The Architectural Artist #ArtWeek

Viva is the perfect example of a lady with a gentle and quiet spirit. I admired her from a distance before we actually got to interact and anytime I looked at her paintings, I was blown away. The best thing about it, is that she is so bold about her art being from God. Behind-the-scenes, as she recently shared, her art is inspired by worship music and devotionals.

If that isn’t true outflow of creativity from God, I don’t know what it is. She’s a stunning beauty as well. And you know me, I’m a bit biased with fellow naturalistas; her mane is gorgeous!

You can see more of her artwork at https://lavidanilla.wordpress.com/. 


 

Science and art have always been a part of me from a very young age. I came to explore these fields later on after high school, and joining architecture school in the University of Nairobi intensified the passion. 

See, architecture is the balanced integration of artistic sensibility and scientific methodology as it applies to designing buildings and their environments, it is the art and science of designing buildings and other structures.

So in layman’s terms it is the integration of both art and science. Now you know why I picked it, I thought I would have it easy in campus as I loved both of them; but it is not as simple as it sounds. 

First year is the most “artistic” year of architecture school. It is where one taps into their creativity and you are forced to think out of the box but with certain constraints such as theme, principles and concepts that will govern your ideas. That to me is not the art I knew, this is because art has little to no constraints.

Anything can be seen as being a piece of art according to one’s perspective; this does not apply to architecture.

Most of the time art caters for the artist’s needs first and the viewer comes second; it is more personal, but for architecture, the clients’ preferences and needs come first. Apart from clients’ needs, other factors such as practicality and functionality can also constrain ones creativity in architecture. This was a struggle for me as an artist.

As a Christian, I deem God to be various things, a creative, a scientist, an artist, a judge, a ruler, and in my case, an architect. The universe was created by God by word of mouth and we were specially created in His image. This is how God is an architect to me, through Creation; bringing something into existence from a simple concept to something one can see with physical eyes.

God definitely loves order; judging from the way He created the universe. There was an order of some sort through which He used. Like say, for example, He made light before anything else, and He made plants before the animals so that they wouldn’t starve, and He saved best for last when He made man on the last day.

This is basically how architects create/come up with their projects; in a systematic order with various steps that culminate to a master piece.

Borrowing majorly from God the architect of the universe, I later on got a hang of it. Understanding the methodology applied in architecture has greatly influenced how I do my artwork nowadays. From problem definition/ brief formulation, to research and analysis, to conceptualization, to schematic design and to the final/ detailed design; these are the basic steps one takes to fulfilling a project, which I have also applied in art.  

( Original work; “Love awakens”  by Lavart, mixed media on canvas,  2017)

This has made my pieces and the process of making them more meaningful; and thus making my pieces more relatable and able to evoke emotions.

When the artist gets to understand the story behind the piece (brief formulation and research), the process of attaining the final piece (conceptualization and schematics), and finally coming up with the master piece (final/ detailed design), not only is He able to fulfill the viewer’s needs but also his needs; and that’s when one is able to make art humane.

Now when I decided to put God into the picture, it made a huge impact on how I viewed art and architecture. He is not only my source of inspiration as before but also the drive and motivator, the giver of ideas.

I became a vessel through which God can speak. To say the least, it is an honour to be one; because I get to learn more and more about Him and myself through art and architecture, at the same time, I get to tell others about God through the same means.

Before I would draw just draw anything that would interest me. It is not simple, because I have to completely rely on God now, for ideas; which require a lot of patience to hear His voice and also a lot of Bible reading to understand what God really wants me to do.

Despite the struggles, the process is fulfilling when the piece is complete and the blog has been posted. That’s when you feel you’re fulfilling the true purpose that God created you for in this life; when you combine God, Science and Art.

( Original work: “Potter’s hands” by Lavart Colour pencils on black embossed paper,  2016)