By Jordan Moler
It starts with an idea. Graphite greets the paper and the idea takes shape. Gradual stroke after stroke emboldens the lines. Shadow gives depth and the image comes alive. Line after line births a more complex image. Beauty is being created. But something’s not right. There's a disconnect between the idea and the image. What appears on the page is not what belongs. Hard strokes begin to weaken lines. Bits of rubber crumble and the image becomes fainter. The purity of the paper is compromised. With the ghost of the image still vague on the page, it begins again as the graphite greets the paper. Over and over this happens until the paper is torn. This has become routine. Never will the idea and image live in harmony. Never will perfection be grasped. Frustration sets in. Half beautiful, the book is slammed shut on the image. Never to see light. Never to be shared. The image is only as beautiful as its creator and this creator is flawed.
If you've ever tried to master a craft, you understand the longing of perfection; a goal that can never be reached. In a situation like this you are left with two choices, you continue pushing forward while honing your skill, realizing perfection can never be grasped or you take the cowards path and walk away. I chose to walk away.
For me, a college degree led to rejection. It didn't matter how many places I'd apply to. It didn't matter how much I grew my portfolio. No one would take a chance on me. Every path led to rejection. This led me to believe that I was inadequate. That I didn't posses what people desired. That I didn't have what it takes. Rather than fight, I chose to roll over. I stopped creating. Sand would fall from the hour glass, the hands of the clock would tirelessly run their lapse, the sun would set and rise and I would continue to deny my passion. I'd continue to deny what I love. Then it would strike. Answering inspirations call I would dust off the cover of the sketchbook. Like old friends, graphite and paper meet again. But, unfortunately accompanied hand and hand with inspiration was everything I had become to believe about myself. So I would stop. Close the book. Put it back on the shelf. Never to see light. Never to be shared.
It was easy to believe these lies about myself, because I had no truth to tell me otherwise. At this point, the circumstances of my life had brought me to my knees. There was no joy. I had been denying my passion; I had been denying what I love. On my knees, I could feel the desire begin to swell inside. I was supposed to create. This journey began with me quitting my job and moving home. For the next six months I searched aimlessly for a graphic design job. Meanwhile living off money made from medical testing. During these six months, I began to discover what it meant for me to be created in God’s image. I may be a flawed creator, never reaching perfection. But there is one, a Creator who is perfect. One who can look at his entire creation and call it good. He is the greatest artist that will ever exist. The Creator of everything. He is referred to as a potter, a writer, an architect. He inspired poetry and music. From dust He created man in His own image. His creativity and His imagination are gifts reflected in us. That is why we find art spiritual. It's why we create, whether it is a painting, poem or song. My art is no longer about me or how well I perform, but it's worship. Glorifying to Him.
At the end of six months, I took the first job offered to me. I knew He had called me to create. Since I could not find a graphic design position I decided to answer that call on my own terms. My answer was to start an apparel company called From Dust. The goal was to raise funds through sales to put on art shows that would benefit non-profits. Like any cautiously optimistic person would do, I slowly began to pursue this idea. Dragging my feet every step of the way. Weighed down by fears of rejection and failure, but still pushing forward. It seemed every step towards the goal was matched by a step back. From Dust was slowly taking shape. With money from my own pocket, I printed a run of logo tees. With images in hand from the photo shoot, it happened. The worst case scenario for a designer. The artist betrayed by his tool. My Macbook had crashed. Month after month. Dollar after dollar saved to bring life back to an antique. By the time I had raised the money, God was no longer calling me to create From Dust, but instead he was asking me to wait.
So I waited. As I waited, I fell into the old routine. I created less. I still held tight to the hope of one day getting to do what I loved and sharing Gods beauty through it with people. I knew the truth, but sometimes it was easy to forget. The waiting came to end when a mutual friend introduced me to Doug. He was looking for a designer. A designer for an apparel company that would benefit non-profits (sound familiar?). A man who believes everything happens for a reason leaves no room for coincidence. I am that man. In my faith when one thing coincides with another, it seems God’s hand is at work. Needless to say I met with Doug and I've been creating at VIVE since. VIVE has been a tremendous blessing for me. There has been much healing in this journey for me. I went from believing that my art isn't worth sharing, to people wearing it every day. Before we were dating my wife told me that when you deny the gifts God has given you the enemy wins. I will no longer deny my gifts. I will no longer deny what I love. I will no longer deny my passion. It must have light. It must be shared.
This is the testimony of how I came to VIVE. I hope you all get as much joy from the designs as I do from creating them.
Head to out Shop to grab this limited time "From Dust" shirt for only $10. Help us support Jordan. 100% of the proceeds go to help Jordan raise money for his missions trip to Ecuador.