Finding freedom in creativity - Lucy Joy
Welcome to the Creative Life, Happier Life Blog, thank you for agreeing to this interview! Tell us about yourself...
Hello, I’m Lucy Joy and I am an artist, Illustrator and writer. I live in the Highlands of Scotland with my husband and two young girls. I run LucyJoyArtist.com where I create and sell inspirational artwork and illustrations, I have also created a podcast and journaling resources called The Joy Filled Cup, this lives on my website too - I’m keeping everything together so its easy to find. I’m not originally from Scotland but it is a magical place and one we certainly call home.
Here at CLHL we believe that creativity comes in all forms, from accounting to crochet! How does your creativity manifest itself?
I love to create and have learnt that it is an integral part of me and will come out in whatever way I can find. I often say I think with my pen, so drawing and illustrating are really important for me. I love to make up stories and draw whats going on, it was only a few years ago really that I understood not everyone thinks in pictures. That is the beauty of this world God created isn’t it, all so different and all complimenting one another.
My creativity is my business, I learnt that I physically need it to help me in daily life, as I learnt and found new ways of integrating it into daily life I realised that there are many others in the same boat and so I began to search for ways to share with and encourage others in their creativity.
I love to experiment and try new things and am often playing with new materials. It can be hard to stay focused on one theme or technique but I do have my Oneliners which is something I always return to, they are so calming and challenging to do. These are line drawings created using one continual line, its a reminder to keep going and not give up when life gets tricky.
My new podcast and journalling cards are a great passion of mine as already I have heard stories from people about how it has helped them. It is such a joy to know that someone has been able to do something they were struggling with just because I took the time to share something with them. The world of social media can be a funny one, leaving us comparing so many things, I hope that I can bring a little light and encouragement to peoples lives.
I am developing the Journal cards more and soon will be releasing some Bible themed cards to help find creative ways to study and learn more about God and His word, I passionately feel we all need a greater depth of understanding of the Bible, its easy to settle on knowing a summary of things but to understand the Bible as a big picture and see how God has and is working is so important. I plan to release these in time for Christmas too, they are going to be an ongoing part of my work and I hope they will bless many people and increase our desire to go deeper everyday.
How do you think using your creativity enhances your well-being?
I discovered that I need to be using my creativity to allow me to explore, develop and work out the ‘stuff’ thats in my head. When my kids were born (we moved house with a 15month old and 8months pregnant) there was lots going on, I focused on the immediate needs and didn’t have time to make or create. It was a difficult time and thanks to a wonderful new friend who reminded me that I am an artist, I started gently easing back into making. What a difference it made to me, there was a freedom I couldn’t get any other way.
Creativity is in my bones and how I am made and I thrive when I can use it. During that time I wrote and illustrated a book, learnt to sew and got painting with the toddler. Life felt much more real when I could work like that. This is what drives me to share what I do now, I remember my struggles and know that I can use them to help others. It is a cultural mistake that tells us that creativity is not as important as x, y or z, something I like many grew up hearing. It’s a lie and for many a necessity to do and this drives me to keep going, keep sharing and keep talking about ways to do this.
I now share artwork that I hope inspires others to get creative, I think that the things you are surrounded by gives you a message and so it’s important to be surrounded by things that inspire you. I create pieces that are based on line and where it takes you, some have hand lettering some not but the heart of it is to find work that speaks to you then surround yourself with it. Those messages will sink in and help you be the best you can be. One day a friend came over and laughed saying there was so much scripture to be seen as you walked in the back door, and he was right, its on the chalkboard to notes, posters on the wall and by my desk, I need my focus to be right. Our minds will always be filled with something and so I work hard to ensure mine is filled with what I want it to be.
Another way I like to create is in journalling, I have started selling journal cards, which is something I have been using myself for a while now. A6 cards that have prompts or pictures or notes to help me to write and read my thoughts but to keep me focused. Journaling can feel like a big thing when you google it there are a million pages of how to's and even videos and tutorials. When I started I was overwhelmed and confused by the rules, so I found a way that worked for me. I think that's what it should be, choose the bits that work for you and leave those that don’t, never force yourself to use a tool that only creates a barrier. There are so many fun ways to write and draw your thoughts, I think its so helpful to get them out of your head and sorted out so you can think clearly.
How do you think using your craft helps you to connect with God?
I use drawing and writing and making to sort through my thoughts and understand them better,I find that I use this to help me to focus too. Finding the freedom in them allows me to calm a busy mind. Always I remind myself they are a gift from God and so try to pray through what I am doing and seek to give Him the glory in what I make. I started using them artist way’ a while ago and it suggests every morning free writing for 3 pages. I found that often these allowed me to ponder things that were not always helpful, buuuut when I read my Bible passage first I could write and write because the focus was on honouring God and celebrating what He has to say. Learning that God made us creative, that He is creative, has been a really wonderful thing for me. Knowing that it is something to celebrate and share because it is part of His creation has been such a blessing to me.
Do you think God works through your skill? How?
It is easy to compare each other’s gifts and skills and try to fit in in a certain way, but we are all part of one body and we all have different roles and with them responsibilities. I have been and will continue to learn that God made me with these gifts to serve Him with them not inspite of them but with them. So using what I have and how I do things to best serve Him best, this takes a lot of prayer and I have to remind myself to keep looking to Him.
I use my creative skills in many ways to serve, from illustrating and writing childrens book ‘Growing Gods gifts’ was published by Cristian Focus in May of this year and teaches what and how to use the fruit of the spirit. I love to tell and share stories I want to teach children how God loves and sees them for all their uniqueness and there are ways to serve for us all. To creating artwork that gives gentle nudges and reminders that there is more to life than just what is in front of our eyes right now. https://www.christianfocus.com/products/2883/growing-gods-gifts
There are many ways I find to use my skills to serve, from running a tots group at church, telling children bible stories, illustrating stories. Also finding ways to inspire and encourage adults to find a deeper relationship with God. I believe we all have different voices and our abilities are given to us to use to serve in whatever way God calls us too. Life if full of opportunities to serve God we have a responsibility to take them up when we find them.
Do you have any tips or golden nuggets of wisdom for any of our readers who may like to try accessing your creative skill?
My biggest tip and advice is to keep trying, draw, write, paint, whatever it is that you love, keep doing it and be ready to be bad at it. Not everything you make will be a masterpiece but its all a journey and all steps along the road. It’s easy to get disheartened when you see other people doing amazing things but there is heaps and years of getting it wrong and exploring. Take your time to learn and love what you are doing.
This is the time to let your expertise shine! Obviously, don’t give it all away! A good way to think about this is to think of how you started.
Where can we find you using your creativity?
My book Growing Gods gifts is available here https://www.christianfocus.com/products/2883/growing-gods-gifts
QUICK FIRE ROUND! The stuff we all really want to know!
Pen or computer?
Home or abroad? Home.
Who would play you in a movie?
On your bucket list? More surfing!
Skill you’d like to learn?
Jewellrey and ceramics
Favourite bible verse? 1 John 1 v 9
Chocolate or cheese? Chocolate
Thank you Lucy! So there you go, with so many wonderful suggestions, how will you begin to explore creativity?
If you try out any of our contributors skills, pop it on Instagram (@creativelifehappierlifeblog) and give it the hashtag #CLHLblog