This post is the first of hopefully many profiles featuring amazing Creatives who are growing in their craft, innovating in creative business, and pursuing their dreams in the arts. My aim is to highlight how each Creative’s relationship with Jesus inspires and compels their creativity in many different places and mediums. Let’s support and encourage each other on our journeys!
I first had the privilege of meeting Janyre as a shy, 19-year-old bookworm working on finishing my first manuscript. Janyre had the dubious honor of guiding and encouraging me through the process of completing my science fiction/alternate universe novel.
I gained invaluable lessons in writing, book publishing, and how to be one of the nicest and most helpful editors in the world, but Janyre’s talents aren’t just limited to writing and editing books. She dabbles in multiple creative mediums, which have a tendency, as she puts it, to “drip into other areas.”
Her latest venture into zentangle drawings, perhaps more recognizable as the style common in the “adult coloring books” that are all the rage, came out of a unique motivation. She began drawing a year or so ago with her daughter, who loves visual art, saying she’s always looking for new art forms to tackle with her.
“I like the connection drawing gives me to my girl, but it also pushes me to see things in a new way,” Janyre says. “Drawing something and then seeing the shapes inside it gives me new vocabulary to study the beauty I’m surrounded in every day.”
Janyre’s current zentangle project is a combination of coloring pages and a collection of meditations from Scripture for her friend’s upcoming non-fiction book, “Control Girl.”
Each of the pages she’s creating comes from the visuals she sees while reading the Scripture or lessons in the book.
“The interplay between meditation and scripture is one that has stood the test of time and I can’t wait to see how it influences other women in their journeys.”
Janyre finds inspiration for her work all around her – in the curve of a leaf or the grain of her kitchen table. Once she decides on her subject, she sketches the shape and digs for patterns and shapes inside the sketch.
“Sometimes the shapes are already there because I’ve used them to draw the actual focal point,” she says, adding that there’s a multitude of “tangle” designs online that she employs, using darker tangles for shadows and lighter tangles for highlights.
“The drawings are something that takes seeming randomness and creates order, shape, and color value—a more classic beauty,” she says. “The Zentangles are ultimately something people can respond and interact with directly. They can color, meditate, and find their own bit of art inside themselves.”
The road to creative exploration is not without its bumps, namely the usual culprits of criticism and self-doubt. It can be hard to take herself seriously as an artist in a culture that values the bottom line. But Janyre says her years as an editor has helped her understand how to evaluate criticism, and turn her self-doubt into a force that encourages greater creativity.
“Self-doubt is something that I hope will always push me to be better, keep processing, and never give in to complacency.“
Our art is a direct reflection of our worldview—how we see and interpret the world we live in, Janyre says.
But we’ve lost what makes us human in our essence. It is art’s place to recapture that and find a way to communicate that to others.
The challenge is that the “blank space” necessary to give dimension to an artist’s work is not necessarily valued in our culture. Being a Creative takes time and space to be purposeful in reflection and study.
“Your gift is a reflection of the creator himself,” Janyre says. “Your celebration of beauty (even when it isn’t pretty) is not only a significant indicator of humanity, but also one of the greatest arguments for a loving God.
“It’s a huge honor, but also an enormous responsibility. Hone your skill, use it with purpose and dignity, tell your story, paint your picture and be aware of the message you tell.”
Janyre Tromp works from her kitchen table as a book editor for Kregel Publications by day and a wife, mom and general creative all hours of the day and night. She enjoys hanging out with her husband, two children, and slightly eccentric Shetland Sheepdog. You can follow her exploits on her blog, or via social media on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.