In The Beginning – Diane Pantoja

First things first, a brief and quick introduction. Hello hello hello! My name is Diane and I am one of the graphic designers here at LIFE, working mostly on conferences and our church’s key events. I have been living the dream, for 5 and a bit years, thanks to this absolute dream of a job! And now we jump straight to this post…

As a “creative”, I guess it makes sense that the first chapter of the Bible is one of my absolute favourites in the entire book, hey? I mean, it just talks about how the Greatest, Best-est, Awesome-est, Magnificent-est [ insert other superlatives here ] Artist of all SPOKE EVERYTHING INTO EXISTENCE. According to Google, ‘typing in all caps is Internet code for shouting’ but can you blame me? God spoke and it came to be! All kidding aside, today I share with you a few things that I’ve learned from the Creation story and how I’ve found these to be relevant, and often necessary, whenever I embark on a creative journey (aka. start designing things  for church). I know that for the most part, I would be speaking from a graphic designer’s point of view here, but I believe these things could speak to (hopefully) any “creative”… but we’re all creatives so basically, if you’re a person, this post is for you.

  1. Let there be light. In Genesis chapter 1 verse 3, I know it talks about literal ‘light’, as the base palette (read: earth) was empty and formless and dark. I know throughout the Bible, light and truth convey a similar idea and I love how God kicked everything off with this! I remember someone saying, “The world is desperate for the truth” and this could not be more true! As designers, especially when Jesus is our client, His truths should be at the heart of our work. Whenever I start a creative project, I almost always start with the question, “What’s the key verse?” because really, is there a better launching pad than the Word of God? I don’t think so.
  2. Sun, moon and stars. I’ve shared a ton of secret conversations with God just by looking at these heavenly bodies, making day 4 a personal favourite. If you visit verses 14 to 18 from the same chapter, it talks about why God created these beautiful lights in the sky – the why’s behind the what’s. This is a great reminder that “pretty” without “purpose” won’t suffice. Here at LIFE, we do things with an amazing ‘why’ in mind: To impact and change generations with the reality of Jesus. In short, JESUS is the reason why we do what we do, on the creative front or otherwise. So whenever possible, design with intentionality.Ps. It is always possible.
  3. Day 8. There’s a billion and one things that weren’t specifically mentioned in the Creation story, yet we have these things today. This doesn’t mean that God didn’t make them, but personally, I think God simply worked smarter, not harder, and that we should all follow suit. Working smarter (not harder) involves prioritising. I mean, is it not amazing that God created oxygen before He made man and woman? Priorities. Delegation is part of the mix too. I mean, did God not ask man to rule over every living thing He made? Yeah, he did. And as exhibited in day 7, working smarter involves taking care of one’s self. Rest is an important part of the process. After all, we creative geniuses are only humans and need to press pause every now and then.
  4. In his own image. Borrowing words from Hillsong United, their song lyric goes “…with no point of reference, you spoke to the dark and fleshed out the wonder of light”. Just let that sink in for a bit… Did you pause and reflect on the reality that God created everything with zero help from Pinterest or Designspiration or Behance or [ insert endless list of resources here ]?! Are you drowning in awe? Yes? Yes! Then all is as it should be. I’m sure designers understand the value and the need for inspiration and points of reference, and how this is a huuuuge deal. Whenever I’m on full design-mode – for example, I’m currently working on Sistas Womens Conference 2017 and 18; it’s always great to be reminded of what my/our limitations are. The more I realise that my God-given gifts could only do so much, the bigger the space for God to do what only He can only grows.

Bonus sharing, and to close this post:

‘So God created mankind in his own image…’ – Genesis 1:27; Is it not crazy that the only time God “used a point of reference” throughout the whole process of creating e-ve-ry-thing is when He created us?! And the greatest part of it all, God himself is the inspo! I’m sure there’s a whole post waiting to be written around that thought, but we’ll save it for another time.

Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ… – Colossians 3: 23-24, MSG


Diane Pantoja
Graphic Designer


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