Creation of the Week

Creation of the Week - Charles Collins' Glassworks

Art is broad reality, the multifaceted expression of the human experience, our innate search for beauty and truth that is nothing less than the thirst for God in our hearts. Among all the art forms out there, at least in my opinion, one of the ones that best blends practical application with aesthetic power, is the art of glass blowing.

Creating something that is designed to be both useful and beautiful is remarkable. Add working at mind-boggling temperatures into the mix, and you have quite a unique craft. And that’s exactly what Charles Collins loves most about this medium, and we’re featuring his work this week. He recently created a set of whiskey glasses that are not only hand-blown, but are inlaid with gold leaf. I reached out to Charles for an intro:

My name is Charles Collins. I was raised in Mobile, Alabama, one of five children. I have an older sister and three younger brothers. I graduated from the University of South Alabama as a four-time letterman in Track & Field throwing the javelin. While earning a degree in Sports Management I started blowing and manipulating glass in my senior year. During that first class three years ago, I fell in love with the art form.

After graduation, on a leap of faith, I moved to Houston, Texas to intern at Western Academy, a private liberal arts school for boys. I have just completed my first year as a full-time teacher for Western Academy as the Art Director, P.E. Coach, Assistant Football Coach, and Head Track & Field Coach.

Upon moving to Houston, I found a small glass studio, Three Dimensional Visions, where I continued my passion for glass blowing. After a few months of renting time at the studio, Three Dimensional Visions offered me an internship which turned into a part time position as an assistant Gaffer (glass blower). With this opportunity I was able to start my own Glass Crafting business. I blow glass because I love the danger of it all and the beauty that results.

Gathering glass at 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit, stretching, shaping, blowing, to form something that compliments the light so well is like nothing else. The way the glass feels, how it moves, and the limitless applications are all very exciting. Glass Blowing and coaching are my passions, I am blessed to be able to do both.
— Charles Collins

To me this is the sign of a true artist and artisan: his passion and excitement for what he does. He talks about glass blowing the way I talk about pulled pork, but that’s a separate issue. As someone who’s been interested in glass blowing for a while, I found it fascinating to hear about the art form from an insider, someone who actually does it for a living. After reading his introduction I spent more time than I’d like to admit to watching glass blowing videos on YouTube. Don’t start down that path; you’ve been warned.

Here are a few samples of his work.

I think Charles’ example is remarkable because he has discovered his main passions in life, and what’s more has put in the hard work that it takes to master them and make a living doing them. As a collegiate athlete, a coach, and an Artist and craftsman, his dedication to what he does is an invitation to all of us to find what we love, and then master what we find. Maybe our achievements won’t happen at 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit, but that same effort and determination are invaluable assets in the pursuit of our art, and of our dreams.

Feel free to contact Charles, or hire him for customized glass creations.


 
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by Nik Sternhagen

Marketing Specialist at Catholic Support Services

Creation of the Week - Nicholas DeRose and Ascension's "Confession is a Place of Victory"

A few weeks ago the Catholic Community buzzed with the launch of a video called “Confession is a Place of Victory”, part of Ascension Press’ awesome new series called The 99. Featuring the unforgettable Fr. Mike Schmitz, and the beautiful animation work of the legendary Todd Bright, the video is a stellar accomplishment from many perspectives: cinematography, animation, storytelling, and evangelization, to name a few. Here it is, if you haven’t seen it yet:

Confession is not an easy topic, in any circle, and it is probably one of the most widely misunderstood and most heavily under-appreciated means of sanctification that the Church offers. Taking full advantage of Fr. Mike’s uncanny ability to explain things in a way that is refreshingly engaging, memorable, and relatable, the Ascension team has presented the sacrament in a way that anyone can connect with.

Artistically, the project is a masterpiece. The look and feel that the crew was able to achieve, with the help of some huge lights and expert color grading, is stunning. It blends perfectly with the beautiful animations to create a work of art in the truest sense, that simultaneously enlightens, uplifts, and teaches the viewer.

While this video is obviously the accomplishment of many people, we wanted to focus in a little bit on the man who directed it, Nicholas DeRose. After working for years with Ascension Press, Nicholas has recently struck out on his own.

