As humans, we are born naturally, and by grace we are born again spiritually.  This second birth enlightens us and equips us to use our God-given giftedness to be creative as our Heavenly Father is creative.  We take after Him. It’s fun! (Luke 1:34, 3:38 and Acts 17:28 tell us that Jesus, Adam and each of us are the offspring of God.)


Knowledge about visual reality (understanding God’s visual elements and principles of design) 

Creative, computer graphic challenges (creating graphic art)

Spiritual truths and applications of God’s creative work in us (allowing God to creatively work in our lives so that we become His graphic, His workmanship displayed)

Our study centers on reading God’s visual language, creating graphic works, and understanding the spiritual impact of His graphic truth in our daily lives.  We are his masterpieces; we are His works in progress.  “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10).  God is more than the creator of mankind 6,000 years ago, He is our creator today.  We are perpetually being created.  We are His workmanship in His graphic arts studio.  We are in the process of becoming His graphic picture of truth to this world (Gen. 1:26, Col. 1:27).  The image of Him develops in our lives as we move forward in life and grow our relationships with our Heavenly Father (Rom. 8:15).  

With this in mind we passionately study God and Graphics.  We’ll create works of art as we become His works of art in this a win-win situation.  Good deal!

■  We aim to understand how natural light works, and how its boldness and subtleties supercharge visual communication.  Without light there is no vision, nothing to see and nothing to illustrate.  With light, creative possibilities explode.  That sounds abstract, yet  it is real and practical in the arts.   

■  We aim to improve our comprehension of visual input by dissecting the visual elements: line, shape, form, color, and texture.

■  We aim to improve our comprehension of design by dissecting the principles of design: balance, unity, harmony, repetition, movement, tension, and resolution.


■  We’ll hone your graphic computer skill by simply working with iPhoto and Photoshop.  

■  We’ll create graphic projects for each of the visual elements and principles of design.

■  We’ll walk away from this course with a portfolio of quality works to display on an Internet Gallery and elsewhere.  The production of hardcopy art is the student’s prerogative. 


Life is a journey from the cradle to the coffin.  Every step along the way should bring us closer to the One we love.  We want to be irresistible to Jesus Christ.  This is His will, and yet this is our choice (Eph. 1:5, 11, Acts 2:21).  God basically hangs out with people who want to be more like Him.  That’s us!  We’ll grow our faith relationship by hearing, internalizing, confessing and acting upon what God has said and is saying to us.  You may want to re-read that last sentence to really get it.  

■  We’ll get God’s message.  
Let God weave His truth into our minds and hearts (Jn. 8:32, Rom. 12:2, 1 Pet. 1:13).  We should always recognize our personal need for more of Jesus.  Be honest before Him in prayer. 

■  We’ll become God’s message.  
This is accomplished by practicing obedience. We want to please the Lord at all times.  (Jn. 14:15).  Take action!

■  We’ll share God’s messenge.
Let’s share our new experience of truth with others in every walk of life.  We’ll build graphic projects born out of our unique relationship with Christ (Jn. 7:38).  This gives our work that personal edge, and makes it perfectly relevant to peers, both in the body of Christ and others.  Why settle for less?  We serve an awesomely powerful God.  He can anoint us to touch many lives through our study and work (2 Tim. 2:15).


Many east-side Detroiters buy the best fruits and vegetables for the lowest prices at Fruitucci’s Market (name changed to add mystique).  This little magnetic hub draws locals and immigrants from the four corners of the globe.  It’s the closest thing to a third-world market in metro Detroit—replete with culturally clad Hispanics, Asians, Europeans, and Middle Easterners speaking their native tongues. 



A little lady, about as tall as her shopping cart, scanned the tomatoes, gently squeezed several before selecting the perfect one, which she drew to her nose, sniffed and finally cradled in her cart.  The carrots, cucumbers, corn and cantaloupe, the peas, peppers and persimmons underwent this right of passage from display to shopping cart to check-out line.  Why? 

Why do these folks from all over the globe exhibit the exact behavior when it comes to purchasing produce?  They - we - can’t help ourselves!  We behave as instinctively as honeybees.  We obey our biological programming like a colony of ants.  All humanity, every one of us, searches for the perfect, the ideal, the one supremely formed and perfectly colored tomato.  Life is about that tomato.  

