Artwork: Choose This Day…

christian, luke 23, Jesus, Salvation, folk art, art, illustration, My Soul Among Lions, Psalm 1, John 14:6

The above artwork I illustrated about five or six years ago, and is based around Luke 23:38-43, John 14:6 and Psalm 1. It’s designed to have more of a folk art appearance, and incorporates a number of themes from the scripture it’s based around. It portrays Christ on the Cross (Luke 23:38-43), but the Cross is also stylistically part of a tree (as referenced in Psalm 1), and is the source of light and life (as referenced in John 14:6). Of course, each side has those of humanity who have chosen how to respond to the message of salvation, with those on one side having chosen a path that leads to destruction (also referenced in Psalm 1) or those who have chosen to follow Christ, and have become a part of His Kingdom (Psalm 1, John 14:6 and Luke 23:38-43). It prominently asks the viewer to “Choose This Day”, as life is fleeting and there’s no time like the present to decide how you personally would respond to the salvation, hope, peace and purpose in life (and in the life to come) that only Christ offers! (Check out Axiom’s Peace in our Lifetime Flyer or What in the World Brochure!)

I’ve also really been encouraged over the last couple of months by the music of My Soul Among Lions (which I wrote about recently at Modern Christian Music: Advancing God’s Kingdom). They have such a fantastic bluegrass/folk music sound, with inspiring lyrics from Psalm 1-10, that I thought this artwork would be something they might appreciate. As a result, “Choose This Day” is dedicated in thanks to this talented group, and their future work in helping many others stand for Him!

Thoughts? Let me know in the comments section! Also be sure to subscribe to this blog (so you don’t miss any future posts) and check out my Artwork tab for great christian cartoons, illustrations and resources available to help share His Truth!

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Game Design: “Journey” and Christian Art

Journey, Game design, christian art, christianity, creativityIt’s been several years since the hit game “Journey” came out on the Playstation 3 game console. However, as I recently played it through the Playstation Now Subscription Service (via PS4) for the first time the other night, I was so impressed by the experience that I thought it worth devoting a little time to talk about this brilliant piece of interactive art – and how it might relate to Christian creativity!

Putting it simply, I think Journey is a perfect example of the kind of game Christians will want to look at if they’re interested in creating art (in the form of books, game design, music, etc) that help communicate our message to the world. Journey, which was released in March of 2012 by Thatgamecompany, beautifully conveys a moving story of a character as they walk, glide or fly through a series of stunning environments. And while it certainly isn’t a Christian game, it’s the kind of experience that is accessible to all – which is what many Christians working in the arts should be mindful of working towards. Children to adults will find this a compelling world to experience, as the players control a figure that works to achieve an objective without committing acts of violence. Journey also breaks down language barriers, as there is no spoken dialogue. Instead, characters are encouraged to help each other and “communicate” through the use of musical tones – which could be inspiring to those seeking to share the message of Christ with those who may not speak the same language.

The game also encourages thought and discussion about the journey of life, and what happens when we reach the end. For example, throughout the game there appears to be tombstones scattered about the landscape, which may suggest people who were killed in war – or died unexpectedly before reaching their goal. The in-game world also seemed as if it could be allegorical for our own world: beautiful and dangerous, but not in an ideal state. And then there are aspects of story which convey triumph and failure, and possibly even death near the end…and beyond!

Without a doubt, this award winning game is a unique experience (which some, like Game Informer, have even lauded as “Spiritual”) that is expertly told through music, story, eye-catching design, and finely tuned game mechanics. Since experiencing this story, I’ve found myself often thinking about Christian endeavors to communicate our message of Hope and Truth to the world. Some have been successful, and some – despite big budgets and countless hours of work – have not been overly successful at all. Sure, there’s certainly a time and place for communicating different messages regarding the Truth of Christ – and sometimes Christians may be required to give a more direct or “preachy” message. But whenever we are creating books, movies, games or other art, perhaps there’s something to be learned from the more temporary success and impact that works like Journey have had on millions throughout our world as well!

God has created an amazing world, and a stunning universe full of wonder. As an unrivaled artist, creator and designer, there is nothing our Creator has done second-rate! As such, I think that we too should be inspired to do our best for God and His Kingdom, and ultimately seek to surpass whatever secular humanity can offer!

Also see: Christ Centered Games Journey Review