Anyone who has made the jump into freelancing or starting their own business, especially if they are supporting a young family, can attest to the daunting nature of that decision. It takes guts to leave the security of a steady paycheck and a regular schedule, and expand into unknown horizons to make it on your own. But the possibilities that open up in front of you when you take a step like that often prove to be beyond your wildest dreams.

I reached out to Nicholas for a bit of an intro:

I am the Founder and Director of Visual Rose Productions.

I grew up loving movies and how they were made. Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Lost left huge impressions on me. My mom homeschooled my siblings and I growing up and that’s where I fell in love with Catholicism.

It’ll be eight years this September that I will have been married to my beautiful wife. Being a father of three has really changed my perspective of beauty. Before kids I thought of beauty in terms of music, lighting, art, video and I still think that’s all true but what’s even more beautiful are the small moments, the memories, the interactions I experience with my wife and children.

I love being a father to them like God is a father to me. Being a husband and father is and will always be the most thrilling adventure of my life. It’s in the home with family and God that beauty is found.

I worked ten years for Ascension and have recently jumped into doing my business full-time. I learned a lot from my time there and it’s been an adjustment for me and my family over the past few months but we are beginning to settle in to the new role / schedule. Having more autonomy over my work and spending more time with family has been huge. I love what I do and I am excited for this journey that God has me on.

I think that’s a pretty remarkable approach, and one that anyone can benefit from imitating. To me it seems evident that Nicholas is a man of God, a man for his family, and a master of his craft, and that’s a combination that is not easy to find. Oh and his demo reel is pretty fantastic, if you haven’t seen it.

If fear is keeping you from taking a leap, or even a step, in your life or career, look to examples of people like Nicholas DeRose. They are living proof that although it’s not easy, it’s worth it, and that when you expand beyond the horizon of what you know, you begin to understand the extent of your potential.

Feel free to contact Nicholas, or hire him for any of your film needs.


 
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by Nik Sternhagen

Marketing Specialist at Catholic Support Services

Creation of the Week - Chris Alles' St. Charles Borromeo

In this day and age, it sometimes seems like practically anything can be called art, and no questions are asked. So when we come across a true masterpiece, the breathtaking result of decades of the painstakingly determined mastery of a centuries-old craft, it is a stunning accomplishment.  This is exactly what Chris Alles has achieved.  

This week we’re featuring Chris for his bronze-cast statue of St. Charles Borromeo that he created for the church of St. Charles Borromeo in Montgomery Township, NJ. A brief visit to his website portfolio reveals that his talents go far beyond his bronzework, but that’s the focus of today’s post. Check out Chris’ freelancer profile or portfolio.

Chris is a sculptor currently residing in New York.  He began drawing at the age of two, but it was not until sixteen years later that he began to take art seriously. His passion for art ultimately led him to Florence, Italy, where he apprenticed for six months under sculptor Dony MacManus. 

There, he discovered the beauty and power of the Italian Renaissance masters, and in the presence of the raw energy of their work, he encountered the need to become a sculptor.

After his time in Italy, Christopher returned to his hometown of Portland, Oregon and continued his studies with Polish sculptor Tomasz Misztal. Under Misztal’s guidance, he discovered how to link the influence of the past with that of the present. 

Consequently, his work often references and quotes artists ranging from the Renaissance to the early to mid-twentieth century. The primary process behind the creation of his art consists of a study from the past and its development to now, then responding to the contemporary world in light of this study.

Christopher has been commissioned for projects throughout the US, from church restoration projects to religious statuary, including most recently a set of reliquaries for the St. Joseph Dominican Province.

In 2018, Monsignor Gregory Malovetz, pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Church in Montgomery Township, NJ, commissioned Christopher Alles to sculpt an image of the saint. The pastor and artist decided together to depict a typical scene from the Saint’s life: St. Charles serving the poor. Christopher decided to focus on the penitential aspect of this relationship, showing Borromeo receiving the poor man’s confession. Here one can clearly see quotes from Rembrandt’s famous Prodigal Son painting.

