My ART sucks but I will do it again

Banner_cognitive_blog_2.png

THERE IS HOPE

EVEN WHEN THE OCEANS RISE OR MOUNTAINS FALL

So guess what? I’m writing another blog again!!

Today I had a customer broke down in tears in front of me. He opened up so much and it all started with an ART piece I did for one of my classes last semester.

HISTORY

Last semester I took a course on Art as a communication at Liberty. I was studying different theory's about Art as a communication and one of those topics was The Cognitive theory. In simple words, the cognitive theory is the study of the mental  

process about the way brain draws conclusions on visual perceptions.

BACKGROUND

I knew anxiety and depression is a common problem. Personally, I have dealt with it, so the topic was so close to me. As I was doing my research for the class I found out some surprising numbers on how serious the problem is. So I decided to create the art piece for the class on a similar topic. Here is an excerpt from my paper:

"According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, there are almost 40 million adults in the US that struggle with an anxiety disorder (ADAA, August 2017). Despite being highly treatable only about 36.9% of this group have been found to receive treatment (ADAA). Anxiety disorder can be induced by a different set of risk factors which could be traumatic life events, a biological disorder in genes, a result of natural calamities, and many more. It is also found that women are twice more likely to be victims of anxiety disorder than men (ADAA)."

MY ART

I knew that for me overcoming any sort of hardship was through emotional healing that only comes from God. The Lord helped me to get rid of my emotional baggage once I decided to lay down everything and say "I can not do it, God, you do it".

 In the book of Isaiah it says, "Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed." (Isaiah 54:10)

This verse became so real to me, the day I found what true grace can do. True grace can make the impossible, possible. True grace can save you from your suicidal thoughts. True grace gives you hope. True grace will turn your world upside down, right to left (whichever direction it needs to be turned) for your good.

This verse has been so close to my heart and I was able to believe that there was a breakthrough, and there is always HOPE. Romans 8:28 says, "and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."

BACK TO ART…

After I realized what true grace can do, I decided to create a digital illustration to convey the message "There is hope even when the oceans rise or mountains fall."

THE RESULT

I knew Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was a really familiar topic regarding depression. Although I do not have PTSD, I have seen the media’s views on it, and I knew it would connect the most to convey my message. So, I came up with this piece.

Although it was not the most fine-tuned work, I tried to make sure it was clear enough to make people think. I did the art piece on my iPad so there isn’t a ton of depth. To explain the ART:

I made everything in black and white so the only thing in color was the tree (Green=Life). The shadow has a heart that represents hope, and it’s holding on to the Tree (Life).

I have attached a link to download the PDF slide to see the process and detailed explanation.

Cognitive Theory Project Link

FINALLY, THE STORY:

I work in a convenience store near downtown Lynchburg, and I get all kind of customers. I have this one regular who isn’t usually sober and most of the time is a bit rowdy. He always wears a military jacket, and it’s clear in his face that he has so much anger and hatred.

A few weeks back we had a conversation about what he does. He said he is an artist. I was surprised, so I told him I would love to check out his work because I myself do a little bit of doodling here and there. Today, he came to the store and showed me some of his work. He asked me if I liked it or not, and I said it is definitely great. I also was honest and said it’s not my kind (he drew girls without clothes and carrying huge guns). He did not seem to like my answer so he asked to see my work.

I told him I have some doodles on my iPad, and showed him. On the process, I showed him the project I did for my class. He said, "Let me see it,” and so he started to look deeper.

After a minute or so his voice changed and he started crying. He cried for a little bit, and I was able to tell him there is hope. I was able to encourage him that he can fight depression. He didn’t seem to believe me, because for him it has been too long already living with it.

He got personal about his past, but out of respect I won’t share those details. He has traveled a rough path and has been walking alone, haunted by his past. I was amazed at how a piece of art can ignite deep conversations. It was the first time I actually experienced someone break down by connecting with art.

THE STORY DOES NOT END YET:

Finally, we were able to have a deep conversation. As he was checking out his stuff, he insisted that I get anything I want from the store. His treat. He was so persistent that I should get something. He lives off of food stamps and he was still willing to buy for me. After saying no and thank you for a minute he still kept on insisting. I grabbed a Kit Kat from the counter but did not check in and I checked out his stuff for him.

I had so much joy to see someone change even if it was for a  moment. I know he will be able to move on if he had only known how much God loves him.

I found out that the only road to hope is through Christ.