I started a series on our “Art Lessons From God” newsletter called “Artists In Action”, where I interview Christian visual artists who are actually working in their craft.

The goal of the series is to encourage other artists that want to know more about working full or part time as artists, or are just seeking to be more active in their creative calling.

The interview today is with freelance Graphic Designer and Portrait Artist Lisa Stapor. Pay special attention to her answer to question #4:overfelt-fin_girls_lg.jpg

1. Tell us who you are and what you do as an artist:
I do freelance advertising along with colored pencil portraits and at times, murals and posters that help in worship. I also teach homeschoolers how to see like an artist and then how to put that on paper (right Brain Drawing). I homeschool 1 daughter, 14, who has many health issues and who herself is a fine artist and has had 3 businesses since the age of 6.

2. Now tell us about your artistic/creative background:
I graduated high school while doing some posters for Ponderosa and went straight into advertising and graphic design, working for the ad dept in a large department store to an art director for a magazine and then into Ad agencies and art studios as a graphic designer and art director. I spent doing this in a major city and now freelance in a small farming community. I do advertising and graphic design (creating corporate identity, logos, campaigns, brochures, posters). I had talent in school and felt I could skip College by jumping in and my portfolio spoke for itself. I don’t think I would suggest that to others as education is so important…and I even had to turn down a position to teach design at a major college nearby because I didn’t have a degree. Being asked by people who knew my work, but whom I did not know, was flattery enough. J I had the opportunity to work for Miller Brewing Co. for many years on their creative needs along with Summerfest (the world’s largest music festival) and had a ball!

fil18243.jpg3. What role does God play in your life and in your art?
My Lord Jesus Christ is VERY important in my life and I seek his face daily and in all things. With everything happening at the throne, we strive moment by moment to seek His leading in all things and spend wonderful time in worship and sitting in His presence. Teens are hard to work with at times and my daughter is going through an emotional time with her health issues and the Lord is using great grace to bring her to see her need for Him and we’ve been grateful that things could be far worse. We give Him all the praise in all we do and concerning art, He’s allowed me to bless others who do not have much money, to get their businesses off the ground, has allowed me to bless grieving parents with a drawing of their child who is now with the Lord, has blessed me and others as I’ve seen the moment a light clicks on and they can see what the Lord created from a new perspective, see the beauty in it and identify with God as they replicate His creation on paper.

flower2_med.jpg4. What advice can you give the rest of us?
Spend much time first thing upon waking at His feet, quietly waiting for His presence as all things happen there, receive from Him, the only source of Power to do anything. Seek His voice and take great steps of faith when you hear Him to write down what you hear from Him, take great steps in faith to ASK FOR A VISION for what to do next, what to draw, how to bless others and how to glorify Him. WAIT and EXPECT HIM to do great things. LISTEN. Live every moment at the throne and at the first sign of the enemy’s advance, take back ground and call the blood of Jesus over it and yield that back to Him – in warfare, ever watchful. MOVE IN HIM! ASK FOR HIS EYES! ASK FOR HIS HEART! And then ask for YOUR PURPOSE & CALLINGS that He put into you to come forth.

fil17895.jpg5. What’s the latest project that you’re most excited about (especially tell us about your classes and how you got started with them)?
The most excited I’ve ever been is with this new class I’m putting together that I’ve told you about. I want to lead others to ask the Lord for HIS vision of what art means in them and to ask for what they can do to glorify God. Going through techniques in many areas so that one can put together something NEW in a way that expresses their heart is what I’m excited about.
I heard the director of Ballet Magnificat say that she had been dancing for so many years and just couldn’t dance anymore for some silly wooden nutcracker and wanted to glorify God with her dance…and that’s how I feel with my art. I want it to be more than just pictures that glorify my pride and not GOD. I don’t want to put Him in a box though and know he can bless many through the tiniest act of obedience but I want HIS vision and to let go of my own. How could mine really compare anyways?!