Echo Conference Notes for Blaine Hogan

You can access the downloadable file here.

As an actor, author of the recent book, UNTITLED: Thoughts on the Creative Process, and creative director at Willow Creek Community Church, Blaine is a maker of things. He lives with his wife, Margaret, and their daughter, Ruby, just outside of Chicago.

Echo Conference | Session 6 | Blaine Hogan

“You Are Not a Tool: An Artist’s Guide for Staying Human”

Utility is greater than art.

We have started to feel like a machine, because we’ve been working this way for so long

Sometimes it seems we would rather be tools than be humans

How do we live in the midst of these tensions and questions?

It’s not about creating better art; it’s about creating a better human

If being an artist is regaining our interiority, how do we do this?

Relax & Breathe

We don’t believe God is in this place, or help us make this world

We just feel we have to do it ourselves

How many of us sit in our offices and sing “I’m sure if I sit here, God will give me an idea”?

The Bible is ripe with “Relax and Breathe” ideas

If the artist doesn’t lead in relaxing and breathing, who will?

Embrace the Obstacles

“What would people say if I went on SNL wearing a red suit?” – P.Diddy

“If I had never had this obstacle, I wouldn’t have had this great idea”

We fight, we whine, we complain, because our idea’s better in our opinion.

Do we see obstacles as mysteries to be solved or battles to be won?

From the Inside Out

What is God doing in me? How does he want to use that to speak to the community?

I see my art as a confession.

“You can’t take anyone farther than you have gone yourself”

Every week you’re inviting your congregation to the deepest, darkest places of themselves

Unless you lead, I don’t know if you have any business speaking the Gospel

You Must Need it More Than They Do

“Our communities need (THIS)”, rather than connecting it with ourselves

I need the Gospel more than they do

Whatever it is you put your hand to day in and day out; you need more than they do

Name it first, before you point it out somewhere else

“You have to know the final climactic scene first” Donald Miller

If we’re going to try to make things that function more as art than utility, we must ask ourselves, “What is this really doing?”

The product is not the art. The art is the process

The work that we make will inherently be better if we choose to be better humans



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