Monday, May 19, 2014

What Captain America and Superman Knew But We're Still Learning

Right after a tall red-faced Star Wars Darth Maul glowered down at me and growled, I jumped, and you would have too, to see his teeth bared at such close range.
Photo Credit: The Conmunity, Creative Commons, cc license
In a crowded comic book convention this weekend, my daughter and I passed countless Supermen, Captain America's, Doctor Who characters, and Star Trek klingons. Children and grownups sported long red capes, strode confidently in calf-high boots, and twirled plastic battle axes while shopping for comic book paraphernalia.

While I flipped over books to check printing companies and asked authors about their publishing journeys, my daughter was the real reason we were here. With a shy confidence, she turned pages in artists' portfolios, asking them questions on art techniques and leaping at the chance to show them her own sketches.

"I brought them with," she replied quickly when an anime artist suggested she show her work to people in the industry. "Can I show you?" Pulling off her blue backpack, she pulled out a manilla folder with her favorite sketches inside. She stood silent as two different artists flipped carefully through her work, pausing at some pieces to comment and linger.

For hours afterward, she skipped excitedly from the feedback they gave and from the intoxication of being surrounded by artists who love to draw and capture art in pens, pencil, and paints.

"I need to stop and draw," she declared at one point partway through the conference. "This just inspires me, and I need to draw." We scrounged up two chairs at the back of a loud panel room where contestants in costumes waited for their turn at the microphone. Morgan balanced her art pad on her lap, already tracing orbs onto the page, early starts of human anatomy.

And you have this too. It may not be with pencils and Japanese anime forms, but there is something you do that brings you such joy that you hunger for it. Siphon you away from it for long enough and it compels you to scavenge a place and a time to dive in.

What is it that calls to you? What hobby, talent, skill, or passion rumbles quietly underneath as you work your jobs, make supper, and drive from errand to errand? What do you look forward to today and this week?

Beware, my friend, because the television will call, and the tiredness seeps in, and it is always too easy to mutter slowly, "I'll do it tomorrow."

Don't put it off. Don't listen to the excuses, to the tired voice lulling you to easy comforts. Start now. Warm up your favorite drink, pull up your chair, and begin.

Because most likely, that thing that calls you, excites you, and is lingering silently there beneath the surface is something amazing, given to you by the Master Artist himself. Don't put it off, don't sink into the couch with another rerun episode. Pull out the paints, or the sketch pad, or your dremel tools. Click on that latest article or book piece you've started, and begin. It hums in you, pulling you.

And we are eager to see it. Even better, your Artist God is watching, smiling, and flipping through your portfolio.

(Linking with Ann in thanks. For those from Living Faith Church, stopping by for the immediate gratification post, please find that here. Thanks. All are welcome!)

12 comments:

Bill (cycleguy) said...

My wife now joked with me about my collection of Captain America T-shirts and some of the paraphernalia in my office. But on your subject, "tomorrow" is a devastating word in more ways than one. So glad your daughter said, "I gotta draw now" and you were wise enough to make it happen.

Floyd said...

How great for you to be able to help nurture the gift God born your daughter with. I agree with you, if we don't use the gift that brings out the passion in us, it just goes away and rots. A wonderful reminder! Thanks!

TC Avey said...

I can't wait to see what God has in store for my son. Already I see that he has a gentle spirit and shows concern for others.

My passion is in writing. When something inspires me I feel the need to express it with my pen/paper.

Betty Draper said...

I am that way about teaching a bible class or speaking at a ladies get together. If I am away from it too long I go into withdrawals. God always opens a door for me to be used just when I need it. How sweet to see first hand that passion in your daughter. You can fan the flames and she will love you even more. Great post Jennifer.

Dolly@Soulstops said...

Jennifer,
Your daughter is blessed to have a mom who cares about her gifts enough to celebrate and nurture them :)

Kara Shepherd said...

Love that you went to a ComicCon! Also, mildly jealous. :) What a great thing to get to watch the light in your child's eyes as they discover their passion. Wonderful.

Writing definitely gives me that hum, that feeling that I know I'm doing was I made for. Teaching women how to study the bible is also a passion, maybe even a way for me to remember my first love as I watch it bloom in another young believer's eyes.

Blessings to you!

Jennifer Dougan said...

Bill,

Good for you! My little son would be thrilled and impressed with your t-shirt collection. :)

"Tomorrow" can be a debilitating word, I agree. Go forth too!

Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Thanks, Floyd. It's so exciting to be able to encourage our kids' passions, huh?

Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

TC,

Yes, it is so exciting! How old is your son?

My passion is with words too, TC. Both spoken and written. I love writing.

Nice to have you here,
Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Betty,

Yes, Betty, me too! Being able to share on transformative truth from God's word, and getting to speak to women is so exciting and joy-filled. May he arrange some more dates for you to do that as well. It is such a joy to do, huh?

Thanks.
Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Thank you, Dolly. It is neat to watch our kids grow up and change, huh?

Have a great week,
Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Kara,

How fun to hear from you! :) yes, I agree with you. Writing too makes me hum and get excited -- both the written word and the spoken word. I love studying topics and then refining how to best present them to others. I learn so much more than anyone in that, and I am convinced of God's transformative power. He is so kind and good.

May God use your writing and teaching in exciting ways this year, Kara. May he line up opportunities for you to use your skills for him in the next few months, in fact!

Warmly,
Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com