Bible Art Journalists Roundup Interview Ep. 2

Bible Art Journalists Roundup Interview Ep. 2

Hello everyone! I’ve got an incredibly special treat for you today! Grab a coffee or tea and enjoy Episode 2 of the Bible Art Journalist’s Roundup Interview!

“Episode 2?” Yes, back in May 2015, I did the very first Bible Art Journalist Roundup Interview with 7 lovely ladies… Shanna Noel, Jann Gray, Heather Greenwood, Natalie Elphinstone, April Crosier, Lisa Montgomery and Valerie Sjodin!

That round up interview has easily been one of the most popular posts on my blog to date. I realize you want more of what you love and so, I’m turning this into a series! I’ve so enjoyed putting Episode 2 together and getting to know these sweet ladies. You’re going to love this! I will release a new roundup interview episode every 2-3 months or so (as time permits), for this foreseeable future. Sign up for my emails if you want to be notified when these happen.

Today, I’ve got 5 amazing women to share with you… Lauren Lanker (Thinking Closet), Melissa Fischer (Fischtales & RuthOneSixteen) and Sara (Seasons Illustrated), as well as Michelle Hotchkiss and Brigitta Litfin. Some of these ladies you may recognize, some may be new to you. That’s half the fun of this! The other half is in what they have to say.In the Bible Art Journalist Roundup Interview series, you’ll find that the interview is always the same great questions, the people are different and the responses are unique and wonderful. They are always full of heart, passion, fun and depth, and this episode is no exception. You’ll learn how they got started Bible journaling, their favorite Bible journaling page and art supplies, top tip, personal thoughts and so much more, like how to connect with them!

I am SO EXCITED to share this episode with you. Be sure to share this with anyone who will want to learn from these amazing ladies.

For this interview episode, I reached out to Lauren, Melissa and Sara, and was delighted to meet them and get to know their wonderful hearts. I found Brigitta through my Bible Art Journaling Challenge and she is super sweet. Lauren is a bucket of fun and leaks joy and passion. Melissa has an air of grace and beauty about her, that is so wonderful to experience. Sara has a sense of kindness and care in all that she expresses. Michelle is so genuine and approachable. Each of these ladies are so inspiring and wonderful. I hope this interview shows the vibrancy, warmth and genuine heart of each of them uniquely.

Before we get started on interview questions, let me do a fun little introduction of each Bible art journalist. May you be richly blessed by this post!


Lauren LankerLauren Lanker

  • Location – Florida, United States
  • Blog – www.ThinkingCloset.com
  • Book – www.ThinkingOutsideTheGiftBox.com
  • Instagram – instagram.com/thinkingcloset
  • Random interesting life detail – My husband Mark and I met in Romantic Literature class (of all places) at Wheaton College.  Leave it to Keats, Shelly, and Blake to plant the seeds of romance in our hearts.
  • Art Journaling Bible – I pour my heART into the margins of my E.S.V. Single-Column Journaling Bible by Crossway… the original edition with the bright red cover!  It’s not longer in stock, but here’s the same edition with a black cover.


Melissa FischerMelissa Fischer

  • Location – I live right outside of Memphis, Tennessee (in the United States) in a small town called Oakland.
  • Etsy Shop – www.etsy.com/shop/ruthonesixteen
  • Instagram – instagram.com/Fischtales
  • Random interesting life detail – I have a sweet little dog named Blossom who is blind. She sits at my feet every morning while I paint, and she has been a great companion for 15 years.
  • Art Journaling Bible –  I use an ESV double column Journaling bible by Crossway.


SaraSara

  • Location – I live in the northeastern United States.
  • Site – seasonsillustrated.com
  • Instagram – instagram.com/seasonsillustrated
  • Facebook Group – facebook.com/groups/seasonsillustrated
  • Random interesting life detail – I am bilingual and bicultural! My parents are from the Netherlands, so I was raised in a tiny Dutch bubble in the United States, speaking both Dutch and English. I spend the academic year in the United States as I’m finishing up my degree, and spend most of my breaks with family in the Netherlands!
  • Art Journaling Bible – I use the Crossway ESV Single-Column Journaling Bible. Depending on my needs and how I’m feeling that day, I alternate between the black and the Antique Floral.