We must meditate before, during and after everything we do. The prophet says: ‘I will pray, and then I will understand.’ This is the way we can easily overcome the countless difficulties we have to face day after day, which, after all, are part of our work. In meditation we find the strength to bring Christ to birth in ourselves and in others.
— St. Charles Borromeo
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If I have learned anything from Chris, it’s to never give up in the pursuit of mastery.  We are all given gifts and talents that it is our task to develop, perfect, and ultimately put at the service of God and others.  It’s precisely in the often unrewarding daily drudgery, the small steps towards perfection, that from our own clay we will one day find our own masterpiece taking shape.

Feel free to contact Chris, or hire him if you’re in the market for timeless bronze masterpieces.


 
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by Nik Sternhagen

Marketing Specialist at Catholic Support Services

Creation of the Week - Laura Allen's Bulletin Design

This week we’re featuring Laura Allen.  Laura is a writer and director, who shoots and edits event videography and habitually works on film projects which raise awareness for schools, charities, and nonprofits, all endeavors she is passionate about.  She lives and works in New Jersey, and is a charming, creative and talented individual. Check out her freelancer profile and portfolio

Laura stirred things up a few weeks ago for what might seem to be a side project; her beautiful bulletin design for the People of Hope community.  “Beautiful” is not usually the first word that comes to most people’s minds when they think about most Church bulletins, but the work that Laura has done here truly breaks that stereotype.  Her use of balanced fonts, discrete, gentle color combinations, and a pleasant and engaging layout all combine into what has to be one of the prettiest bulletin designs I’ve ever seen.  

To me this hits the heart of what the New Evangelization is all about: presenting the eternal truths of the faith in a new and engaging way.  While I wouldn’t call Church bulletin design an eternal truth, the current system does feel pretty eternal, and this new approach is a breath of fresh air that any Church or organization could benefit from imitation. Here’s a snippet from her profile

“I am a little pencil in the hand of God. Whatever he writes is beautiful”

-St Teresa of Calcutta

It’s funny. I am a writer and filmmaker who has had a long, hard, struggle to accept that I am a writer and filmmaker. That I’m a creator and a creative. Growing up, these seemed like very silly, even self-centered pursuits.

I’ve always loved the Lord and wanted to serve him, but for some reason, for the longest time, I thought that had to look a certain way. That it had to be heroic.  That I had to be a missionary, or be serving the poor in a foreign land, or a campus minister, or a nun and that any other form of service was somehow a waste. But Christ, in his patience and tenderness has slowly been teaching me that to serve him is to simply be a little pencil in his hand.  And, for me, I’m learning, that means creating. Creating is my way of loving others. 

It’s a walk of trust to believe that making meaningful things can change hearts. That Christ can move and grow, if we’re humble enough to be simple sowers of seeds. And that’s how I see what I do: to make little films is a simple sowing of seeds. How beautiful it is that we artists have the opportunity to evangelize simply, in smallness, and then to watch in faith as God does the rest.”

Laura’s example is a great reminder to all of us, living out our faith in the creative field, to not hinder or hide the God-given gifts and talents that we have been blessed with, to seek and find Him in the beauty that is all around us, and where there doesn’t seem to be much beauty, like perhaps in some Church bulletins, to put it there, and watch how He is able to work through it. 

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Feel free to contact Laura or hire her for design or video work! 


 
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by Nik Sternhagen

Marketing Specialist at Catholic Support Services

Creation of the Week 54 - Novum Collective

With the revolutionary advancements of the technology, transportation, Internet, social media, etc., collaboration is no longer as difficult as it once was, and yet in the Catholic world it is still often times a source of power left untapped. That’s why I was so pumped when I saw the Novum crew’s newest collaboration, the Novum Collective Christmas Album. It’s not because their site is amazing or because I absolutely love every piece of art on there. I think it’s all great, but the fact that they are teaming up to put their collective energy and effort behind a common cause together, that’s what gets me pumped.

