Mar 17, 2009

Representation - What Do You See?

A while back I did a blog makeover for Chatty Kelly. She asked me to create a caricature so I created one of her using a picture she had of herself on her blog. In the picture, her hair blended into the background a bit so I didn't have a clear view of it.

This is the completed Chatty Kelly.

Chatty Kelly
Later she changed her picture and I could see that her hair was nothing like in my illustration. She recently celebrated her 20 something birthday *wink*, so I took the opportunity to make her a birthday button with a more accurate representation of her hair. She loved the button but specifically commented on the hair. Here is what she said "And the hair on the birthday button - it's ME!"


Just recently I also designed a new header for ADHD-Jo and created a caricature of her. This was one of my first final drafts.

She loved it, but she said her hair actually has ringlets. (Hair is difficult for me. Can you tell?) So I added ringlets.


Then she said that she never wore tans or browns and asked me if I could make her shirt army green.


Then she said that she never wears red fingernail polish and could I change that. So here is the final final draft. A more accurate representation.


We all want to be portrayed accurately. Whenever I do a blog makeover, a button, or any custom work, the client wants an accurate representation of who they are, their style, their personality, their character, and their message.

Over the years many books have been written, images created, and movies made of Jesus Christ or of various books of the Bible. How many are accurate representations of Christ or God's Word? How accurate should we be? Does it really matter if He is shown with a halo around His head in His earthly form? Does it matter that he wasn't riding a donkey in that scene of the triumphal entry into Jerusalem? Aren't these just small, insignificant details? (My intention is not to single out these specific details but to use them as examples.) Does it really matter as long as it points someone to Christ? Is it Pharisaical to expect an accurate representation of Christ and of God's Word?
Jesus said...

I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Matthew 5:18 (emphasis mine)

I'm not going to get into all that Jesus was saying in this verse but rather, I want to reveal something of the nature of God. In this verse we see that God places a high value on every letter, every pen stroke, of His Word. The "Law" was commonly used to refer to the old testament scriptures. If God is concerned about the tiniest of details in His Word, then shouldn't we also be? Shouldn't we at least ask Him why we should be? Let's go back to the examples I used earlier. Again these are just examples.

Example 1:

In many images Jesus is portrayed with a halo around His head. I am not saying this is wrong. I'm only making an observation for the sake of example and for the point. As an artist I completely understand that artists used that as a way of showing His Deity. So that's a good thing right? Not necessarily.
Jesus was fully man and fully God. It is just as important to accurately represent the fully man part as it is to represent the fully God part. He came to earth as a man in order to identify with us. He suffered, endured, and was tempted in the same things we are.

Example 2:
I recently viewed a scene of the triumphal entry in a movie where Jesus was being carried into Jerusalem by the people instead of riding on a donkey. So why is this important?

Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!
Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and having salvation,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey. Zechariah 9:9
This was one of the prophesies that proved that Jesus was the Messiah. If He had entered Jerusalem in any way except on the foal of a donkey, He would not have been who He said He was.
Accurate representation. It can make a World of difference.


Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind ~ Luke 10:27


Kathryn said...

Ah, Edie, what a wonderful analogy! And, it's such an important reminder that we must take the Word of God as it is written, not compromising it, not making assumptions about it, and not adding or taking away from it.

I admire your thoroughness, earnestness, and attention to detail, and I know it pleases the Lord!

I pray His richest blessings upon you today!

Sharon said...

This is sooo true, What a post to really ponder on.
I love how you did the characters, you are so talented.
but I love what you said in this post most of all. In his Image!

Jody said...

"...for those who are called according to his purpose." And what is that purpose? "For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son,..."Romans 8:29b-30 The only way to know what that image "looks like" is to know the God of the Bible. Jesus says if you know me then you know the father who sent me. I agree with you Edie, the details are important.

God's girl said...

Wow, I loved how you intertwined everything in this post. It really does matter about the details and accuracy of the Word of God. What a wonderful reminder to us that God's Word is truth, and nothing but the truth. It cannot be altered, and neither can God.

BTW, those picky bloggy friends of yours, I tell ya:) You can tell they are sisters, huh? You did an awesome job on both of their blog makeovers!

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

Hey Edie,

Pondering it, ... "MISrepresenting Jesus" is..... really UPSETTING.

I was in a book store this week, and stood in the christian isle. I picked up a book on Mary Magdalene and it had thee COOLEST cover. But as I read, it talked about her being MARRIED to Jesus. I couldn't put it down FAST ENOUGH and felt literally SICK.

This came to mind right away when I read about the people carrying Jesus rather than the donkey.

THE DETAILS ARE important!!!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Great post, Edie, and yes, I think our pens matter when it comes to our teaching the word and our attempts at "painting" a portrait of our God accordingly. Some things I'm less concerned about, but when it comes to God's Word, I hope to always be accurate with my thoughts and interpretation. It's never my intent to "get it wrong", but I'm sure there are times that I do.

Also loved your drawings. Such talent!


