Editor’s Note: Today, we are thrilled to welcome Julie Chen, the creative director of Life Verse Design. Julie will share her amazing artistic talents her twice a month at CatholicMom.com. I invite you to support her store and to become a subscriber of her lovely blog. Julie, we’re thrilled to welcome you to the CatholicMom.com family of contributors!
My Scripture art began as a personal act of worship.
In 2007, I found myself pregnant with our third child and God was using this time to stretch me in my faith to trust in Him, in His timing, in His unknown amazing blessings in my life. At the time, I already had 2 toddlers filling up my days and had gone through 2 very painful miscarriages. So, amidst my fear of being a mommy of three and giving over my little plans I had for my life, God had bigger and better plans.
I was attending a Beth Moore study, Living Beyond Yourself, focused on the fruit of the Spirit and one aspect of the study was to memorize the fruit of the Spirit. Now, chasing an almost 2 and almost 4 year old and being quite sick while pregnant, my brain had turned to mush. I remembered that while nursing and caring for my 2 little ones, I would write Scripture on index cards and place them around my house and that would basically be my devotions for the day. So, that is what I did with Galatians 5 and I placed it on the bathroom mirror.
One day, while brushing my teeth and memorizing the card, I thought to myself, why don’t I design this verse, I am an artist for crying out loud? That way, it would be beautiful (as opposed to my handwriting on an index card!) and in the style of decor I desired for my home. And so, I did. I gave them to everyone in my Bible study and they loved them. I even gave one to Beth Moore and she loved it so much, she called me to personally thank me! (Oh so fun!) My Bible study encouraged me to sell them at the little church craft fair, which I did when my baby was 6 weeks old. They almost sold out! I then began selling on Etsy, under lifeverse.etsy.com and just months after being on Etsy, God had another surprise up His sleeve. DEMDACO, you know, the producers of the Willow Tree figurines that we all love, found my shop and offered to license my art! Whoa. Something I never in a million years would have dreamed of, though I had been praying that my Scripture art would somehow get out there for more people to enjoy.
Looking back at this journey He has me on, I now see the creative and spiritual influences that has woven this art together. I have a BFA in illustration and have worked as a professional book designer almost my entire career. I have designed such books as The Jesus Storybook Bible, Bringing Up Boys, Bringing Up Girls, and books 4-12 of the Left Behind series. In many of my covers, I have used my illustration and photography skills. Timothy Botts, the calligraphic artist, is a coworker of mine at Tyndale and he too has been an inspiration to me, making the Word of God visually beautiful. I often thought of his Doorposts book when beginning my own style of Scripture art and the verse from Deuteronomy 6 which speaks of putting God’s instructions over the doorposts of your home.
I want my home to be filled with God’s Word as well as His presence: His promises, His truth, His instructions for my eyes as well as my children’s. I hope your home is filled with the beauty of His Word also.
Copyright 2010 Julie Chen