I remember three years ago feeling totally alone and like I was the only one who thought the way I think about creativity in the Church. Now I’m friends with a couple thousand new like minded people, some of whom I feel like I’ve been to war and back with. 40% of our clients at Sherwood Fellows have come from the CC community, 100% of our team members and freelancers have been brought together through the community, I’ve been mentored, I’ve been challenged, I’ve been stretched to my limit and beyond it, and literally everything in my life is better for it.

Sometimes I feel like a crazy person when I tell people that CC is one of the most powerful forces for transformation in the Church today. When I say that, I don’t mean the organization behind Catholic Creatives, because (shhh don’t tell anyone) there isn’t some big organization behind Catholic Creatives. I mean the decentralized network that’s powering crazy things like this wacked out crowdfunding campaign from Novum Co.

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Here’s the reality: Most of us musicians, artisans, makers, and artists are really in the beginning stages of our careers and the odds are mostly stacked against us. We have might have 1-5k followers on our social media platforms and we’ve fought hard for each and every one of them. We’re not that connected, and though we’re talented, we don’t have access to the kind of force multiplier following that let Audrey Assad jump ship from her label and go solo. We don’t have big names, there’s not a connected economy for what we do that’s supported like it is in the protestant world, we don’t have a lot of mentors or infrastructures that exist to help us. That’s how I felt 3 years ago, and CC has totally changed that for me. Now I’m getting to see that happening for others as well.

As the Catholic Creatives movement picks up momentum,a great side effect has been a new awareness of other creative communities around the country (and globe).  With this greater connectivity comes greater potential. Will Hickle, Eric Wilkes, and all the other people involved in Novum saw the distributed network of CC and saw it for the force multiplier it is. What was once Novum (just Eric and Will doing their thing) they’ve expanded into a collective of Catholic creatives musicians who are putting out a super sweet Christmas Album together. They are crowdfunding it not simply by preselling the album, but by teaming up with a whole bunch of other Catholic Creative artists to sell unique Christmas gifts.

I asked Will why the move towards collaboration, and he told me that it started with the music:

“in my experience musical collaborations yield amazing results when compared to trying to do it on my own.” YES WILL. PREACH. He talked about how they leaned on each other’s talents and gifts to make the music amazing, but looked to leverage each other’s following by opening it up to one another. By collaborating instead of going it alone, “we build awareness of every artist that’s a part of the project. Every artist gets exposure to every other artists’ following.”

Everyone reading this, be like Will. Will was smart. He saw that his following might not be that big, but if he joined with 12 artists who all also have small followings, those numbers turn into a force to be reckoned with. 12x5,000=60,000. That’s a tide that can raise all ships.

Collaboration is smart, but it’s also what’s best for our souls. Will was really emphatic about that point when I asked him about how this project got rolling. He told me that as a part of the process all the musicians cleared their schedules to go on a writers retreat together. “I personally have never experienced such a wave of inspiration that came from being around so many creative people. Many of us had never been so productive or so excited to write music. Sadly I've observed that many circles of creatives work in isolation - a lot of people work alone because of schedules, location, or lack of community.  This is where CC offers hope, and if you're reading this I encourage you to reach out to someone you've seen on the group that you have thought "I would love to work with them"!

Listen to Will. Find a team. Also, go buy some Christmas gifts on their site and support them. Their crowdfunding ends on Friday, so go show ‘em some love.

By Marcellino D’Ambrosio
Cofounder of Catholic Creatives
Creative Director of Sherwood Fellows

Creation of the Week #54 The Pal Campaign

If you struggle to figure out Christmas Presents for all of the white elephant gift exchanges you've got coming up, look no further. The PAL Campaign's got your back.

Those of you who know me, know that I grew up rocking Blink 182 albums in my beat-up old homeschool minivan on the way to some skate spot while I was playing hookey and killing time between rock shows. Needless to say, my Catholic retreat t's have mostly tended to serve as workout shirts, rags, and dust collectors. Thankfully, the Church has picked up it's t-shirt game since I was in high school. Joe Kim of the PAL Campaign (Peace and Love) has been on the front lines of this t-shirt design revival. Take a gander:

Joe's design is super fresh, minimalist, and worthy of wearing by any twenty one pilots fan. His shirt's range from the subtle "Peace" shown above, to more explicitly Catholic designs, but even those are so edgy that you almost put them in a totally different category.