Christy said...

Thanks for the post Edie. I'm feeling overwhelmed and out of control even though the post my have not had anything to do with that it still spoke to me.

Chatty Kelly said...

Jesus' coming was foretold and all the prophesy came true. If we miss the details, than we may miss Jesus.

If God know the number of hairs on our head, surely he is a detail-oriented God. :-)

Great post!


What a thought provoking post. At first I was thinking of Beth Moore's Daniel study - about 'IMAGE BUILDING' - how we are always trying to build our images into something we are really not - to impress others.

But as I read further in your post I saw where you were going with it. DETAIL! Our God is a God of DETAIL! Not one iota in His Word is there at random - everyting is connected. I loved your ending where you point out: 'Accurate representation'. THAT is what all of us [in Christ] should be about!

I am one who is a stickler for details. I hate when I spell a word wrong on a comment post - it's that bad!

But as you point out and other saw too - with God and His Word - there is NO COMPROMISE!

BTW: Your characatures [did I spell that right?] are precious!

Thanks for this post today.

Looking UPward and Choosing JOY,
[Time to FLY]

My ADHD Me said...

This is an excellent post.
I love the way you brought it all together.

HOWEVER, that ADHD-Jo seems to have a few issues. You must be REALLY REALLY patient to work with her.
(by the way, that isn't PINK on her fingernails, is it?).
I know her pretty well, when she hasn't chewed her nails down to nothing, she usually wears burgundy. HOWEVER, the pink is definitely better than the chewed off look.

Seems like she may have a consistancy problem....among other things!
: )

She's very lucky to have a friend like you to work with her...speaking of working with me (er..her), I (she) might have a job for you, if you are interested.
I'll try to get an email out to you on it shortly. (opps, I mean she will)

My ADHD Me said...

I don't know how I missed your project 365 this week, oh yes I do, cable problems AGAIN!

Anyway, I just went and saw it and left a comment.

Susan said...

I love this!! Thank you for sharing your wonderful work and your "word" about it.



debrah said...

oops feeling a bit convicted here...I am not detailed orientated...lately there is so much junk(information) running around in my mind...and some of it might be important(important junk???) that my head is way too crowded for details...well when I pull it together and rest in the peace of my Lord and Savior - perhaps then I will not be so wary of details...being as creative and artistic as you are I wonder is detail just a natural for you and did you have to develop this ability for detail? Have a very blessed week.

Melanie Dorsey said...

Yeah....Edie, this was good stuff!
And I love the caricatures. You really captured your subjects well!

B His Girl said...

Creativity flows from you. Great hair on the girls. Yes, the details are important to him. I like how you brought this glam post back to Jesus. B

My ADHD Me said...

Didn't you know? Mauve is the codename for burgundy or clear. lol

Deanna said...

great truths! I agree :O) I often have a hard time using images of Jesus that have been created by man. No one really has an acurate picture of Him (no cameras back then :O)... plus, as God who we know is spirit, and Jesus is God too even though He walked in flesh on the earth... well, I've just read several missionary testimonies where the natives couldn't connect to the tangible expression of the westernized/American pictures/ideas of Jesus; A Jesus who is also supposed to be their Savior too. I love that Jesus speaks every language and knows every person no matter the color, tribe, or region they are in. I really like your #2 example:O)

WOW! great work on the caricatures~ talented and cute!

God's Girl said...

wow! What a great job you did! You are quite the artist. I love it.

Thank you for standing for the truth of the Word of God! Amen to that!!!

Greg C said...

Great post Edie. Thanks for pointing this out. I have heard a lot of talk on this subject recently. They are also talking about the image of Jesus as he is usually painted.

Sue J. said...

The first thing I thought about was our Advent conversation about the "3" wise men. (Excuse many??)

There's also the problem with being "married" to a certain image of Jesus, especially one created by man. We have to be extremely careful that we do not embrace any image more than we embrace the true Jesus. There are commandments about such things.

Having said all that, we are going to continue to fall short in our understanding of God's Word completely. He reveals things as we go forward, in His timing, and we will not know everything until we truly do see Him. But, we need to be true to what we do know is truth.

Your artwork really helps make this post come to life. And that two of my buds are featured doesn't hurt things either.

Looking and sounding good all around, now, Edie!!

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

Ok - Now I want one of me!!

You are so very talented!


Kathy S. said...

I loved this. I wouldn't want a god who wasn't intrested in the most intricate details. If we diminish anything about Him it is a tragedy!

Loved your artwork and your way of expressing the truth!

Tracy said...

What a great post! I absolutely love the way you combined your gift for artistry with your gift for sharing insights in the Word! Couldn't agree with you more...

Mary Moss said...

Great analogy here, Edie. Yes, it is vital that we (and everyone) be true to the word.

That is an important event and the people who created that movie (or at least who designed that scene) obviously did not have biblical knowledge.

Marla said...

Your are such a creative person, both with your art and your writing! I love this post.

Angela said...

I love the way you think!