I’m often asked how I find the time to create art in the midst of all the other things I am involved in. My answer is usually the same: I have quiet hours between nine in the evening and midnight. In other words, I find the time to do the things I want to do because I believe it matters. Persistence gets it done. And a whole lot of grace and favor (more on that later). I have several KEY PRINCIPLES I’ve discovered - but you’ll have to read to the end to understand why they work for me (and how they might help you, too!)
I’d like to introduce myself to those of you I’ve not met yet. And I’d like to open up a little about my life to those I know!
My name is Jim - named for one of my dad’s friends in high school. Well, actually my official name is James. I’ve learned my name means “truthful and prudent”. I’ve always cared a great deal about integrity and honor and I value the definition of my name.
When I was a small child, my parents were involved in music and preaching ministry, specifically focused on smaller congregations that needed support while they were in between leadership. My brother, Eric, and I cut our teeth on the pews of rural churches, hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ as my dad and mom would preach it.
I recognized the truth and presence of God from a very early age and I’m grateful for the godly heritage I inherited. But I realized as I grew that my relationship with God was mine to decide. I realized I needed God’s grace for myself and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior from my own decision as a teenager. (More on why I’m sharing this later.)
All through my childhood I learned to draw, first from some private lessons, later through experimenting and growing on my own. I participated in several banquets and national shows with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. I have always enjoyed wildlife, specifically big game animals, because of the rich hunting heritage my dad passed on to my brother and me. I went through a several year period of great success with my art as a teenager, selling prints of artwork across the country. But soon my interests changed - I got involved in music, singing and playing the piano to be exact, and became quite involved in school music, and began leading worship in my youth group. I led my first worship service as the main worship leader at fifteen years old. Needless to say, with ministry, school and friends I stopped drawing. I did very little drawing the rest of my teenage years and well into my early thirties. I didn’t think it was a good use of time and I felt like wildlife art and pet commissions didn’t ‘matter’ to God. Oh, how I had a lot to learn!
I was married at twenty to the love of my life. Her name is Jaime and she is God’s greatest gift to me besides the gift of my Savior, God’s Son, Jesus. Jaime has been my encourager and has never held me back from dreaming and pursing my gifts.
In 2005, having been married a year and a half, Jaime and I took the worship pastor position at Faith Tabernacle Assembly of God (now Refuge City Church). This was the same year our first child was born. Our ministry and family life accelerated quickly. We had our twins (a three month stay in the NICU because of their prematurity was quite the ride, but we weathered that storm and saw miracles everyday!) We were living our dream, but also began to spend our money past our ability to sustain our dream. We rang up a lot of debt and painted ourselves into a corner.
That’s when we decided to do the “Total Money Makeover” from Ramsey Solutions and get out of debt. I remembered at that time that I had a gift of drawing that might be a useful tool to help our family with some income. I had no idea how to operate and grow a small business based on an art form. But all I know is I had a talent that was sitting dormant and I felt God speak to my heart to dust it off and use it for His glory.
So in 2014, my journey of digging back into my art began. I began to cultivate some pet commissions and create some images for print series.
I discovered something that surprised me: inspiration doesn’t come before I draw. (I used to wait until I ‘felt’ like drawing - which I never did feel quite ‘inspired’ when I needed to.) Now I realize inspiration comes BECAUSE I start drawing. I began to enjoy the process, meet many new friends, draw some very fun scenes and some amazing pets, and I’ve been enjoying seeing “Jim Weaver Pencil Art” morph into something that brings quality art to individuals and blesses my family’s income stream.
So, why do I share all of this with you?
First of all, to give you a little backstory of this humble little artist from a small Southern Oregon town named Klamath Falls. But second of all, to share with you the way the art is able to be sustained even in the midst of a busy schedule.
You see, this is not my full time job - not by a long shot! I’m in full time ministry as a worship pastor and the administrator of my church. I lead worship, preach the Word from time to time, counseling, plan events, and oversee inner workings of the church family I serve. All of this can sometimes be more than a full time occupation! On top of this, lately, I’ve been teaching a daily class at our local Christian High School. I’ve had so much fun being a short term high school teacher - something I never thought I’d do!
At home, I have a beautiful marriage to my love of sixteen years. We have three busy kids - one high schooler and two junior high age. They have their full schedules and I get to help with the taxi service since they don’t drive yet!
I’m passionate about fitness and spend quality time at the gym. I’m an avid hunter and enjoy the outdoors.
Whew - just writing this makes it seem like it’s more overwhelming than it actually is!
SO - you’ve read this far! Great! I’d like to share with you a few key things that help me everyday, and helps make sure my life stays balanced and full of life in the midst of the quantity of activities I am involved in.
- Pray! - Pray for guidance, peace, wisdom, and for God to show you the things you CAN’T or SHOULDN’T do.
- Stay in God’s Word - Read, Read, Read! Learn God’s Heart and you’ll hear His direction.
- Communicate - assumptions kill relationships. Talk with your spouse. Talk with your kids. Make sure you are aware of what is going on. Listen and watch for stress fractures... those places where your family is losing the endurance they need to sustain your pace. When you sense it, slow down and rest!
- Stay organized - You are the only one able to create your priorities. Most of our aspirations are sacrificed on the altar of disorganization. Keep a calendar and try to leave margin for things so you’re not in a frenzied hurry everywhere you go (leave space between engagements and appointments.)
- Start With the End In Mind - Pinpoint your dreams and think backward from the finish line, asking “What would have to be true to see this come to pass?” The answers in reverse will sometimes give you a play-by-play to get from here to there.
- Get rid of the things that hinder your dreams. Is there something taking your time that needs to go? A time stealer? A toxic relationship? Cut it out so you can give yourself fully to what’s on your heart!
- Make time for what matters to you. I found that my house is quiet from 9PM to 12AM every day. If I wake up at 7 when my kids are leaving for the school bus, I’ve gotten seven hours of sleep, maybe more, which seems to be enough! For me, it works. Find what works for you.
- Don’t wait for inspiration - inspiration will come after you start! You won’t always feel like doing your passion, but if it’s a life dream, do it anyway. Inspiration will come later. Life won’t wait for you to be inspired. You are created by God to bring inspiration to life!
So, how do I find the time to do the things I do? I believe I was created with a higher purpose with a set amount of minutes, hours and days to live. I want to make the most of what has been given to me by God. And so I persist. I stay organized. I keep pushing. And God keeps giving His grace and favor as our partnership grows.
How is it a partnership? God gives, I steward, He makes it grow!
Be blessed, friends! Persist!
P.S. Print reproductions can make a great gift idea! Make sure to check out the “Prints” tab to see my growing inventory and make a selection!