Annamari*, originally from Finland but studying graphic design in the States, spent part of her summer holiday with OM EurAsia Support Team's (OM EAST) publishing ministry. Following her month internship, Annamari reflects on her experience and how her understanding of God’s character and His role in design has changed.
I came to OM EAST with a desire to use my studies in graphic design to glorify God and share the gospel. This past month certainly confirmed that God can use all skill sets. However, I think God used my time here to remind me of some other important things as well.
I worked on a book in Russian and, first of all, just designing in another language was so much more difficult than I could have imagined. I learned tons about having to take into account different cultural norms and ideas, and that pushed me to design in a style that I wasn’t as comfortable in - which is so good! It developed me as a designer, and I’m so thankful to have had Erin* and Kiet* give me feedback and different tips.
But, while I was struggling with the cover design for the Russian book, Kiet casually reminded me to also pray about it. I don’t know why I’ve always kept design and God kind of separate, but the thought of praying about design felt new and weird. Maybe I hadn’t seen design as important enough, since so far it had been mainly for schoolwork. But I also definitely think a big part had to do with pride. I had been too proud to hand it over to God, because design was something I created, by myself.
Handing this design over to God was a relief, and soon after that the new cover I created was approved. Inger* also told me that she had been praying for my design, asking for inspiration and direction. Sharing our struggles with God and letting Him help us through them isn’t a new concept to me, but I just had never really applied it to design. God is the ultimate designer, He created us! So, in a way, everything I create is because of Him and from Him, since He made me the way I am. It would only make sense for me to include Him in that process. Not only that, but I think the chance we have to create and design is such a cool opportunity to glimpse into a part of God’s character. Just think about how much we care about our designs, and compare that to how much more God cares for His design: all of us!
So, not only did I learn tons from a technical graphic design point of view, but I was also reminded to bring everything to the Lord. No matter how big, or how small, He wants to walk through it with us - that is how much He loves us.
*Surnames not included for security reasons