Hello! Im a Christian Graphic Designer and I have been discovering the role of artists and designers alike and how we relate our identity in the real world. I have just started working for a Christian company where I intern as a Graphic Designer. Here are some thoughts and things I have learned along the way about being a Christian and Designer. Feel free to scribble some out if you disagree, but I’m sure it may be better to leave a comment (that way your computer screen is less likely to hate you).
The Invention of Graphic Design
Being an artist and/or Graphic Designer is hard enough, especially in the economic situation at present and the lack of jobs available for freelance Graphic Designers to begin with! In our broad world today, being a Christian is even less popular, especially if you get out of the South. How can you glorify God with being a Christian Graphic Designer and reach the world as your audience when you have so much going against you?
Let’s take a look at a few things from the Bible. I bet you never knew God was a Graphic Designer.
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” Genesis 1:1-2
See? God took something formless, dark, and empty and began the biggest, most beautiful work of art ever. The Great Star-Breather started off noticing there was darkness and created light, cleared the space, and began to work away.
“And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness.” Genesis 1:3-4
Now, Im no physicist, and surely I can imagine how difficult it would be for anyone to separate light from darkness by sheer willpower. Its hard enough separating your two children fighting over a misplaced Pokemon card they found. But anyway, what I’ve gleaned from these two verses was the fact that light was created to stand out from the darkness. So, we as Christians take that to heart and become people of light. We shine and reveal the darkness and sometimes that seems painfully exposing.
Christian Methods in Graphic Design
One thing we are to remember as Christians is that we live on earth, but not in it. 2 Corinthians 10:3 says, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.” We’ve heard this before, I’m sure. So, in translating that to how we do Graphic Design, its quite simple. Our methods should look different. But what does that look like?
Being a Christian Graphic Designer does not look the same for everyone. Just because you’re a Christian and Designer doesn’t mean you have to slap a Christian Ichthus (the little fish symbol) all over your art. Your talents are given to you by God to make a difference in the world. It is often a conception that there is a fine line between being portraying Christ in your work and being religious. According to this awesome article, Is It Hard Being a Christian Designer?, there are many things we can do as Christians who make graphic designs- but who will you choose to minister to?
Many Christian Designers end up working freelance or for churches, doing bulletins, posters, tee-shirts, and all that other cool stuff you see your local Youth Group wearing. But sometimes you want to make a difference in the rest of the world; you know, the parts that think “Christians are like everyone else, but are just busy on Sundays”. That’s quite a wake-up call, isn’t it? We must broaden our circles. The Great Commission calls us to go into all the world, not just to the “Christian bubbles.” We should want to stick out, and create compelling art that moves people to Christ.
God is not limited in His ministry- He wants to be a part of everything we do. No, rather, we should be a part of everything He invites us to do, and as a Graphic Designer I choose to honor God with my skills He has given me so I can see His glory here on earth! It would be the same if I was a nurse, a teacher, a basketball coach, a rocket scientist or a news reporter. What are your thoughts on this subject?
If you thought this article was interesting to you, check out this other post about Christianity and Graphic Design and what we can do to be excellent in our craft and let me know what you think!