The Artisan Soul by Erwin Raphael McManus
“…Curiosity fuels our imagination, our imagination fuels our dreams, our dreams fuel our souls, and our souls inform our lives” (The Artisan Soul, 182).
The Artisan Soul by Erwin Raphael McManus is a book about crafting our lives into works of art. In the book, Erwin talks about how every person is an artist, whether they believe they are or not, and why is it important to realize our artisan souls. “Is it really that critical to embrace the artist within us? I would simply remind you of the insight from the Scriptures: as a man thinks, so it he” (13). As an artist, we have a responsibility to use our God-given gifts to create a life that is a work of art. Our life is a gift and we should not waste our lives living ordinarily, but rather know that God has created us to live extraordinary lives. Throughout the book, Erwin gives great tools on how to cultivate our lives into works of art and reawaken the artist within us.
“…The great divide is not between those who are artists and those who are not, but between those who understand that they are creative and those who have become convinced that they are not. The great divide is between those who understand that their very nature is that of an artist and those who remain unaware or in denial of their artisan soul” (4).
What I love about this book is how it talks about all the different aspects of the creative act and process. Creating a masterpiece takes a lot of time and hard work. As Erwin says, “For our lives to be works of art, we need to allow a lifetime of work. We must give God the time to make us works of art” (32). It will never be something that happens overnight. It is a process.
When we create, we are first inspired or have a dream. Then we take an act of courage and a risk before we finally create. Dream, Risk, Create. We are taking a risk each time we create and in order to take that risk, we must first take the act of courage to face our fears. “It takes courage to not only accept our limitations but embrace our potential” (7).
In the act of creating, we are opening up our most vulnerable places…for what we create is a reflection of who we are (18). When we allow others to see our art, we are allowing them to see into our souls and into our insecurities. Many of the time, we are too afraid to create because we see our limitations rather than our potential. Erwin uses Van Gogh’s quote to encourage to face our insecurities. “If you hear a voice within you say, ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced” (60).
We all have potential. Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up” (62). We must learn to not only accept our limitations but see our potential. Will we face our fears and harness our potential?
I love how Erwin describes potential as unharnessed talent. God put potential in each and every one of us. However, we can only turn that potential into something substantial when we lean on God and let him chisel away at us, just like how Michelangelo chisels away at the image hidden within the marble block. Will we put in the work needed to give God our best and turn our potential into talent?
“…To do our greatest work, we must overcome the temptation to be afraid or become discouraged, engaging the creative process with strength and courage” (131).
What will you create? Who will you become?
I highly recommend this read for anyone who wants to be encouraged about their artisan soul or who wishes to rediscover their inner artist. This is my second read-through and I thoroughly enjoyed it both times.
—The Adversity Rose—
DREAM. PURSUE. EXPERIENCE. GROW.
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