College of Arts and Sciences
Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
James Corey Latta
Artist, military, navy, Afghanistan
Addison, Benjamin Richard, "A Bigger Picture" (2023). Masters Theses. 1069.
The subject of my final creative project is a short story about my dream of becoming an artist and realizing that good deeds are the brush strokes of God’s masterpiece. My earliest memories as a child are about the simple joy of drawing and coloring people, places and things from my imagination. I always enjoyed making gifts of my artwork. Serving others is an early calling. Creative thinking and problem solving are special gifts that helped me to survive domestic violence and sexual abuse as a child and to overcome the many challenges I would face during a twenty-six year career as an active duty enlisted military artist and public affairs officer in the United States Navy. Meaningful reflection during my retirement afforded me an opportunity to understand that the true brush strokes we make in life are not as individual artists, but it is the collective work of Christians making brush strokes to fill in the seemingly blank canvass of God’s masterpiece for humanity. My quest to become an artist turned out to be a search for God in my life. What it means to be an artist has changed significantly in my life. I grew to learn that serving God was the most important thing I could have ever hoped for in my life. I look back on my short life through a new lens now. Now I see that my creative efforts resulted in saving families from Afghanistan, that being generous and kind to others in difficult situations spread hope and that giving art instead of selling it is more fulfilling an experience than I could ever have hoped for. God made a way through much adversity in my life, and He revealed a much more noble purpose to pursue through the Great Commission as a Christian.
Available for download on Saturday, October 19, 2024