In a world that craves the true, the good, and the beautiful, is a joy to host the fourth Why Make Beautiful Things series here at Look to Him and Be Radiant. You can read the original post with my thoughts on beauty here and read all the guest posts in the previous series here. Today I have the honor of sharing the work and reflections of Rakhi from Rakstar Designs maker of original and creative Catholic works of art across media. I think you'll enjoy reading her wisdom about the WHY behind her creativity. We'll be featuring guest posts all week, and a huge giveaway of beautiful things on Friday, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart. We'd love to hear from you here or on Instagram why YOU make beautiful things- Chime in on today's post!!
"The purpose of art is nothing less than the upliftment of the human spirit.' ~ St. John Paul II
One of the images of my father etched into my memory is of him with a camera around his neck. He was a seasoned amateur, and he loved capturing the moments of our lives. How grateful I am to the trail of memories he left behind for our family to cherish, and for my family to know him long after he has left this world.
From him, I developed a love of film photography. I loved the mechanics of a camera, the click of the shutter, the accidental effects of double exposure - everything. Sadly, it was not a love that was pursued for a long time as I sought after “more gainful” education and employment. If I had it to do all over again, I would have definitely indulged my creative side with more formal instruction.
Creativity is embedded in our souls, though, and no matter the outlet, it finds a way to blossom forth. Whether it is belting out praise music in the car and shower, making a beautiful meal, writing a heartfelt letter, or creating a product with my hands, I come to life when I am creating. We – you and I – were created to create. From the moment life was breathed into us, we were imbued with the Creator Spirit – the Ruah – and commissioned to make of this life a beautiful masterpiece.
What I have come to understand is that despite the lack of formal training, creating is for me a charism. It is something led by the Holy Spirit, that makes my spirit come to life, that helps me to share the good news of the Gospel with the world. That my work is focused on lettering is only by God’s design, and by a friend’s invitation to take an online course with her. It is then that Rakstar Designs as it now exists came to life.
I have squirreled away quotes and words and phrases since I can remember. I have journals full somewhere in boxes from my high school years. To take words and create a thing of beauty to remind us of our identity as beloved children of God, fearfully and wonderfully made, called to cling to hope and share with others the love of Christ, to find joy and laughter in the middle of our pain, to know that we are not alone in the struggle – it is a holy privilege. This is my goal with all I create.
I earnestly pray when I create that what comes to life shines light into darkness. As my pen and paint hits the paper, as the beads and medals are strung together, as the broken pieces of glass are arranged or the clay is molded into its latest form, or even as I am doodling on my iPad, I pray that someone, somewhere, will come to know how much they are loved and known and seen. I pray that in the middle of grief and loneliness, even if just for a moment, they will know they are held in the Father’s hands. Some days that someone is only me, and I am grateful for that grace too.
My Etsy shop began on a whim after taking that lettering course. What it has grown into is more of a ministry. Every time I want to throw in the towel (because running a small, creative side business is hard and sometimes discouraging), someone reaches out to share how they have been touched by my words or my work. It breathes just enough life back into me to keep going, and reminds me that ultimately I don’t do any of this on my own. Creating is a prayer that unites me with the Spirit and draws me out of myself and into relationship with God and others. I create because it is a connection back to my Creator, who is beauty and truth and goodness and mercy and love.
I'm honored to get to share Rakhi's words of wisdom with you. Please go visit her shop and social media, and join the conversation here in the comments or on today's Instagram post. And don't forget to come back every day this week for more creative wisdom from a set of beautiful women makers!
Shop- Rakstar Designs
Facebook- Rakstar Designs
And on Friday I'll be hosting the Beautiful Things Giveaway, an amazing collection of lovely items to bring the beauty of the Creator into your daily life. Rakhi is generously donating this gorgeous brand new Sacred Heart tote! You'll be able to enter to win here on the blog and on Instagram, so check back Friday, 6/28/2019!