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Awakening The Artist Within You by Joey O’Connor

Originally posted here:

One of my life goals is to help awaken the Artist within every person I meet. That doesn’t mean every person will become a gifted musician, filmmaker, writer or painter. But it just may awaken their imagination, creativity and curiosity to see how they can apply “artistry” to any endeavor or challenge they face. When people understand that they are made in God’s creative image and that they share His creative nature, whole new worlds of possibility emerge. I posted these thoughts earlier this year by Robert Henri. In reading them again, I’m reminded how true and powerful his words are. I’d like to encourage you to share them with a friend or family member today. Read on…

Our world needs more artistry and creativity in every sphere of life. To help you and the people in your life better consider the role of art and the importance of awakening the artist in every person, Robert Henri wrote in The Art Spirit 

 “Art, when really understood, is the province of every human being. It is simply a question of doing things, anything, well. It is not an outside, extra thing. When the artist is alive in any person, whatever his kind of work may be, he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressing creature. He becomes interesting to other people. He disturbs, upsets, enlightens, and he opens ways for a better understanding. Where those who are not artists are trying to close the book, he opens it, shows there are still more pages possible.

The world would stagnate without him, and the world would be beautiful with him; for he is interesting to himself and he is interesting to others. He does not have to be a painter or sculptor to be an artist. He can work in any medium. He simply has to find the gain in the work itself, not outside of it.

Museums of art will not make a country an art country. But where there is the art spirit there will be precious works to fill museums. Better still, there will be the happiness in that is in the making.

Art tends towards balance, order, judgment of relative values, the laws of growth, the economy of living–very good things for anyone to be interested in.”


Questions: What words of Henri resonate with you most? If you’re an artist, when did the “artist” within you first awaken? If you don’t consider yourself an artist per se, how can you practice artistry in whatever you do?

Joey O’Connor is the Founder and Executive Director of The Grove Center for the Arts & Media, a ministry dedicated to cultivating, connecting, and creating the Story of God in people’s lives. We hold evening & weekend gatherings with artists from all walks of life. Our work is focused on developing the spiritual formation and creative vision of artists.On His Art, Life & Faith blog, Joey offers his thoughts and reflections as a screenwriter, author, pastor, speaker, retreat leader and husband/dad. On the writing side, He’s written nineteen books for couples, parents and young adults.Joey is also a screenwriter and producer. I produced the award-winning short-film series, Unthinkable: The Scott Rigsby Story, the first double-amputee to complete the Hawaiian Ironman in Kona. With my brother-in-law, Ken Straw, we’ve written an award-winning screenplay that’s currently in development with Last Chance Productions.Joey lives his wonderful wife and four children in San Clemente, California.For more info about The Grove Center for the Arts & Media, please visit The Grove Center for the Arts & Mediawebsite at