Michelle HotchkissMichelle Hotchkiss


Brigitta LitfinBrigitta Litfin



On to these interview questions! 

What drew you to start art journaling in your Bible?

Lauren LankerLauren – Since my Teen Study Bible days, I’ve been writing and doodling in my Bible.  But I’ll never forget when I first discovered the #JournalingBible and #IllustratedFaith hashtags on Instagram in March 2015.

The images blew my mind, challenging my preconceptions of what Bible note-taking could be.  These Bible pages were blank canvases for artistic expression, and I found myself immediately drawn in to this new way of engaging with scripture.

I remember thinking, “These are my people.  They are speaking my language.  And I want in.” I managed to hunt down a Journaling Bible despite the scarcity at the time, and the rest is history.

melissa-fischerMelissa – December of 2014, I was scrolling through Instagram and someone’s post caught my attention. It was a picture of someone’s bible and they had illustrated in the column… and I was hooked! It was like a light bulb went off and I haven’t been able to put it down since.

It speaks to me like nothing has before and for the first time I am using my talent for God, and that is such a blessing!

saraSara – I study religion, and I have a deep love for the Bible, both from an academic and a spiritual standpoint. I was browsing articles on Pinterest when I came across a beautiful illustration that someone had done in the margins of her Bible of a lion. I was breath-taken and completely fascinated; it affected me in a way that I hadn’t often experienced before. Within a few hours, I had learned all about Bible journaling and decided to order myself my first journaling Bible. Since then, it’s become a major part of my life, my faith, and even my job – I now write Bible journaling studies!

Michelle HotchkissMichelle – I discovered illuminated bibles and manuscripts long ago and it immediately sparked something in my heart but only from a secular point of view.  A few years ago, my relationship with Christ became more intimate and genuine.  I was shopping online for a new bible and found the Mosaic NLT bible, which has artwork in the front half; I was longing to combine art and God’s word before I even knew about bible art journaling.  Last year, I somehow stumbled on Valerie Sjodin’s blog, she posted her first bible art journaling and my heart literally felt like it flipped in my chest when I saw it!  It was an answer to a longing that I didn’t even know I had.  I jumped in immediately.

Brigitta LitfinBrigitta – When I saw Rebekah’s Youtube channel and blog I was truly amazed!  It was through her original and current Bible art journaling challenges that I learned how to start my own journey with Bible art journaling, and I’m so glad I decided to take the plunge!

 

 

How would you describe your Bible art journaling style?

Lauren LankerLauren – Eclectic!  I’m a dabbler, and I rarely have two entries executed in the same style since I’m continually experimenting.  However, there are some common threads.

I find I am drawn to bright and bold paint, hand-lettering, and I also have a knack for transforming mistakes into “happy accidents.”

Truly.  I don’t think there’s a single entry I’ve tackled in which I didn’t have to execute a plan B or C at some point…which has been such a worthwhile growing experience for me.

Melissa FischerMelissa – Well, I love to think outside of the box. I always love to hear my pastor use everyday life and situations to drive home teachings about God. In the same way, I love to do the same thing with my illustrations, and use images that will spark thought or make me think about something in a new light. For example, a circus strong man to talk about God’s strength or a funny looking zombie to remind me of how God can bring anything or anybody back to life.

SaraSara – I wouldn’t call myself artistically gifted, so my style is often simple but rooted in personal meaning. I use a lot of watercolors and colored pencils; I like to let the words show through my illustration. If I have enough margin space or space at the end of a book, I will use the opportunity to letter a phrase or Biblical quote that is meaningful to me.

 

Michelle HotchkissMichelle – Most of my illustrations are fairly realistic and speak to how I was feeling at the time when I created them, like looking at a photograph and remembering exactly what was going on and what I was feeling when the photo was taken. A visual language.  I want my bible art to invoke emotions, not just be a pretty piece of art. This is important to me because I’ve bible art journaled through a lot of changes in my life with Christ and it’s sometimes tempting go back to how things used to be.  Bible art helps me to remember where I used to be and that it’s important keep moving forward with Christ.

