Every creative endeavor, in some way or another, begins as an “Untitled” file. In his new book, Untitled: Thoughts on the Creative Process, creative director Blaine Hogan, “hope[s] you will look at the blank pages before you with courage, ready to fill them with beauty.”
Regardless of your particular craft—words, images or pixels—we all face creative battles in our quest to present the message of the gospel in way that engages and changes people. Speaking very candidly from his own challenges both as a professional actor and now as the creative director for Willow Creek Community Church, Blaine has given the church creative community a gift in writing this book.
While there’s no shortage of great books on the idea of creativity or the creative process, Blaine takes us on a deeper inward journey, challenging us to use our lives and experiences as the inspiration for the work we do outwardly. Some great minds have influenced church creatives over the past few years: Seth Godin, Stephen Pressfield and Scott Belsky, to name a few. Many times we’ve read their ideas and translate them through the filter of the work we do in churches. Blaine, however, articulates the deeply spiritual work that’s involved in the creative process and truly speaks as a pastor to creatives.
The book features four “movements”: the work; the inside out; failure, fear and making mistakes; and worth it. Each speak to the heart of the creative process. There is no how-to or processes here, just wisdom and insight to consider as you look at your own life and your creative pursuits.
Untitled is a short but insightful read that will challenge and inspire you to dig deep and commit to the work of the creative process—not for our own gain as artists and creatives, but for the greater good of reaching more people with the gospel.
Be sure to add this book to your collection of creative resources. It will be a book you keep coming back to.