So over the past couple of weeks I noticed Max was beginning to make more income from his art sales than he was in the hours he was assisting with the “assembly line” I am experimenting with for my ice cream paintings. (I call it an assembly line but there are actually only two of us on it, Max and I mostly and somedays my girls). It only made sense to me that I should free Max up from helping with ice creams so he could spend more time at his home creating works of art that come from his own heart but also ones that could provide the income he needs.
He struggles with managing his time as most artists do so I went into Wonder Woman mode, lassoed a pen and paper and set about writing a detailed schedule for his work week. Monday was bow and arrow day. Tuesday was nativity day, Wednesday he would work with me and so on… He was super excited about the structure, and I thought it was time to set him free to semi-independence as an artist.
So this is how it went: On bow and arrow day he made a diorama of Judas and Jesus On nativity day, he made a mother who had climbed out of a wheelchair to save her daughter that had fallen off a cliff. Each day, I would praise him for the beautiful work he had made but remind him to write those ideas down and save those for time after the assigned projects of the day were finished.
After about ten days of feeling like I had stepped into the movie Groundhog Day, I went back to God and said “Okay, Lord, where do you want me to go?” In so many words, this is basically what I heard, This work is about the assembly of the people not the assembly of the product. Effectiveness in building relationships and sharing the gospel is more important than efficiency in making the product. So God in that moment helped me identify part of the “why” behind the ice cream assembly line. It’s not about the assembly of cute ice cream cones and high levels of production, although that might be a byproduct of gathering together. It’s about two people sitting around the table sharing stories with one another, recognizing we come from completely different backgrounds, but sharing the common thread of art and the praise of Jesus.
So this is where we landed. Max is back at work several days a week. We abandoned Wonder Woman’s well intentioned schedule. We work together on developing his works of art as well as my ice creams, and both of us are happier for it. As for his diorama of Judas and Jesus, it sits near our work table to remind us to stay true to our mission of assembling the people for the purpose of praising Him through art.
If you are interested in seeing Max’s collection of art, please contact or visit Highland Galerie. The gallery will be open Tuesday through Thursday from 10am-3pm through the summer.