I Just Published My Creativity Book

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Hardwired for Creativity: Art Supplies for the Mind

A Handbook of Godly Wisdom, Strategies & Freedom

Available here at Amazon.com

Hardwired for Creativity is a teaching memoir and educational workbook, focused on encouraging and supporting growing creative students before and beyond the knowledge of formal art principles and techniques. Creativity is expressed in a variety of ways, like painting, writing, performing arts, crafts, woodworking, business management, and employee development.

This book is divided into two Sections. The first Section is divided into four parts: cultivating creativity, developing creative work, thinking differently, and acknowledging others. Section two is full of creativity-related topics, such as brainstorming, project management, critiques, research, intuition, and procrastination. All these topics are important to developing creative work and a creative lifestyle.

Emergent students, artists, and creatives need tools of everyday understanding to successfully sustain balanced lives of creative structure and freedom. This book is dedicated to the exploration of these everyday topics through a variety of pedagogy, like qualitative research, and the creatives’ life experiences.

Fun & Play for More Creativity

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

The following is an excerpt from the book I am currently writing called, Hardwired for Life: Art Supplies for the Mind.

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“A merry heart does good, like medicine…” — Proverbs 17:22, New King James Version (NKJV)

We must play and have fun because we will often need to refill and recover after long periods of creative activity. Creativity can be even more draining than other mental work activities because it is emotionally challenging. It’s emotional to tap into our target audience’s thoughts, feelings, and desires. It takes some intentional and serious mental gymnastics to walk a mile in our user, viewer, or reader’s shoes. We have to become someone else as we develop our craft in order to get it right. What better way to recover than to have some fun?

Creative work demands creative outlets for us to rest and reset our bodies, spirits and souls. Having fun and playing around are perfect ways to restore our energy and creative flow. When we are having fun, we are disengaged from stress, chaos and drama. The world takes a back seat when we are having fun and nothing else matters. Pain and other symptoms of dysfunction disappear during play and our bodies thrive in the rest.

When we are creative, we are drawn into the “now” moment and are able to tap into God’s power and Spirit. The same is true when we are having fun. We become childlike when we play and can find the innocence it takes to connect with God. Play needs to be creative and fun.

Play is full of joy and peace though it can take on a competitive quality that brings more stress than healing. Fun on the other hand is just fun without agendas. True strength and power come from the type of creative play that leaves us laughing and experiencing joy. Joy carries permanent healing, whereas play can be used unwisely and only holds temporary stress relief.

Using Play in Our Lives

People often use play ineffectively. Many forms of sports and hobbies are considered play. We play golf, we play football, we play tennis, etc. all of which have the stresses of technicality, strategy, and physical and mental strain. Play can become a war with ourselves and others.

We have a built-in need to play as human beings that must be satisfied. Unfortunately, we also play at war. Play that is unrighteous puts us at odds with one another. We end up playing negatively in battle with each other at all levels of government and society. We compete with political parties, we rival with fashion, and we chance our health, all in destructive ways.

The key is understanding that innate need we have to play and use it constructively for God’s Kingdom. We can use play for God’s Kingdom by getting healthy and then helping others to play effectively. We must heal in body, spirit, and soul in order to begin to make an ongoing difference in God’s Kingdom. Healing helps us to be wise about our service to God. We also become more creative when we are working from wholeness.

We will never be perfect here on earth, but we can heal enough to run our race of salvation as a winner. When we are healed, we see God’s will and plan for our lives. We can see that we are truly victorious just where we are at, and that is a priceless expression of success. When we are healed, we know that we are running the best race possible. We are co-creating with God, we are having creative fun and playing appropriately in our lives, and we are more free.

Creativity at Church

Pastels and Pencils by Jana Rawling

Prophetic Art

I like to do prophetic art during our worship time at church — sometimes dodging flags and dancers.

First I pray, asking Holy Spirit what He wants me to draw and I get into my Bible and read. I always begin to see part of an image, colors and shapes but I don’t get the whole picture until I begin to draw. The picture emerges so-to-speak and becomes something I may not even understand. Every quick drawing that I do speaks to someone, which is a blessing to me.

I Can’t Help It

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is sculpture.jpg
Untitled in progress by Jana Rawling

Have to Sculpt People

It’s been a while, but I had fun making this guy. I’ll do some finishing touches and wait several months before firing him. Let’s pray he doesn’t bust open in the kiln. I’m still learning…. What should I call him?

“Life motivation comes from the deep longings of the heart, and the passion to see them fulfilled urges you onward.”

Proverbs 16:26, The Passion Translation

If You Don’t Mind

My most recent drawing for a handmade book I want to make.