Brigitta LitfinBrigitta – I’ve tried many different styles but landed on one that fits me well… I would describe it as realistic drawings.

 

 

Of all the scriptures you have done Bible art journaling on, which is your favorite piece and why?

Lauren LankerLauren – Revelation has always been my favorite book of the Bible, and so when our church did a sermon series on it earlier this year, I spilled my discoveries onto the pages of my Journaling Bible.  And I continue to return to my entry on Revelation 1:17, “Fear not, I am the first and the last.”

In the margin, I scribbled these notes: “If God is my happily ever after, and in the end, all I get is Him, what more could I ask for?  It is enough.”

As an overachiever and recovering perfectionist, that’s not a freedom I know yet, but it has been my fervent prayer to live that way in 2016 and beyond.  And it starts by knowing in my heart of hearts that God is the first and the last.  My beginning and my end.  Not my helper, but my everything!

{Shout-out to Stephanie Middaugh for the ink-and-watercolor inspiration.}

Lauren Lanker Bible Journaling

 

Melissa FischerMelissa – Wow, that is hard! Each one is so personal to me and when I illustrate I feel like I am putting a little of myself on each page. I think one of my all time favorites is John 1:1-13 entry where it talks about Christ being the light of the world and how we each have a chance to be called children of God. With that responsibility we get to send light out into the world to share Christ’s love with others.

Melissa Fischer Bible Journaling

 

SaraSara – My most meaningful scripture journaling is for Micah 7:8, which I see as my “life verse” – the Bible verse that means the most to me, and guides me in times of difficulty. Micah 7:8 reads “when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me” (ESV). As someone who has often dealt with personal hardship or setbacks, I try never to let myself get discouraged. When I came across this verse in a joyful time in my life, I almost cried – in hindsight, I could see God’s love at work in my life, even in the most difficult times. For this verse, I drew myself sitting in a dark cell, with a divine light shining on and illuminating me. It is a reminder that even when I seem to be surrounded in darkness, God is beside me, guiding me forward.

Sara Bible Journaling

Michelle HotchkissMichelle – My favorite is the “end of the road” sign in 2 Corinthians 3:5,6:
(5)”Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, (6) who made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit.  For the letter kills, the the Spirit gives life.”

It is not the most beautiful, interesting or colorful bible art I have done but it represents the most significant time in my life of truly coming to the end of myself and the beginning of a genuine and honest relationship with Christ. I still cry sometimes when I see this bible art and relive that life-changing time when there was nothing left but Jesus.  These are the moments I want my bible art journaling to capture.

Michelle Hotchkiss Bible Journaling

Brigitta – My favorite piece is actually one of my most recent; it reflects how much I’ve grown since beginning this journey.

It is a portrait of the woman weeping at Jesus’s feet. (Luke 7:37, 38)  I see myself in this woman and it expresses the love I have for Jesus so well that I was in tears as I was drawing.  I did it before Easter, and it was also inspired by the woman who wanted to touch the hem of His garment. (My response to the Original Bible Art Journaling Challenge, Week 12)

Brigitta Litfin Bible Journaling

What are your top 5, favorite art supplies for your Bible art journaling process?

Lauren LankerLauren –

  1. Sakura Watercolors Field Sketch Set & Brush
  2. Sakura 16-Piece Pigma Micron 05 Assorted Colors Cube Collection Ink Pen Set
  3. Washi Tape (I just can’t get enough!)
  4. Crayola Twistables Colored Pencils
  5. We R Memory Keepers TAB Punch


Melissa FischerMelissa – I use prismacolor colored pencils, watercolors, a study bible and worship music in my earbuds… that’s about it!

I use a couple of different brands of watercolors, it depends on what I am doing and the mood I am in. I use Van Gogh watercolors, Turner Watercolors, and Windsor and Newton travel set.


SaraSara – 

  1. Pigma Microns for notes and lettering
  2. Watercolors for painting
  3. Watercolor pencils for details and rich colors
  4. Washi tape for decorating edges
  5. Gel pens for detail work


Michelle HotchkissMichelle – Copic Multiliner SP pens.  These are metal bodied pens and have replaceable nibs and ink cartridges. They also come in disposable pens, different sizes and different colors. Liquitex Fluid matte medium, Faber Castell Pitt Artist Brush Pens, Faber Castell Polychromos colored pencils and Holbein watercolor paints.


