By Paul Stoffer
Last month, we introduced you to Paul Stoffer with his contribution “Burns for You .” This month, we’re taking you deeper into the life of this radical who is using his art as an expression for who he is.
WRECKED: How did you first get involved in art?
Paul Stoffer: As a kid, I always loved to draw (most of my class notes have as many sketches as words) but I never really pursued any real art classes until my sophomore year in college. I’ve also always been a bit of a computer nerd, so I decided to try out a few digital art classes and immediately loved being able to use tools on a computer to express my ideas and creativity.
WRECKED: What is your preferred medium and why?
PS: I prefer to work on a computer no matter what I’m doing. I like the control I have over what I’m working with. I still love to draw with pencil and paper, but the things that you can do visually on a computer still boggle my mind. And the great part about working digitally is that you can incorporate other mediums like drawings and photographs into your work and still have the control of working with tools on a computer.
WRECKED: What does art mean to you in a spiritual context? Is it a vehicle for personal expression, a way to communicate your beliefs to the world, or something else?
PS: I generally create art as a means to make something tangible to show what I’m feeling or something that I care about. Recently, I’ve been exploring the use of art simply as a form of worship – to turn back to God the abilities and the passions that He put into me to glorify Him.
Most of the time when we think of worship, we visualize people singing.
But when you think about it a song is simply a tangible representation of what’s overflowing from our hearts towards God. That’s the same thing with art. So a lot of my art recently has been a form of personal worship.
WRECKED: What are your thoughts on the church in America and the movement to which Wrecked is attempting to give a voice?
PS: I believe with all my heart that there is something big happening in the Church in regards to young people. I think God is stirring something in our generation, something that’s so much bigger than us. I think God is raising up an army of young people that want to live lives full of passion and meaning and don’t want to just get by in life. I think God is putting a hunger in us to live for something bigger than ourselves.
And I think Wrecked is definitely giving a voice to that passion that God is stirring up. I really do love the phrase of “being wrecked for the ordinary.” After truly experiencing Jesus and the life that he has to offer us, how can we stand to live ordinary lives?
WRECKED: What can you tell us about these three pieces, individually and as a whole? What do they mean to you? What are you trying to communicate to the viewer?
PS: These three pieces are self portraits, and they each portray a posture of worship, an act of turning to God, in the midst of hardships.
Click on any image to view a larger version with Paul’s comments
Paul Stoffer is currently a senior at Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio, majoring in computer art and is graduating in May. Although, he would love to find a job as a graphic artist, his plans after school are very open. You can visit his online portfolio here.