Beauty and affliction. It's the places we create from. At our core. Everything we create comes from one of those two places, at its root.
We can equate beauty to blessing. And affliction to pain.
I was working on a couple of years ago. It was for a local church I was helping out. It was the end of January. I remember because that month had been terrible. I'd travelled thousands of miles. I was exhausted. Things didn't happen like they were supposed to. I'd been wounded. I was in pain.
I came home from a grueling round of trips and conferences and events and had to design for my client. And I did. But what I designed was...heartbreaking. What I designed was dark. Because it was designed from a place of affliction. A place of pain. And it lacked hope.
When I began dating my wife, I was transitioning into a season where I was doing a lot more graphic design for the church I was working at. I'd been pursuing the woman who became my wife for a year at that point. And when she finally said yes, I was so pumped. I couldn't even express how excited I was to finally be in this place with this amazing woman.
The week following I was working on a design project for a sermon series. It was a pretty heavy series. And the design needed to convey some emotion. Some heavy, thoughtful emotion. But what I designed was...too bubbly. Too cheerful. It lacked depth.
And so you see, we create from beauty and we create from affliction. And when we rely too heavily on one, we create a design that lacks a balance. We need to create from the gap. We need to design from both beauty and affliction.
When we create from both places at once, we bring a natural balance that our audience desperately needs. As we live in the tension between these two, it allows our audience to experience a balance that they may desperately need in their life.
Art is powerful. And as creators, we carry a lot of weight with each pen stroke and mouse click. Be brave enough to live in the gap. And know that while it may be a struggle for you, your audience will thank you for it. Silently. Internally. But they'll thank you.