As we shared before, the vision of Drawbridge is to use manga to…
To reach the unchurched, resource the Church, and empower Christian artists, in order to bridge the gap between Church and culture; between Jesus and Japan.
In part two, we talked the first two goals — reaching the lost and resourcing the Church. Today let’s talk about our third purpose…
Empowering Christian artists
This is where, as a new ministry, I think we’re seeing the clearest results so far… and also getting an exciting glimpse of what could be.
It has been a great experience working with our collaborators on Waypoints. Our artists bring various levels of skill and experience to the table. They come from a variety of backgrounds, but are all Christians. We have a lot to learn from them, and thankfully they’ve all said that working with us has been a good experience for them as well.
Let me introduce a couple of them…
Makito has illustrated two Waypoints manga so far. He’s our youngest artist, a fairly recent college grad still in his 20’s. As a Christian, he wants to use his talents and skills for the Lord, so it’s been great to be able to give him that opportunity. Working on Waypoints is his first professional manga work. Of all our artists he’s the least experienced, but we’ve seen a real improvement in his art as he’s worked with us.
When we asked him about his experience working on Waypoints, Makito said this:
“I’m always excited about being involved in sharing these Bible stories. I believe that there must be something only I can draw, and enjoy this challenge.
“In order to help the reader see the world of the Bible even a little more clearly, first of all I try to imagine things from the characters’ point of view, and then begin the work. Doing this, I discover new perspectives and messages I never noticed before. So I feel like rather than my faith influencing my work, working on this project has deepened my faith.”
I love hearing that working with us has been a growing experience for Makito, not just as an artist but as a follower of Jesus! Imagine how big of an impact we could have on Japanese culture if we’re able to intentionally connect with and disciple an army of young Christian creatives!
Youmin is a Korean artists who has also created two stories with us so far. She is a very accomplished artist and has quite a bit of professional experience, but for various reasons, she’d been out of the game for a while. Waypoints was the opportunity that got her working again.
Youmin said this about her experience working with us:
“I hadn’t worked as a freelance illustrator for a long time so it wasn’t easy to restore my visual style, illustration & Photoshop skill, etc. Thankfully, I could illustrate what I wished to express. It has been a wonderful experience in practising comics in numerous ways – conceptualizing, character designing, page layouts and effects, and most of all, restoring my passion for art! This made me realize that God indeed blessed me with artistic talent, even though I have not been in this career for many years, and this talent is not given for my own satisfaction but for His Kingdom and His Glory.”
I love hearing that we were able to help Youmin get back to the drawing board after a long absence. More than that, it’s great to see how her focus is on Jesus and His kingdom!
And that’s what this third purpose is all about really. Helping artists to develop their talents, grow in their faith, and to use their artistic skills for the Lord. We hope to do this more and more as we continue, especially working with young Japanese Christians who just need a bit of mentoring and encouragement, but who could have a big impact on Japan for Jesus.
It’s becoming more and more clear that empowering Christian artists is not just about giving artists opportunities or improving their skills…
It’s discipleship we need to be aiming for!
To hear from a couple of our other artists about their spiritual journeys and their experiences working on Waypoints, check out this video if you haven’t already: