Thursday, November 10, 2011

Church design doesn't have to mean bad design

Manilla paint. Artificial Plants. Pictures of a 33 year old white man hung in vintage brown frames.  Just a few examples of what you're most likely to interact with inside churches across the United States.  Environments that in no way usher you into a visual experience other than 'blah'.  It's as if we took artist and said "hey, think as small as possible or actually don't think at all!"  Christians have this weird mindset that we are supposed to be overly humble and meek; the way we picture Jesus, adorned in a white cloth robe and hugging small children.  I mean come on!  I highly doubt Jesus walked around with a famished frame and a sullen look on his face 24/7.  So why do we think we have to resemble that sullen attitude when designing a space in which to encounter him?


Didn't God create creatives to create?  

I'm thankful to be employed at a church that sees that an encounter with God happens in many realms, and it definitely happens through our senses.  Walking into a space that is intentionally crafted to usher it's people into a place of life, creativity, passion, and reverence, does just that.  And it's not wrong! 

I think it's time that Artist reclaim the church.  

And believe me we have a whole lot of apologizing to do in the process.  Bad design has riddled the church culture, easily throwing us into the dorky, cheesy, and corny categories.  Why would God gift certain people in his body as creative talents if he didn't want us using them.  Below are pictures of Irving Bible Church, the community I am so blessed to be a part of and be offered the opportunity to help shape.  Special attention has gone into these halls, and the attention is on going as we morph and allow our space to change. I'm thankful that IBC has given me such a canvas to create on!  The team of artist and designers on staff as well as in our body are some of what I believe to be the best!  

Town Square's Artist Square.  An open communual space where friends can sit to chat and meetings can be held.
The trees are REAL!  Take note American Churches! Torch the Plastic!

The Story series.  This is a wall installation made of Gustav Dore art.
These painting coincided with a 7 week series on the story of redemption.
The thin red line resembles the fact that the redemption story was written into the plan from the beginning.

Light Box dividers made from left over scraps from
previous projects.  These are cool dividers floating
around the space, as well as displays for art pieces.

Communal hangout area, also see the light box dividers in their home.
Photo display of a 12 week series entitled, 'Peculiar People'.
Trey Hill's photography sets the tone for the space!

Stalk some of the best designers I know who work hard to make good design:
Lindsey Soblick

Monday, November 7, 2011

New York; 8 years apart

The Stratford Arms, my old apartment building.
It was summer of 2003, I was standing in DFW airport kissing my friends and family goodbye as I prepared to walk through the security checkpoint and take a first step into my dreams.  As if it was yesterday, I can recall the outfit I chose for the day, my favorite pair of ripped jeans, long sleeve black shirt that had been personally handcut with scissors the night before, and a tie belt.  With two suitcases to my name and a big dream I arrived a few hours later to my new home in the heart of the Upper Westside of New York City.  It took only a matter of days for me to become extremely overwhelmed, and only a few moments for me to realize my loneliness.  Among millions of people in one of the busiest cities of the world I found myself alone. There I was at AMDA (American Musical and Dramatic Academy), chasing after a thing I've always wanted, always said I needed, and yet feeling like I'd walked down a street that had no name. Each day was busy. Filled with class, hanging out with the guy I was dating, lots of walking, rehearsals, practice, and filled with loneliness. Money was an obstacle because I didn't have it.  Friends were an obstacle because they didn't exist. Connection was an obstacle because I was chasing connections that were completely empty.  I was in a dating relationship I shouldn't have been in, one that left me riddled with guilt for dragging along.  I had no clue who I was.  I felt insecure.  I was unsure of my talent, I was unsure of the way I looked.  Carried on my back were the weight of family situations back home that I had left unraveled. Instead of sharing any of this with anyone, I bottled up inside and continued walking the streets, living inside my head, alone.

My apartment.  #730
This past week, as Stuart held my hand, I walked through the halls of my old apartment building, I shared stories of all the crazy people who lived there with me, and memories of singing down the street as I walked to class. It was an odd experience walking those hallways. I thought about the girl who stood infront of apartment #730 and locked the door on her way to class. The streets were still just as full, the noises just as loud, as if showing me that the city really hasn't slept. However, there was a big difference.  My life is different now.  My life is full.  I'm not alone. Walking down Broadway on the very streets I trotted each day just 8 years earlier I found myself reflecting on the change that God has delivered in me.  There's now connection in my life, there's people, there's friends, there's family, enough money to feel cushioned, and a wonderful man that finally feels like the right fit. All of these beautiful gifts that reveal God's providence and protection over me.  2003-2004 were essential years, ones that I have NO DOUBT were designed to be part of my journey, but the plan wasn't to keep me there.  I believe I walked through that level of emptiness to be brought out and walk down the same sidewalks years later as a different person.

The handsome Stu and Me!
The twenties aren't a cakewalk for anyone (from what I hear).  For me, there was such a lack or identity going into them, that they were extra complicated.  I can't express in words how thankful I am for where I'm at in my journey at age 29.  The Lord didn't "make my path straight" back then as I stared down the road of the future, he makes it straight for me now as I reflect back on the road he had me travel and I see where it's led. Through trial, tribulation, joy, community, and opportunity who I am has been written on my heart now.

I am thankful.

Life is a beautiful thing, and not because it's always beautiful. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

DIY: Fun Holiday Ornaments

A little creativity, a couple paper lanterns, hot glue, and wrapping paper 
and you have some adorable DIY holiday ornaments.
 These fun ornament balls will be hung from large tree branches suspended in the air at 
Irving Bible Church for the holiday season.  
Excited to have pics once it's installed!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Details of the Alexander Mansion

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of wandering through the Alexander Mansion 
Say hello to some of the unique pieces I got to meet.  

There's just something about a piece that has sat in a spot for longer than I've been alive. 

Among all the others this wall stood out.  
A wall of story.  
A wall of woman who all walked the hardwood floors of this mansion.  
I wouldn't change a thing about how this is displayed! 

This is the first indoor shower ever to be installed in Texas.
A tad bit intimidating looking, but super cool.

Old stuff inspires me. 
I walked away with a pocket of ideas and a soul filled by random hardware
and the creativity of someone 100 yrs before me.  

Monday, October 24, 2011

Safe just isn't me

Safe just isn't me.  
Styling a fun wardrobe for the day sets me up for creativity and visionary thinking.  
The safer I dress, the safer my ideas.

Whats the vice that gets your idea wheels spinning?  
Practice it!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Creatures in the Grass


An Ugly Dresser just needs a little Lipstick

Step 1:
Remove Hardware.  Then Sand Down your dresser.
Make sure to wipe the dresser down after sanding.

Step 2:
Prime the dresser with white primer

Step 3: 
Paint the dresser with your choice of color. 
This will probably need several coats.

Step 4: 
After all's dry - and I mean DRY, put hardware back on. You might want to spray paint your hardware which is what I did with mine.  Quick, Easy, and Makes a huge impact!

Step 5:
Viola you've got a cute new piece for cheap!