Get Angry and Change
In 2011, I was working as the creative director on a marketing team for a non-profit client in our region. The organization was very effective at their work, but while they hired us as their marketing team, they were extremely resistant toward any new idea we came up with. By "new idea", I'm talking building a website, a "share your story" campaign, or at the very least, a Facebook page. They didn't want any of it. This organization was doing good work and I genuinely wanted them to receive the benefits from a strong brand.
After months of getting no where, I was frustrated. Somewhere in a discussion (more like rant) with my team, I exclaimed, "We just need them to get angry and change!" They all laughed at the statement, and it perfectly captured the revolutionist side of my personality. As I thought over it for several weeks, this phrase "Get Angry and Change" stuck with me. I asked my Sister, Rebekah, to paint it into a "Keep Calm and Carry On" parody (the over-used British poster from WWII)
As an artist, Get Angry and Change has become one of my guiding principles. I have found it to be extremely good advice. For me, it has a deep and convicting message.
Sometimes, my work becomes about me.
I think everyone has a desire to be recognized, to deserve something, to earn something. We want to stick our name on something good and to be known for it. We want to make things, whether a home, or a business, or a film, or a building, or a movement, or a logo- and people to like it. We want to be liked.
And this desire for success and praise, I believe, is natural. It's within all of us from birth.
When we create for our glory, what we create is meaningless.
When my work is about collecting a paycheck or attaining clout or some sense of power or even just to complete a to-do list, I have forgone any real contribution to the world for selfish motivations. And it shows in my work.
Frank Chimero wrote about an experience he had in college in his book, The Shape of Design. One day, he handed over his full portfolio of logos and designs to his graphic design professor. His professor flipped through the portfolio, handed it back to Frank, and only said, "needs more love." I love this story because of how true it is. When I create from love (which is inherently selfless), the product is always better. Always.
I am often so frustrated by the trendy, cool church movement because of how reflective it is of my own sinfulness to be liked.
It's time for believers like me to stop making things out of our ambition and start making things out of celebration for the Gospel and a loving obedience to our Father. If someone asked God what my motivations were, what would he say? Truly, I am not as pure or as selfless as I might confess.
It's time to get angry and change.
So maybe you work and live 100% of the time out of pure love. I'm not there yet. But I am praying that God will lead me to live the most selfless of lives.
I love that my sister painted this phrase with a toppled crown. For me, it symbolizes my own de-throning. I am not the king anymore.