About Sanese Pippen
The Creative Vessel
It was never supposed to be this way. I was never supposed to major in art. I was never supposed to become an artist. This was never supposed to be my career... Shhhh. Can you hear that? That's God still laughing at my long list of no's and never's.
The biggest irony of my career is that before I'd gone to college, I thought I was completely void of any artistic talent outside of music. I had so many bad experiences in previous art classes that I actually hated art. When I decided to major in photography, I hadn't realized photography was form of art. So you can cool believe I was utterly confused when my professor handed me an 8 hour assignment to paint a series of 2 inch squares on my first day. I wish I could tell you that my heart fluttered and opened up to the infinite possibilities of art after that assignment. I wish I could tell you that I fell in love with the skill and couldn't get enough of it. Instead, I was frustrated. The perfectionist in me was appalled that I struggled so hard with such simple assignments and nothing rivals impatience like the elongated process of producing art. For two years, I simmered in my inadequacy until I took a drawing class my sophomore year and discovered that my perfectionism actually helped me to draw what I see fairly well.
The class was geared towards experimenting with different mediums and it inspired me to experiment with spray paint, the one art medium I had always been fascinated by. Now this is the part where I'm supposed to say cupids arrow finally found its mark the moment my fingertips gripped the can because I was a natural. Ha! Not quite. I can confidently say I had absolutely no idea what I was doing or how to control it....and I loved it!! For the first time in my entire life, here was this thing I couldn't control or plan and yet the end result still came out beautiful in all its abstract glory. The pressure to produce something specific was gone. The pressure to meet my own unrealistic standards, or anyone else's, was gone. Every piece was a surprise in itself. My abstract art quickly became a place of freedom from the self-control freak that was once me and I was there every chance I could spare.
It wasn't until a year or two later did I realize why I letting go allowed me to paint so freely. The paintings weren't my idea. They were God's. All I was doing was manifesting the visions he had downloaded into me. But the only way, I was able to manifest His visions was by letting go. The moment I tried to control the flow of creativity, I would lose my ability to paint. Realizing what was truly happening, opened my awareness to the fact that God was using my paintings to talk to me. They were subtle messages at first, but the more engrained in the process I became, the more complex our conversations became through each phase of the creative process.
The real catalyst in my career was the cliff I fell clean off of when I took my first steps as a career artist. For 6 months after I graduated college, I traveled around Atlanta, showing my work in as many art shows as I could find and for 6 months I struggled to sell much of anything. I knew I had an audience. Numerous people had inquired about purchasing my work. It was what motived me to try my hand as a career artist to begin with. I thought maybe my prices were too high, so I lowered them. Still, my work didn't sell. It didn't take me long to start get discouraged about the career path. Thoughts of keeping my work to myself crept in steadily. That is until I was featured at Pancakes and Booze, one of the biggest shows in Atlanta. For 5 hours, I stood in front of my art and used it to candidly talk about God and the things He was teaching me, just as I had been doing for the last 6 months. 5 hours later, I still hadn't sold anything but I didn't care because I had had entirely too much fun ministering to people. Talking about what I had been through made people comfortable enough to talk about what they had been going through. I got the chance to encourage people about their situations and, if you know me, that is by far one of my favorite things to do. I walked away from Pancakes and Booze with a new understanding of my purpose and a fresh fire under my growing passion. My artwork is not just about me. It's not just about some extra change on the side while I write my book. It's about ministering to people through my artwork in the most flexible way possible.
In the last year and half, I've fully embraced the purpose of my work, putting Gods conversations ahead of my own ambitions. He has challenged me to take my work to the next level and produce conceptual art, creating a more dynamic visual to describe our in-depth conversations. Only beauty can come from the alignment of purpose and ambition. So long as He is the Visionary, I will always be His Vessel.
"God is the Visionary. I am the Vessel."