Comic Art and Ministry Come Together

In my last blog post, I discussed 6 Reasons to Join a Ministry. This past Sunday, I had an opportunity to participate in one as a temporary volunteer.

My home church’s children’s ministry hosted an annual carnival that journeys from the typical Sunday format and incorporates at least four times as many teachers. This year’s carnival featured pie tossing, face painting, a show in a fully glow-in-the-dark room, several games, and more.

Part of the “and-more” included a section where the children posed for a quick self-portrait of themselves. Because the carnival saw over 400 children attend over the course of two services, it became apparent that multiple artists were needed.

That’s where I came in! I was invited to sit along three other colleagues to use my talent in drawing to tackle the daunting yet extremely fun task of drawing these youth. I’ve drawn for fun since about six years old, albeit much less since I started college. After drawing a character for the missions ministry a several months ago, I was recommended to partake in the carnival.

The children had a blast! Excited about the possibility of getting their face painted without the hindrance of having to ask a guardian to shell out some cash, the 3-6 year olds lined up to receive a portrait in their likeness. Few actually held still the whole time, but who could blame them? Elsewhere about the room, other exciting activities raged on.

Using art skills to draw children caricatures last Sunday was a fun variation of ministry.

My colleagues included Linda, a professional artist who does illustration in corporate, freelance, ministry, and just-for-fun settings (and has her own website), as well as Jason and Lloyd, two comic art students from the Kubert School of Cartooning and Graphic Art in New Jersey. Needless to say, I was rather intimidated next to these comic art geniuses. However, they were all reassuring and non-patronizing, which was a relief.

They also taught me a great deal. Just by observing Linda at work, I picked up some techniques for getting a proportionate face shape and  realized that putting the same spare sheet under every artwork that I did would save a lot of papers from going to waste–my marker could bleed onto the same substitute sheet each instead of on fresh new ones.

Jason also gave some helpful hints. He recommended comic art as a great fallback plan or side hobby even if someone isn’t pursuing it as their main career, and advised that people should always find a way to make progress in an activity that they enjoy.

These artists’ enthusiasm for drawing was catchy; I was greatly inspired to continue drawing regularly. Even if my art won’t bring in six figures, I know that it is beneficial for at least three things. Drawing is 1) a relaxing activity, 2) a great tool for exporting ideas from your mind on paper for others to see, and 3) a way to put smiles on children’s faces, as we did for over 400 last Sunday.

Interested in sharing your unique ministry experiences? Feel free to write on this site as a guest blogger! Click “register” on the life.nyack.edu homepage.

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