I’ll Share My Creativity

Something has been bothering me lately. How can I host and maintain four blogs with podcasts on three of them, and videocasts on one?

I’m an artist and author and have a lot happening in my life regarding my health. I have been diagnosed with five rare diseases or disorders, yep five. Not to mention what I call my lesser diseases, such as Type 2 Diabetes and Fibromyalgia which are a result of some of the other illnesses. The annoying five are:

  1. CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome)
  2. EDS-3 Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Type 3)
  3. POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome)
  4. DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder)
  5. PNES (Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures)

I have separate blogs for CRPS and DID. I also have a site I rarely post at which is janarawling.com for my art making (though I forget to post stuff). Add to that, I am a Believer in Christ Jesus and have a blog site for that at HardwiredForLife.com (I have a partner on this one), and well, you see where I’m going with this. I get very tired and can’t post to all of them consistently, and I don’t. I suffer from symptoms every day mainly including pain, seizures, overall fatigue and falling down (sometimes breaking bones). I’ve had to stop working as a commercial art professor, which I miss very much. But I can still write when I feel okay, and I can make some art, which brings me joy through the pain.

I was wondering if I should combine some of the blogs, but I’m pretty sure that someone with CRPS doesn’t care about my DID, DIDers don’t care about POTS, and so on. I’ve been asking the Lord about it and He told me that the common denominator for all of my sites is not only me, but also is my art making, my creativity.

God told me that DIDers, CRPSers, Believers, and Artists all enjoy creativity. So, if you don’t mind, I will post the same art making and writing to all of my sites. That way, I have some universal content. I will still keep everything separate, but some creativity will be the same.

Whew! I feel better now. I feel that sharing my creativity is something I can do that will bring me tons of joy. Plus, I’m working hard on my healing and joy is a precious remedy.

Thank you for participating in my journey from wherever you’ve come.

With Love,

Jana

P.S.: Can I pray for you? If so, contact me via email, or just say, “Yes” and I will be honored.

P.S.S.: I’m currently writing a book called, “Hardwired for Creativity: Art Supplies for the Mind” that should be finished sometime this year. I’ll let you know when that happens.

Thoughts on Creativity

Photo by Julia Joppien on Unsplash

Creativity is a mystery.

Creativity is revelation from God. It’s an unseen resource we can pull down from Heaven. It’s an anointing we can access as sons and daughters of the living God. It’s a significant attribute of Holy Spirit and Jesus. I call creativity the Creative Spirit. When I speak of the Creative Spirit, I am also speaking of the Holy Trinity as its ultimate source.

Creativity is the driving force behind just about everything we do. From getting dressed in the morning to driving throughout our day. We are hardwired to be creative. We imagine what we will wear: our outfit, shoes, hair. We imagine the roads we will drive; where to turn, how to pass or change lanes; how to use the vehicle to our advantage. We use creativity unsparingly and unwittingly.

So, what would life be like if we were able to harness creativity and use it to promote and glorify the Kingdom of God? How much more can we accomplish in our day, or over a lifetime?

Excerpt from our book in progress called, Hardwired for Creativity: Art Supplies for the Mind.

Imagination

Excerpt from Hardwired for Creativity: Art Supplies for the Mind to be published later this year by Jana Rawling with contributing writers Sharon Luzzi and Amanda McKinley.

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First things first, ask God to show you how you’ve misused your imagination and fantasy thinking. Repent, forgive and pray for a sanctified and righteous imagination to serve the Lord. We must surrender our imagination to Jesus just like everything else in life. We are to pick up our cross and follow Him, daily, and this is crucial to our walk of salvation.

The unsanctified imagination serves Satan. Period. Remember, there’s no lukewarm in Christian living. We are either for Jesus or against Him. We can engage our imagination in unholy blatant rebellion or in faint worrying, both are sin. Worry is sinful, because we are not fully trusting in the Lord’s provision in our lives. Instead, we are believing lies from the enemy. We can be entertaining pornography or fantasizing about a relationship, again both are sin. We can get lost in an ungodly movie or book, sin. The key is recognizing these behaviors and doing something to change them. God wants our full attention with honor and respect as His children.

Enough of that, let’s talk about godly imagination and fantasy.

The imagination is sparked by the “what ifs?” And when we are connected to and hearing from the Lord, we can trust that the “what ifs” are placed inside our hearts by God to begin with. The “what ifs” are our desires and they lead to more of them until we begin to get answers, find solutions and experience new life. This is how the Creative Spirit co-labors with us. He plants the seeds of imagination and we water them to bear fruit.

