Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Why do I see art as being inextricably connected with my religion?

The answer lies in how I see the answer to the age-old question to the artist: "Where do your ideas come from? What is it that inspires you?"

My simple answer is that my ideas come from God and so does my inspiration. I will one day compile a list of artists that have believed the same, for they are many.

In my religion we believe in something called continuing revelation. A revelation is essentially a God-given "good idea" (that can sometimes claim to be an eternal truth). It's "continuing" because many religions don't really believe it happens in modern times, particularly in regard to revealing new or lost truths about the universe and our place in it.

But that is what I consider big revelation, and it doesn't happen as often, but what I receive as an artist is basically the same thing on very very small scale. Nevertheless it is my own, and I believe that when I have a good idea, or when my synaptics connect in my brain and I learn something, that it happens either directly or indirectly because of a higher power. Directly because I believe He has the power to enlighten and inspire me, and indirectly because He's the one that created me and is guiding me through my life's story, and as such, all things are an indirect result of His handiwork.

These truths I learn are almost always related to art, because art is my life and my passion. As I have more good ideas and more inspiration I become a better and better artist.

In regards to my religion, we canonize additional revelations every so often. One such collection is called the Doctrine & Covenants. It contains a record of what God has spoken to and through a latter-day prophet named Joseph Smith. Joseph is kind of like Moses but without the beard.

Thus, because of revelation I see all my art as a byproduct of God's handiwork. As such, I treat God like I would a Renaissance Master, and I trust in the judgments and good ideas He gives me, as well as the guidance, direction, and rules He places upon me, for I trust that as I obey them the mysteries I do not now understand will be unfolded to my view more rapidly than if I was to trust in myself, or the scientific method, alone.

Who wouldn't trust Michelangelo if he were alive today and teaching sculpture? Then why not God?

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