For the past few years, I had entertained the idea of committing myself to more creativity and development as an artist. In part, this meant eventually publicizing my personal work through different platforms, such as Instagram. Fortunately, I had the pleasure of working and serving multiple clubs during my time as a university student. This helped sustain my creativity while I juggled student life and served as an outlet to grow my passion and perspective on what it meant to be a designer and what kind of designer I wanted to be. Still, every time it came to my own art, never mind releasing it, I felt a lot of pressure, fear, and anxiety. It always felt like things had to be perfect before I was ready.
With the recent turn of events - quarantine hitting hard and fast – I found myself (blessed) with too much time and too much energy. I had fewer excuses and more reason than ever to focus on developing my work and in turn, releasing it. Really, it came down to “if not now, then when” and a reflection upon how I had gone through so many years just thinking about it, and how so many opportunities had probably passed me by while I was just thinking.
This has led me to the process of overcoming perfectionism. Perfectionism stalled me in taking that first step long ago and still to this day is something I struggle with. It was a detriment that set back growth and prevented me from focussing on the things that matter. I can’t say that all of the work I have put out there is near perfect, but it is so much better to be striving and learning (from action), rather than sitting paralyzed on the sidelines because of anxiety or even pride.
This is not to say that striving for excellence and obedience is wrong – in fact, it is what God calls us to do. However, it is imperative to remember that there is nothing to be earned or proven, because Christ has already earned that for us on the cross and while there is so much weight, in desiring to be perfect, in reality, there is no way to be perfect on our own. We are sinners who have only been redeemed through God’s mercy and love. In realizing and accepting this, there is a new hope and relief – because when we fail, we can trust that we are allowed to fall freely and live imperfectly, and still be redeemed; we can point others to this mercy and love. Suddenly, rather than pointing to our own accomplishments, it becomes significantly more important to be pointing people to God’s abundant love… and to His perfect sacrifice on the cross. These are mostly things I realized from creating imperfect art, and more of a reason as to why I choose to release mostly Catholic art on my personal portfolio.
In addition, this experience has opened up new opportunities and avenues for me. I have experienced a different type of growth in my faith and a new excitement from the flourishing community for catholic creatives online. There is so much zeal, drive, and innovation from the young generation and it is truly inspiring and hopeful for the renewal of the Church.
Striving to share my faith in a personal and different method has also been a great way to immerse myself in prayer, to devote myself to learning more about my faith, and to share more openly with people I may never have the courage or opportunity to share with in person. It has helped develop me as a striving saint, an artist, and a designer, and allowed me to incorporate my faith into other areas of my life. I am truly blessed and grateful for my faith and the opportunity to live freely and imperfectly.
Written by Kathryn Nguyen. Kathryn is a member of St. Francis Xavier Chaplaincy. To follow her channel in Instagram, visit @Katholigraphy
9/1/2020 07:00:19 pm
Beautiful work! Keep creating & inspiring. God bless.
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Catholic Pastoral Centre Staff and Guest Writers