Today you get to meet my friend, artist and writer, Amie Hollmann. She did something creative with Scripture that I find really inspiring and that I’ve asked her to tell you about. (FYI: Amie’s also the cool hipster who created the graphics for my site!)
Amie, Thanks for stopping by so I can introduce you to my friends. Can you tell ’em a little bit about yourself?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved making stuff, dabbling and doodling and messing around with glue. That same childlike curiosity still propels me to keep exploring and creating. I’m a freelance writer and graphic designer. I live with a fabulous 5 year old son/superhero, a wonderful husband and a growing collection of Russian nesting dolls.
How do you find time for your own passions or ministry interests?
It’s hard to find time with everyone’s endless to do list. I try to be intentional about incorporating quiet space into my day. Space to think and read and pray. That more than anything helps prepare me to see and seize all the small opportunities to serve, create and encourage. But it’s still hard. It’s a work in progress.
Creativity leads me down a path of awe and wonder and humility – opening my eyes to the amazing handiwork all around. Other people’s creative gifts help me see glimpses of God in the day to day. I admire writers, artists, designers and musicians – anyone who takes the lump of clay they have been given and molds it into something new, something that holds the shape of truth, and shares it with others.
I started the Verse Project (click here to see it) as kind of a New Year’s resolution. I wanted to read the bible more and I wanted to get back into the rhythm of drawing and painting and creating on a regular basis. I had a stack of 3×5 cards and I set a goal – I would take a verse a day every day for a year and try to portray some aspect of it on paper. I didn’t reach my goal, but I did find a new way to spend time meditating on the scriptures and see passages that I thought I knew in a new light. I’m going to be drawing my way through Lent again this year and posting it online.
Is this something women who aren’t “artists” per se could do?
Absolutely. I think it’s for everybody and I think everyone can create in their own way – whether it’s a painting or a sculpture or a song or a dance or a fabulous dish. It doesn’t really have to be about the end piece but more about the process. I found drawing an easy and fun way to find some focus. I would usually read a longer passage and then find a section or verse to explore in more depth.
How did the process of engaging with Scripture in this unique way change you?
It brought me back to a place of being a student, ready to learn. To a place of engagement and questioning. Sometimes it’s easy to go on autopilot. The project brought me back to a place of reflection and meditation amidst all the distractions of daily life. Hebrews 4:12 talks about the Word of God being “living and active” instead of just a nice book to put on the shelf. That truth became a challenge and comfort as I worked.
You’re a New Yorker now. Is life in the Big Apple as exciting as it looks in the movies and TV?
I love New York. And I think living in New York is even better than seeing it on TV or the big screen. Being creatively inclined, New York is like constant candy. It’s addictive. The vibrancy of street life is fascinating and the food… don’t even get me started on the amazing food. New York is a never ending source of inspiration. Every neighbourhood and every street are a new adventure. I still have much more to explore.
In closing, can you tell us about a piece of art you’ve seen (such as a painting, photo, poem, piece of literature, etc.) that’s spoken to your spirit and encouraged your faith?
I try to take every opportunity I can to be around art. To sneek into a gallery. To snatch a few minutes in a museum or chapel or turn a corner and find some graffiti that leaps off the walls. So many of my favorite artists, writers, and musicians touch on the theme of beauty being revealed in brokenness. When we were in Germany last summer, we visited St. Stephan’s church in Mainz where artist Marc Chagall had designed new stained glass windows to replace the ones damaged during the war. Through the beautiful blue light that filled the space biblical scenes spoke a powerful message of reconciliation and healing.
The images in this post are part of Amie’s “Verse Project” and are copyright © Amie Hollmann.