was mad that in rehab these people made me go to church every day. But eventually I found Jesus.
I started to pick up art again after laying it to the side for a few years. I needed a way to cope with what was happening around me. I began to creatively letter the girls’ names in my group and make decorations for our lockers. I doodled scriptures in my notebook.
I continued my art once I got home. I created mixed-media canvases and posted them on Facebook. People started wanting them. I sold some here and there for not a lot of money. They weren’t the highest quality either, which makes me cringe now thinking people paid money for them. Still, I made art with what I had where I was.
That’s what I would tell someone now: Make what you can with what you have where you are!
You don't need the fancy supplies or state-of-the-art canvases. Just buy a sketchpad or a pack of cheap canvas, grab your old acrylic paint out of the closet and take some of those kid brushes you bought for school projects. Have fun with it! You may like it and you may not. If you don’t, at least you didn’t waste $50 on supplies, right?
If you do find out you love being creative, then splurge a little here and there. Buy yourself a few nice brushes and maybe some more expensive paint. Try out different markers or a new type of medium. If drawing is your thing, splurge on new pens every once in a while. It’s all about the process. Don’t get discouraged when something doesn't end up the way you had envisioned. Practice and keep trying because life and art is all about the journey.
My art now is inspired by the Bible and is very whimsical and fun. I use a lot of bright colors and weave into the piece a variety of details so that every time you look at it, you see something new.
Let God transform your heart and transform your art into the most beautiful masterpiece of all. When He does, you won’t want to look back because what’s in front is so much better and full of growth.
Valerie Wieners is an artist who offers many different products, including notepads, stamp sets and Bible-journaling scrap packs, intended to inspire creativity in others. Her book The Art of Words (Passio, 2017) teaches creative lettering for designing gift tags, wrapping paper, scrapbook pages, Bible pages and much more. She offers Bible-journaling video tutorials and hosts workshops at her house in Amarillo, Texas. Wieners is married to her best friend, Brad, and they have one son, Oliver. Visit her website at http://valeriewienersart.com/.