Brigitta LitfinBrigitta – 

  1. Prismacolor colored pencils
  2. Retractable eraser
  3. mechanical pencil
  4. micron pens
  5. watercolor pencils


What is your top tip for Bible art journaling?

Lauren LankerLauren – Don’t allow your artistic insecurities or fear of imperfection hold you back from taking the plunge and exploring this form of art worship.  In fact, if you find yourself drawn to art journaling in your Bible, but paralyzed by fear, then I have a fantastic exercise for you.

For my first entry in my new Journaling Bible last spring, I created a set of what I call “Permission Pages” in the front of my Bible.  They boldly declare what my Bible is for (i.e. hearing God’s voice, messy imperfect efforts) and what it is not for (i.e. showing off my mad art skillz, impressing God).

And whenever my inner critic rears her ugly head and tries to twist something meant to be full of joy into something laden with pressure, I return to my Permission Pages.  And my truthful declarations remind me why I journal, and immediately, I feel a renewed sense of artistic freedom.

My hope is that my story in conjunction with this permission exercise might help get your heart and head in the right place to shove off on your own journey of encountering God anew through your Journaling Bible.  {Click HERE to read more about my Permission Pages.}

Lauren Lanker Permission Pages

Melissa FischerMelissa – Have fun, use materials you feel comfortable with, and create from the heart. I love looking at all the different styles and mediums everyone uses. From scrapbookers, watercolor artist, marker artist, to lettering.

Everyone has a style and a story to tell and I think that is what makes bible journaling so beautiful! Let it be a personal love story between you and God and it will grow your relationship.

SaraSara – Never let the art of others intimidate you! What you are doing is worship, and worship isn’t about being the best; it’s about connecting with God and with your faith. Let this be an area of your life that is not about competition, but about relationship and devotion.

I am no artist, but Bible journaling is one of the most beautiful areas of my life for this very reason.

Michelle HotchkissMichelle – Don’t be surprised if you get some unkind remarks from people for making a mark in your bible, or about covering scripture.  Some people are truly offended by bible art journaling, usually they had strict teachings that any marks in a bible is disrespecting God.  If they are open to hear why you bible art journal, then gently explain it.  If they are not open, then just let it go.  Don’t take their issues upon yourself and don’t let it hurt you or stifle your bible art. Be merciful and kind.  Keep the focus of bible art journaling as a way of worshiping, meditating and communicating with our Lord.

Brigitta LitfinBrigitta – My biggest tip for Bible art journaling:  see your artwork as an expression of worship. 🙂  Take some time to allow God to speak to you and let Him guide you in your personal journey.  He has fresh insights and revelations for each new day.  Listen to worship music, spend time in prayer, and have fun doing what God wants to accomplish.  And share your work!  We are His ambassadors and we are doing an amazing thing bringing His Word to life to those around us.

 

How has Bible art journaling most impacted your relationship with God and your time spent with His Word?

Lauren LankerLauren – As a visual and kinesthetic learner, Bible art journaling really has been exactly what I needed to encounter scripture anew and express what I’m learning in my own language of doodles and paint splatters and washi tape.

The best part? Each passage I journal is one I can now readily remember (whereas in the past, if I wasn’t moving my pen, I’d often forget what I had just read 10 minutes later).  I welcome the opportunity to slow down from my typical pace in order to tend to the soul through art worship.  It’s always the highlight of my week!

Melissa FischerMelissa – Never before have I wanted to dig deeper, learn more, experience the history behind stories, and get a feeling in a piece of art. I want to share, in every entry I paint, how he has completely turned my life upside down by His love. I feel like I have a voice on the pages in my bible and it is life changing. I have grown in such depth, it has helped with my anxiety, people pleasing, and given me a deeper faith. You cant help but grow and change when you are in His word every day… you cant stay the same when you experience Him like that every day.