We use our righteous and sanctified imaginations to fuel our creativity, visions and dreams. When we are connected to God and trust our discernment, we can trust what we imagine. We can always ask God for more discernment. We can envision our life as positive, healthy, and serving the Kingdom of God. We can fantasize about heaven and imagine bringing all that’s there to earth. We can reimagine our future careers, ministries, health, finances, families and communities. We can meditate and see ourselves as functioning productively in the Body of Christ.

Our imagination and fantasy become tangible supernaturally. There’s power in the thoughts and words we use. Second Corinthians 10:5 (TPT) says, “We can demolish every deceptive fantasy that opposes God and break through every arrogant attitude that is raised up in defiance of the true knowledge of God. We capture, like prisoners of war, every thought and insist that it bow in obedience to the Anointed One.” We must take care with our thought life.

Imagination increases our faith as we read the Word of God and wonder at its secret treasures. It builds our relationships with Holy Spirit, Jesus and the Father. It tackles our problems, feeds our desires, and gives us holy encounters. If we are faithful believers, we already depend on our imagination. We believe in what we cannot see.

Hebrews 11:1–3, says “Now faith brings our hopes into reality and becomes the foundation needed to acquire the things we long for. It is all the evidence required to prove what is still unseen. This testimony of faith is what previous generations were commended for. Faith empowers us to see that the universe was created and beautifully coordinated by the power of God’s words! He spoke and the invisible realm gave birth to all that is seen.” This book, the one you’re are reading now, is evidence of the unseen. Its contents come from co-creating with God. And it gives me more faith in His trusted Word and in the creative imagination.

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Imagination is a cornerstone of creativity. When we imagine we are seeing the unseen, hoping for possibility, and daring to make something new. We can imagine from the Creative Spirit, from the heart, mind, our spirit, soul and from the flesh. We use a combination of them all when we partner with Holy Spirit.

It’s important to know ourselves enough to know where our imagination is coming from and how it will affect our life and those around us. Is it coming from our soul? Our spirit, our flesh? Or from Creative Spirit? It might matter if you suspect any unholiness in a thought or idea, or when you’ve neglected to consult with Holy Spirit. When you are not sure of where your imagination is coming from, ask Jesus to reveal it to you. When we imagine we need to remember that words are powerful. Thoughts are powerful, so we must keep them in alignment with God’s will and purpose for our life.

Our flesh has its own latent power that can accomplish wonderful things even though we can make mistakes using it. We can learn amazing things through failure and mistakes that often come from our flesh, mind, spirit and/or soul—each of which can become corrupt or broken. We are made of these parts and we cannot discount or ignore the integral synergy of them all in our lives. We can’t pick and choose which to exhort without neglecting the other parts. People who focus on a spiritual life may neglect the body, and vice versa. Our body is our temple and it holds memories, illnesses and trauma that need to be healed.

We cannot overlook that from our fleshly body we sense and feel. We have emotions from our mind and soul. And our spirit is always interacting with the spiritual realm and Holy Spirit. All from whom we are, we imagine, and we create in wholeness.

Experience

When you are developing a mission statement, vision statement or manifesto you are imagining a state of being. We can imagine making that touchdown, frosting the perfect cake, and writing that compelling letter to create something physically tangible. We create a state of being or something physically tangible when we dream about our future, when we want something to change in our life, and when we envision accomplishing something.

You are essentially creating by imagining in the spiritual realm and when you put energy into it, it begins to manifest on earth. You conceive it in your heart and birth it into existence. A couple of powerful ways to create is to make “I imagine…” statements and do “visioning” exercises. First, pray and spend time with God worshiping. This way, you can better ensure that what you imagine is from Him more than from you and He will guide you. He will tell you and show you what He would like for you to create, birth or make manifest.

Photo by Josh Hild on Unsplash

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Hardwired to Overcome

Hardwired to Overcome: And the Power of Suffering

Many of us suffer and have a hard reconciling the pain with our walk of salvation. In this text we explore suffering and offer you tools to overcome.

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Hardwired to Overcome: And the Power of Suffering

Learn to rejoice in suffering.

Form & Function

Utilizing Wall Space for Display

I confess. I love rocks. As a child I loved to grab my empty coffee can and hunt for them in the desert for hours. I would bring them back to show my grandpa. I have a pretty large collection and I wanted to figure out how to display them without taking up room on a table or shelf.

I took a 4″ x 4″ piece of wood and cut it into 2″ and 6″ lengths to make room for the spheres against the wall. Next, I stained them with a mahogany stain, tinted them black and finished them with a matte varnish. Finally, I super-glued rubber “O” rings on the top to keep the spheres in place. I plan to paint the wall a cool gray that I like too.

This was a fun project. It was nice to use my creativity in a new way. I encourage you to try something different. Be creative and have fun.

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