This is serious, especially when two high-level veggie hunters spy out the same well-endowed tomato.  What a sight!  I’ve seen it!  With seething covetousness they simultaneously reach for the prize, the tomato.  Their hands actually touch; their eyes meet, and the eyes have it—the eyes with the most piercing stare of inflaming rage.  We’re talking about an escalation of fervor with international repercussions in the neighborhood.  Why, why, why?  Because we want the best, the most perfectly formed tomato.  Nobody wakes up in the morning thinking, “Wow, I have a hankering for a nasty, shriveled, worm-eaten tomato.”  We instinctively pursue the best in every appetite of life.

While traveling to and from art shows with Mitch, a teenage employee, the flow of conversation transitions from automotive design, to adolescent relationships, to youth camp, to bee stings, to the role of amino acids on respiratory allergies.  Our discussions are perpetually changing from topic to topic.  Then it dawned on me; in all of our dialoguing we exalted one major concept – perfect design – recurring in auto body and performance engineering, amino acid configurations, the structure of relationships, the organization of youth camps.  Every topic centered on design, composition, the orderly arrangement of the parts that make up the whole of whatever.  

By nature our itchy curiosities compel us to investigate our created world and man-made objects, the known and unknown.  You see, everything pertaining to life embodies godly order, His divine design.  Because of our Eden-origin in Adam (the son of God) we love God’s order.  Likewise, because of Adam’s fall, we love rebellion; hence, the conflict of the ages: good design versus evil design.  

As corrupt as we may be, we can be born again through the Last Adam, Jesus Christ.  Yes, the original perfection of Eden is somewhat buried under 6,000 years of sin, but it cannot be entirely buried any more than Jesus could remain dead.  Divine design overcomes evil design in the end.  We’ve read the Book.
Therefore, we investigate and dissect whatever appeals to us.  We take it apart; we diagram it to discover the reason for its inherent attractiveness, its divine structure.  Then we define our discoveries: some mathematically, others poetically, some musically and others graphically.  The point is this:  God is the originator of all design, the perfect tomato, and we, the hunters, search for Him in creation.  What are the governing principles of divine order?


Divide the class into small groups of two or three.  Provide each group with hundreds of small items, such as clothespins, paint sticks, paper clips or three by five cards.  Their first assignment is to arrange these items to create a strong sense of order.  Their second group assignment is to arrange their materials in extreme chaos.  Discuss each group’s work.  What created the sense of order?  What are the principles of chaos?


Shoot about 20 photos of extreme order and 20 photos of extreme chaos.  Choose the best 5 photos from each of the two categories.  Enhance these 10 images using iPhoto.  Be sure to save and back-up your work.

Interestingly, we may not immediately identify these photos as examples of order or of chaos.  Good photo compositions are tight packages of visual elements that deliver a sense of unity even when the subject is chaotic.  These photos deliver a visual punch.  The viewer may not know what the actual subject matter is, but he naturally recognizes the value of the composition.  

The jumbled electrical wires and the pile of spoons are chaotic while the repetition of lines and shapes actually begets order.  The same is true of the photo of this rare Chinese glass sculpture below.



Words are one way in which we define visual reality.  Photograph one of the following: your shoes, your closet, your garage, your favorite toy or the inside of your purse, wallet or drawer.   Shoot a photo under unusual lighting.  The possibilities are endless.  Then use picturesque verbiage (adjectives) to best describe the visual characteristics of one of your photos.  Words have the power to create pictures in our minds.  

Feel free to invent words.  My friend Tony invented a word, and everyone who hears it instantly knows its meaning.  “Gription.”  Yeah… get it?  Friction that enables a good grip, like rubber handlebars, that sandpaper-like surface on stairways in public places, or that soft rubber grip on a fat pen or mechanical pencil.  


We think with words, and therefore it’s important for us to exercise cranial communication, or talking in our heads (meditation, from a biblical perspective). If you think descriptively you can write descriptively.  Play with words!  You’ll find yourself creating mental pictures; it’s painting with jargon. 



- We have a naturally God-given creativity because God the Creator is our Father.
- God has a visual language.
- We are God’s graphic illustrations of His truth; we are His workmanship.
- God was our Creator 6,000 years ago and He is our Creator today. 
- God hangs out with people who love Him and want to be more like Him. 
- Graphics have the power to touch lives.
- Life is about our innate quest for perfection (the perfect tomato).
- The original perfection of Eden cannot be completly obscured in this fallen world. 
- Divine design overcomes evil design.
 -	Our human nature seeks order in every aspect of life.
-	Creation is full of God’s order of all things, as big as the universe and as small as amino acids.
- Words and imagery are means by which we can communicate order.


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