SaraSara – Bible journaling has made Bible study more accessible to me. I study the Bible from an academic standpoint for school, and that approach can make it feel inaccessible as a holy text, because it feels as though you need a PhD to read it. That’s simply not true.

The Bible was written for normal people, like you and me. Bible journaling reminds me of that, and reminds me that this text can meet me where I am, as I am. I am so grateful for that.

Michelle HotchkissMichelle – It has lead to a deeper hunger to know God and His word intimately.  After spending much time in the bible while art journaling, I started doing bible studies – which I had never done before.  Next I wanted to learn how to pray intentionally and effectively instead of the unfocused and rambling way I had always prayed, so I made myself a daily prayer binder/journal.  I also developed a longing to simply just want to be around the Word, so while I am going about my day I often listen to the bible being read using the YouVersion Bible App (free) on my phone.  If I can’t sleep, I listen to it with earbud headphones so it doesn’t disturb my husband.  These are NOT things I ever would have been doing in my past and the first step of it all was bible art journaling.

Brigitta LitfinBrigitta – I’ve grown by leaps and bounds since starting Bible art journaling.  My walk with the Lord and my love for God’s Word has deepened with every Bible page I’ve done so far.  For me it’s become truly an act of worship.  More and more I feel the Lord nudging me to be my authentic self, and to express what God has placed on my heart for that passage of scripture or that particular moment of time.

 

Is there anything else you would like to say or share with us?

Lauren LankerLauren – Rebekah: as someone who has been so very inspired by your video tutorials, thank you for your generosity of spirit to the Journaling Bible community.  I’m continually in awe of how supportive and affirming my fellow journalers have been, and you, my dear, are no exception.

I’ll also add a final note for you, dear reader.  If perusing through these interviews or Rebekah’s blog archives has ignited a curiosity within you or an eagerness to dive in to Bible art journaling, I encourage you to follow that thread.  It’s okay if you’ve never really studied the Bible before.  Whether you explore scripture in a Journaling Bible or regular Bible or blank notebook, I trust this will be an adventure you won’t regret.

Journal on, rockstars!

Melissa FischerMelissa – Try to stay away from comparison and don’t get discouraged that you don’t create in your bible the way someone else does (believe me, all of us have struggled with this in one way or another). It is so easy to get caught up in that, specially on social media.

Try to make this journey all about you and God and what he is trying to say to you. I love this community that has sprung up and I hope it keeps blessing others too!

SaraSara – Thank you so much for this interview and this chance to reflect!

I am so honored to be featured, and so thankful to be sharing my experience.

 

Michelle HotchkissMichelle – Don’t be afraid to publicly share your bible art journaling, even if you get some negative feedback.  I had a lady on FB comment on one of my bible art journaling posts that she “will NOT read the bible, but understands what it is saying from the artwork”.  She also said she has told the “believers” in her family about it.  Somehow, someway, God is speaking to her personally through bible art journaling, even is she is not a believer at this time.  Our bible art journaling has the potential to change other peoples lives, in addition to our own.  That alone makes it so worth it!

Thank you so much for inviting me to participate with you and these other wonderful bible art journalists!  You have so generously given yourself to developing bible art journaling.  Let God be glorified!

Brigitta LitfinBrigitta – I’m so thankful that Rebekah created these challenges and started this community!  You’re all an inspiration to me and I love seeing your artwork and what God is doing in each one of your lives. 🙂

 


 

Rebekah here again. Has this not been such a wonderful post!?!

Do us all a favor in this community. Take a moment to share this roundup interview with all your friends. Let’s spread the love and share this movement! This post is a fabulous way to introduce friends to what Bible journaling is all about. You never know who could have their life changed by finding out about Bible journaling through you sharing.

These ladies have generously given of themselves in this post and I hope you’ll enjoy checking out their websites, Instagram accounts, favorite art supplies and much more. Please go give them some love and let them know this interview has been worth their time. 🙂

What do you think? How has this roundup interview episode made you feel? What have you learned from it?

Share your comment below! Everyone in this community would love to hear from you!

If you have not done so yet, please consider subscribing to my emails, so you never miss out on anything fun going on around here. Lots of exciting stuff coming up!

I hope to see you back here soon!

You are loved. x

 

Scripture is from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

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