I also love how attentive Joe is to his brand. All of the mockups show good looking artistic people sporting PAL merch the way you'd want it worn. It's quirky, fashionable, and interesting. When I asked Joe what inspired his design style, he had an interesting answer:

"Because I believe that this universal faith we call ours is the most attractive thing in the world, PAL Campaign's products never pander to fleeting trends or desperate attempts to stay relevant. That is the difference. Industry experts assert that the average t-shirt is read about 3,000 times before it gets discarded. Because of this, a core value behind the design process is to allow the t-shirts to solicit questions about their meaning. It's my prayer that the dialogue created from curiosity can lead one from beauty to goodness, and eventually to truth. "

It's not enough to me for faith based t-shirts to simply be designed according to the current trends. I really need any shirt that I wear say something about the faith that's interesting or different. I love the Verso Alto, Donna Nobis Pacem, and More than Flesh and Bone shirts for that reason. 

PAL Campaign. Do it. 

By Marcellino D'Ambrosio
Catholic Creatives Founder

Creation of the Week #53 Ascension's Marriage is Dance

Ascension has been seriously upping their game over the last few years, and I'm not just saying that because my sister works there. The team has been producing stories with stunning visuals and really rich meaning. They've recently updated their Joy-Filled Marriage series, and thank God they did because speaking as someone currently in marriage prep, let's just say that the gap in production value is noticeable. I've never seen something done by any Catholic organization on marriage that's beautiful, artistic, and shareably short.


Tell people all you want that sex outside of the vision God created for it is wrong. Anyone can do that. But to make someone want the vision that God has for sex, now that is a task for an artist. This video is awesome because it points to God's vision, and lets you feel the difference between that vision and the one the world gives us. The man and the woman dancing are in sync in all of their innocence, strength, and passion.

The team told me that they were given the challenge of addressing sexual honesty in a way that wouldn't be preachy or trite. They said that they instantly knew they wanted to tackle this piece from the perspective of a dance. They couldn't have been more right. There's something so real about how dance shows the complementarity of man and woman, you need only draw attention to it. That's why this can be so powerful, but only 4 minutes long. Christopher West only needed to point to set the stage for the dancers, they did the rest.

The dance is art worth commenting on in and of itself. The choreography captures the dance of man and woman so well. At some moments, the dance is noble, they waken each other's hearts to life, they learn one another, delicately. They embrace with the desperate childlike glee of young love and then chuckle at the jokes that come only with the dignity of years. It makes my heart yearn for marriage even more than I already do. This kind of art should not be an anomaly in the Church. It should be the norm.

My fiance and I did our marriage prep weekend last week. All of us were more or less forced to be there. We watched a talking head video of a Catholic speaker who did a great job explaining to people why they should save sex for marriage and not look at porn. It was fine. It probably didn't do a great job of changing anyone's mind. It is so much harder to create art that lets you taste and feel God's vision for marriage. It's much more costly, but the truth is that it's not worth doing it any other way. We are the only ones who are going to champion the sacraments. Where else are people going to see a glimpse of the beauty God has stored up for them? It has to be us. 

We're proud of you guys for the work you're doing over there at Ascension. It always amazes me how many people and how much intentionality is involved with video. Nick DeRose directed the film, Matthew Pirrall produced it, Sean Boyd ran the lighting, Matt Longua did all of the close-ups, Kate Camden and Christopher West visioned the script, and Felicia Cruz choreographed the dance. 

For that many people to all work in harmony with each other to create something this effortless is amazing. Nick and Matthew pointed out the light sweeps as a particularly difficult part of creating this. They had to block out their own movements as cameramen so that their angles would be perfectly in line with the light reveals and that they wouldn't get in each other's way. According to Matt: "Our dancers, Felicia and Alrick, were amazingly professional and danced this difficult piece over the multiple takes and nailed it every time. For me personally, moving with them with the camera felt like being a participant in their dance, and was a dynamic that I had not experienced behind the camera before.

