I had lunch with one of my friends who plays bass at one of Central’s campuses, and he said an interesting phrase to me. He mentioned that “art is reflective.”
He explained this in two ways. First, we show people how to react to our art by the way we present it. The emotions on our face, the tone of our voice, our posture, etc. Second, we experience the value of our art depending on how others react to it. Artists can live on cloud 9 when people are totally into it, and conversely can go into isolation when they are not into it.
While art is usually created personally, it is always experienced communally. Reflection is a part of art.
This got me thinking about two questions. How can I best present my art, and how can I best respond to others’ feedback of my art? I lead the Creative Arts department at Central and as the name implies, there is a lot of subjective art to what we do. For us, this means we must determine how we can best present the Truth of Christ through our weekend services. It also means we must learn to respond accordingly to how our presentation is met through the church. Thinking through these questions is the first step in becoming better artists.
I have received numerous comments of positive encouragement from my preaching through the years that have helped me develop along the way. But I also remember one sermon in particular where I received such strong negative reaction that I was hesitant to preach again. Art is reflective.
What do you create? Are there ways to present it better and respond better to others’ reaction of it?