Excerpts from an Interview with the artist, Emily Hamilton:
You are learning to use your art as worship. How did you get started?
It started at least 7 years ago. I like to journal my prayers and bible study but I don’t like to keep them because I never reread them. The down side is I don’t have documentation of what God has done in my life. One day I decided to draw images of what I felt God was doing, things he was saying, or big decisions I / we (my husband and I) were making. By journal drawing, I am able to easily look back over my life and remember my journey with God. I love it because the images become a symbol to me. I can look at it and remember. I have always done a single image with a caption until this January when life became very intense. God inspired me to create a collage, a piece of art as a memorial to what he was doing and saying along with what I was feeling and experiencing.
Once you started on this in your journal, what was the process?
I first start with writing out the concepts I feel are important. Like my father-daughter relationship with God or listening. Any time I am reading my Bible, praying, or just thinking about life and an image hits me I write it down so that I don’t forget. Once I have a few concepts, I begin to map it out. With this piece, I started with the word life, the person holding the world and the person in a tug-a-war with God. Sometimes I add a single image while other times I add multiple images at a time. When it comes to the images, I am a visual creator. Google images is my best friend.
This particular piece you are graciously giving us a glimpse of, feels so vulnerable. What’s it like for you to put this on paper?
It truly feels like a memorial of what God has done. After the Israelites crossed the Jordan, God had them create a memorial so that they would never forget what He did. God is doing so much refining right now that I don’t want to forget what God is saying and doing. Every time I look at it I remember. I remember the need to wait on the Lord and how important it is for me to remember that His loving kindness is everlasting. When life is difficult, it can be so easy to forget how much He loves me. This art memorial reminds me and encourages me to keep clinging to the Lord.
I noticed the fingerprints in the background. What does that mean to you?
They are the fingerprints of God. They are my reminder of His touches even in the midst of difficult times and personal struggles. When I don’t hear Him speaking, His finger prints are still all over my story.
If you were going to pick out one piece of the detail and explain it to the viewers, what would it be?
God has been speaking very clearly about His love. I knew I had to create an image for it because I have been absolutely humbled by the magnitude of it. It took a number of days to know how I was going to depict it because I didn’t want to be cliche with it. One morning I was thinking about how his love is just wrapped around me, engulfing me. So the image of me sitting wrapped in a blanket of God’s love came to me. I represented His love as the splendor of His creation. The glory and beauty of a sunrise, the majestic grander of mountains, the calm pristine lake, and the lush life of green trees.
One other image that I would love to explain is the top right. It came to me as I was thinking about life and the constant transformation and change of life. It is me holding my world/worldview. It is heavy and wanting to expand. But so often I don’t want it to. I want to keep my world small, comfortable, and the same. It tries to break free of the box I build for it and I patch it over and over and over again. But God wants to expand my world and that is represented in the light breaking out. I am surrounded by all my previous worlds of the past. They are smaller because God keeps expanding my world. The one I am holding now will look small compared to what is next.
This evolved over time, several months, what does it reveal to you?
Just how much God is doing and how much he is present, actively present. It has also revealed to me that worship can look far different then I grew up thinking. Again, God is expanding my world by revealing to me ways I can worship Him and glorify Him that play to the strengths and gifts He has given me. His love is like the diamond, there are so many facets to it, through this process and piece He has revealed another facet of his beautiful love to me and a means in which I can worship Him and always remember.
Emily is a 33-year-old full-time mom to two children. She loves family adventures that include road trips, camping, and kayaking. She and her husband value community and fellowship. They chose to leave the city to live next to their best friends and dream of building a home with their own hands one day. Emily is also an artist and a graphic designer. She draws with dry mediums and creates from a place of meditation that blends art with emotion. Her personal goal is to fearlessly see beauty in life.