That's some next level artmaking right there. I'm very much looking forward to seeing the rest of the series and all that you guys at Ascension have in store for us this year! 


This Creation of the Week by Marcellino D'Ambrosio
Catholic Creative and Cofounder of Sherwood Fellows

 

 

Creation of the Week #52 William Price III's "Together We Are Motherhood"

Brave Love is doing some powerful stuff for the cause of life and William Price III of Whiskey Ginger Please is helping to show it. 

Video is a powerful medium to work in, but that's part of what makes it tricky. Because it engages three senses at once, video grips us in a way that still images on their own simply can't. It's almost too easy to make the viewer watch and illicit at least a semblance of an emotional reaction if the subject matter has any substance. Because of this, it's (sometimes) easy to set up space for an interview with good lighting controlled sound, grab a mostly surface level interview, cut in some stock b-roll, and post a video on youtube and still get some good results.

But no one remembers those videos. We remember videos that tell stories, where characters experience life-changing events and we learn the lessons they learn. We experience delight, elevation, insight, and achievement with characters in videos offer us a story and not just ideas. William Price does an awesome job of capturing these impacting moments on screen and allowing us to experience some of the journey these two women took as their story intersects. 

One woman yearns for a child, the other discovers she's pregnant. One woman prepares to give birth, the other prepares the baby's room. One woman delivers, the other receives the child and holds him. 

The task of video, and of all art is to draw us into an encounter with the specific. To take us out of the realm of ideas and submerge us in the small moment that matters in all its reality. Not every line of this video feels like that, but the line at 2:20 just hits me in the heart with its unpretentious smallness. It's so authentic. "I wonder, will he have my nose, my sweet tooth, what will make him laugh?" In that line, the difficult choice that this mother is making becomes real to me as I'm drawn into her experience and feel the heartache of that decision with her.  Well shot, William.

 

by Marcellino D'Ambrosio
Catholic Creative and Creative Director at Sherwood Fellows

Creation of the Week # 51 Will Armstrong's Work On "The Long Road Home."

It's always such an honor to get to recognize one of the community members whose doing work out there in the real world. Our members have done some amazing things, from designing the titles for Wonder Woman, to launching a kickstarter that made 200,000 in a day. Will's work in "The Long Road Home, a National Geographic mini-series that chronicles the events of April 4th, 2004, when a platoon was ambushed in Sadr City, Baghdad, in an attack that came to be known as "Black Sunday."

Will was one of the assistant art directors for the series. They work with the production designer and art director to create a vision for all the locations and sets, which is saying something considering that the set was the largest working set in America during it's filming. Will and his team's work on this is beyond a shadow of a doubt a massive undertaking that ultimately lead to this series' unique visual identity.  I mean, honestly, to get a handle on what kind of set design we're talking about just look at this picture:

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Learn more about The Long Road Home.

Will, keep up the good work, brother. You're making us proud.

Creation of the Week #50 Blessed is She's 2017 Advent Calendar

Blessed is She never ceases to amaze me. Those ladies are such incredible pioneers in every non literal way possible. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Blessed is She circles got started on mars in the next 10 years. Their Advent calendar this year is another example of how consistently they reinvent themselves and push the boundaries of what they offer to women through their ministry.

Blessed is She is known for beautiful design. Many of us know this. But many organizations that start there find their one look and stick to it for 20 years. That doesn’t work for anyone. First it’s cool, then it’s a fad, then it’s cheesy. It also takes what once gave voice to some deep guttural utterance in the spirit of an artist and turns it into a disembodied commodity. That is how many organizations approach design. Blessed is She embraces the significance of art in a way that so few ministries do. Good art doesn’t subtract from the meaning of its content, but rather it emphasizes that meaning, allows it to breathe, and gives it a dwelling place.

That is exactly what this design does. It's sophisticated, it's fresh, it's alive, and it opens up Advent to the viewer to look at it from a new and different vantage point.

Jenna Guizar led the charge, Laura Fanucci wrote the gospel intros, Erica Tighe designed the calendar and prints, and Katie Haviland Waldow took all of the amazing product shots that show off all the inside details.  Every single lady involved in this collaboration deserve special shout-outs for breaking new ground. We're proud of you guys!

