The presence of God surrounds us. His presence is with us in the mundane moments and joyous occasions. It is easy to think His presence is only in worshipful singing and meditated prayers, but connecting with God doesn’t require as much as we might think.
“Everyone knows about music, and even dance as a form of worship to connect with God,” said Shawn Carson, owner of Carson’s Art School. “But they don’t realize art itself can be a way to connect with God too. (Art can) even be an act of worship… you can feel His presence.”
Carson’s Art School already offers a variety of art programs for all ages, but Carson wanted to provide a space for creatives to be “drawn to His presence” by connecting their artistic abilities to their relationship with God.
“I thought, what if you had a place where you could get together with other Christians and explore your connection with God while using your creative side to get closer to Him,” Carson said. “I also really wanted to show people creative ways to spend time with God. We would like to be a place where artistic people from local churches can explore their talent in a way their church may not provide.”
As an artist, Carson has experienced what it is like to get caught up in creating a painting or drawing in a worshipful way. While creating during those moments, Carson said that his inspiration is deeper and more meaningful. He felt it really gave his art a purpose.
“We also call it art with a purpose,” Carson said. “It is about using artistic talent as a way to help the community and as an act of worship. [The connection] is more obvious with musical praise and worship, but art can also provide the same. We want people to know they can use their artistic talent to reach others and worship God.”
The Drawn to His Presence program is targeted toward anyone looking to explore their untapped, God-given talents through art. Practiced artists are welcomed, along with creative individuals looking to learn art. With the program, the inspiration and context of creating is faith-based.
“We want people to be comfortable and confident in the fundamentals [of art] first,” Carson said. “So we first go through how to draw and other basic fundamentals. After that, we really start to dive into the creating.”
Practiced artists who do not need fundamental lessons will jump straight into the creation portion of the program. There are three categories within the program: praise and worship, biblical study and community outreach. Everything created in the program falls within the context of these three categories.
“Praise and worship is creating from a place of praise and worship,” Carson said. “Biblical study creates images from scriptures to help tell their story and meaning with symbolism. Then, community outreach is where you take these creative images to the community, to share messages in a unique and memorable way.”
The program also incorporates several themes to help inspire creation. Carson reported that classes often start with a scripture project, where participants pick a favorite scripture to study and reflect on. He teaches participants what it is like to brainstorm and arrive to a place of creation.
“We have something we came up with called the SAVE method,” Carson said. “You study the actual word. Apply it to the world, life and situations. Visualize it with brainstorming, and then execute the actual project. So, study, apply, visualize and execute – SAVE.”
Other themes for projects include art connected to a favorite worship song, prayer paintings and testimonial tapestry. With the Drawn to His Presence program, participants can expect a flexible experience that is tailored to their own artistic abilities and faith. The program is a one-on-one experience that can be started at any time.
“We will also have some group events with the community outreach portion,” Carson said. “We hope to offer a time when we play praise and worship music for participants to come in together and create in community.”
A special event will be held on Friday, May 3 for creative minds who are interested in learning more about the Drawn to His Presence program. There will be demonstrations and hands-on experiences provide participants with a full understanding of the program. The event will be at the Carson Art School facility on 5131 South Fry Suite 600 Katy, Texas 77450.