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Life After Art: What You Forgot About Life and Faith Since You Left the Art Room Paperback – April 1, 2013
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Life After Art will help you recover what was lost or stolen from your childhood throughout the arduous journey of life. Reclaim the untainted creativity, imagination, and optimism of your youth—and discover the very person you were meant to be.
Ben Arment, Creator of STORY conference and Dream Year
How many years has it been since you were covered in paint in your elementary school's art room? After reading Life After Art, you may want to go back. Matt takes readers on a journey to the art room to discover our purpose in life which can be found in our God-given ability to create beauty for the world to see.
Anne Jackson, Speaker and author of Permission to Speak Freely: Essays & Art on Fear, Confession & Grace and Mad Church Disease: Overcoming the Burnout Epidemic
As someone who is trying to be an artist, this book spoke to me. As a dad of two creative daughters, this spoke to me. As a Christian, this spoke to me. The bottom line is that Matt's written a book that communicates an important hope. And it will speak to you too.
Jon Acuff, Speaker and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Quitter and Stuff Christians Like
Matt has written the book I always wanted to write. He’s taken art and made it grace. He’s taken creativity and made it humanity. He’s taken adults and made them children, again. With thoughtful questions, humorous anecdotes, and crisp story-telling, Matt paints a picture of what heaven can look like on earth. In the same way I frame my paintings, I wish I could frame the message of Life After Art and hang it on my walls, for all the world to see. This book has been a long time coming and it will make artists out of all of us.
Emily Wierenga, Award-winning journalist, artist, and author of Save My Children and Chasing Silhouettes
Our time-obsessed culture of productivity has piled so much upon our adult lives that we've let slip the things that truly enhance our spiritual, emotional, and even physical well-being. Matt Appling's call to return to the timeless joy of making beautiful things is powerful. More art. More creating. More mess. As a visual artist and a grown-up overcome with responsibilities, this is a message I needed to hear.
Jason Boyett, Author of O Me of Little Faith and Pocket Guide to the Afterlife
What I love about this book is it's commitment to call out the best in each of us. All of us want to live the extraordinary life Jesus promises, but many miss out on it because of hurt, failure or disappointment. Life After Art commissions us to recapture God's vision for our life and pursue it with passion.
Justin Davis, Co-founder of RefineUs Ministries and co-author of Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn't Good Enough
When we were kids we were told we were artists, but over time we forgot how to be artists. Matt reminds us that being an artist and making a life filled with beauty should no longer be relegated to our kindergarten classes. In my humble opinion, being an artist means changing the world and Matt's book will help you do exactly that.
Blaine Hogan, Creative Director, actor, artist and author of UNTITLED: Thoughts on the Creative Process
Relearn what you have been taught to forget. Allow the art of your life to greater speak so others can see what they cannot hear. Journey with Matt and explore life and faith through one of the most powerful mediums on the face of the earth today, the arts.
Eric Samuel Timm, Communicator, artist, founder of No One Underground and Painting Hope
Matt Appling’s voice is charismatic, enthusiastic, and refreshing honest. He addresses a host of issues including creativity, postmodernism, failure and beauty with earnestness, simplicity and a keen sense of humor. However, what is truly unique about this book is the Christian worldview he applies through story to inspire you as a creator.
G. James Daichendt, Ed.D., Professor at Azusa Pacific University and Author of Artist-Teacher: A Philosophy for Creating and Teaching
I wish I could go back to kindergarten and be in Mr. Appling’s art class. But reading Matt’s book, I kind of can. Life After Art is a simple and compelling message, reminding my grown up self that I have everything I need to create beauty in the world with my work, my faith, and my life - an insightful and encouraging read.
Emily P. Freeman, Speaker and author of Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life
From the Back Cover
You will be creating for the rest of your life. You might as well do it on purpose.
Everyone was an artist, once. But somewhere between kindergarten and now, we lost the confidence to create. We’ve crumbled under the pressure to find our place in the “real, grown-up” world and now see the art room as a happy memory with no real value.
Yet if we travel back to our seats in the art room, art teacher Matt Appling reminds us of lessons we’ve forgotten, the joy of creating, and the freedom we had to succeed or fail. We can relearn these lessons and practice them to lead the contented, joy-filled, and productive lives that God created us to live.
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Top customer reviews
'Life After Art' is an easy read that can be tackled in short order; however, I promise you will be left with reflective thoughts that will carry with you for a long time. My plan is to purchase copies for all the graduating high school and college young people where I attend church. Hopefully Appling's central message will strike a chord with each of them before the hustle and bustle of adult life takes hold...
Physically, Matt Appling's "Life After Art" is a small book - 142 pages. Thematically, its size belies the important message it contains.
We are made in the image of God. And because we are made in the image of God, we are designed to be creators.
For some reason, most of us left that creative spirit behind about the time we left 6th grade. We out grew it, encouraged by peers, parents, adolescence. Creativity, like art and music (and even writing), didn't fit our ideas of "useful" or paying occupations. The further we drifted from childhood, the more those days of joyful creativity were left behind.
Appling is not arguing that we should all become artists. Instead, he says we should "peel away" the layers of paint lacquered on our creative spirits, and discover, or rediscover, what God intended us to be. Or, to use the present tense, to find what God intends us to be.
Drawing upon his experiences as an art teacher for schoolchildren, his own childhood and life, and his understanding of the creative urge and what happens to it, Appling concisely walks us through where we were, where we are, and where we could be. His case is compelling.
"Today," he says, "most things we consumer are cheap, unimportant, and disposable. The things we create have an exceptionally short shelf life and a rapidly approaching expiration date. We consumer, we repeat. Consume, repeat.
"We accept this, and lower our expectations."
What we create says much about the people who do the creating. Our creativity, or lack of it, reflects the deprivation of our souls.
If we peel away the paint and find our creative spirit again, what it is that we are to create?
Appling has an answer for that, too.
Beauty that expresses the spirit of God.
It could be in art, music, writing or any of a hundred other creative endeavors. But we have the capability to create beauty.
If you doubt that, then perhaps you should sit in Appling's art class, brush in hand (and it's a brush, not a hammer, so don't pound the paint on the paper), and listen to him explain why rules and confinements are important, that it's not about painting with a disregard for the lines but using the lines to master and direct the creativity within you.
"Life After Art" is thought-provoking and desire-provoking. We recognize what Appling says as true because the creator image within us responds to it as true, and responds powerfully. It's an important book, every page filled with what we have forgotten, what we need to know, and what we need to do.
Most recent customer reviews
Matt Appling is passionate about art and with good reason: he is an...Read more
As usual the subtitle gives an accurate synopsis of what the book contains: what you forgot about life and faith since you...Read more