Creation of the Week #49 Created Book by Cory Heimann

In some way we are all artists, we just have to recognize it.
— Cory Heimann

One of my favorite things about Cory is how fascinated he is with the creative spirit. It's his obsession to understand the spiritual nature of creativity, how it functions, and what it's role is in our lives.  The Created book is just one amazing fruit of that obsession, and it is awesome.

The Created Book is a beautiful book about beauty from the wells of wisdom found in the creative expertise of so many amazing creators. If you haven't already pre-ordered a book through the kickstarter, do it now. It got fully funded in one day and the stretch goals are pretty epic, so help him out!

The Battle

What I love about this book is the most is that Cory inadvertently is fighting a battle against a certain set of beliefs that we hold as Westerners. We think that creativity is some handicap that only a select few oddballs get saddled with.  For us, creativity is a great added bonus, but productivity and responsibility are absolute necessity. Our western, american view of human natures says that there are some kinds of people who are creative, and others who are not. 

This book flies in the face of those assumptions.

A lot of people tend to think that Catholic Creatives is really for the art crowed, that it's for hipsters with round glasses who own wacom tablets and use macs. Creativity isn't just about art. In the words of Sam Sorich: "Art isn't just about art, it's about being human." 

This book isn't just about sharing some wisdom from a bunch of creative folks or showcasing some beautiful design. It's a manifesto for the regaining of a creative Church. It's a blueprint for a revival of Catholic culture because it stakes a flag in the ground and says "we are ALL called to be creative." 

The first five words of the Bible are also about creation: “In the beginning, God created.” (Genesis 1:1). That is the beginning of all things. According to Cory: “I realized that's why it's so innate in us to create – because we're sharing in the first thing that God shared that He did,” he said.

Cory didn't just find sacred artists or designers for this book. He called together Catholic architects, chefs, musicians, calligraphers, podcasters, painters, theologians, and teachers. He talked both to artists who are doing specifically Catholic work, and creators who are Catholic but working in the secular world.  That’s because, as Catholic author and philosophy professor Peter Kreeftsays on his page: “We're artists because God is.”

Pope John Paul II in his 1999 letter to artists  he wrote: “Not all are called to be artists in the specific sense of the term. Yet, as Genesis has it, all men and women are entrusted with the task of crafting their own life: in a certain sense, they are to make of it a work of art, a masterpiece.”

If we want our Church to be the creative masterpiece that we know God intended her to be, we need to take up the mantle of creativity. We need zealous visionaries on fire for their prophetic love for the world to join our God in his ongoing work ofco-creation.

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Cory, more than anyone else I've ever met has taught me by example the love of the act of creation as a participation in God's generative being. There is no one better to draw from such a well of wisdom as Cory, so I'm grateful to him and to all of the community members who participated in this awesome collaboration. I can't wait to put the prints I'm getting with my book up on my wall.

If you guys have not already watched Cory's talk from the CC Summit, do it now. It'll change your life.

Blog by Marcellino D'Ambrosio
CoFounder of Catholic Creatives

Creation of the Week #48 LIFE Collage by Life Teen's Ryan McQuade

This year Life Teen is creating a new series on what it means to value life. Life Teen knows the value of art for both attracting and challenging young people to and with the faith. They got Ryan McQuade on it because we all know that Ryan doesn’t disappoint, and sure enough he blew it out of the water. He designed a collage for each life issue in the series that both sparkle in your eyes and punch you in the gut.

This year Life Teen is creating a new series on what it means to value life. Life Teen knows the value of art for both attracting and challenging young people to and with the faith. They got Ryan McQuade on it because we all know that Ryan doesn’t disappoint, and sure enough he blew it out of the water. He designed a collage for each life issue in the series that both sparkle in your eyes and punch you in the gut.


The primary message behind the series is that being pro-life is much more of a mentality you carry through life than a just a political cause to rally behind. Each life night in the series covers a marginalized group or life issue. Just looking at the collages will tell you that this is not the same kind of ProLife series many of us