Last Friday I had a little pop up shop at an open mic called Lyrical Ink. I set up a table and displayed over one hundred things I had created over the past month. It was special, since it was the once month anniversary of being in the bike accident. Everything on the table was created while I was healing. Being stuck in a recliner definitely gave way to more inspiration that I could have imagined in such a season of physical brokenness.
I haven’t been able to work in over a month, but instead of watching excessive amounts of television, I told myself that I was now a full time artist, and created from waking up to going to bed. When I eventually would go out, pushed in a wheelchair, I would introduce myself as an artist. At first I felt a bit pretentious and awkward, but after a few times, it felt good. Rachel Dowda is an artist.
Calling myself a teacher didn’t feel right. Substitute teacher felt even worse, maybe a bit embarassing. Even the label, “photographer” felt a bit like I was borrowing someone else’s shirt; a bit too tight. But artist- that felt just right, like goldilocks finding the perfect bed, porridge, and chair. I’ve always loved to create, it’s gotten me through boughts of depression, seasons of loneliness, and moments of anxiety. It’s how I feel most like me; like Rachel. I never called myself one, because I was afraid people would laugh and think, “who does she think she is? _________ is so much better than her.” I often still think that, but then I hear Jesus whisper, “Rach, you’re created in my image. It's your right, as my kid, to enjoy creating like I enjoy creating. Walk in that enjoyment”.
I’m thankful for hands and ideas and how my love of creating comes directly from the heart of the Father; how the Trinity really really loves dancing through my fingers. When you think of it like that, all comparison and striving and performance is thrown to the side and friendship and enjoyment and LOVE are the only things that remain. I get to enjoy Jesus's company when I create. And it is so enjoyable. I know I'm not the master of my craft, that there are people out there that are better, but it really doesn't matter when I'm simply enjoying Jesus.
Eventually my leg will be all healed, and I’ll be working again. But I’ll still be an artist. So I’m going go ahead and just call myself one.
So, whatever your craft is, walk in it confidently. Enjoy Jesus through it. Call yourself it. Use it to win today; after all, it's simply the Trinity moving through your mouth/hands/legs/whatever the method.
My name is Rachel Dowda, and I am an artist.