It is the pleasure of ICFTS, to the glory of God our Savior, Jesus Christ, that we get to embark on this new journey, Creatives in Action, or CNA, where we get to share the stories of Creatives in Christ who are pursuing their vision and dream to the glory of God!
We are starting this journey off with Candice Coates, the Founder and Creative Voice behind ICFTS, with the help of Rachael Ritchey, who has graciously blessed us by conducting this interview.
Anywhere you see RR, know that is Rachael speaking as CC is Candice.
INTRODUCING CANDICE COATES: A CREATIVE IN ACTION
Bio: Candice Coates, is the Founding Creative Voice of “I came for the soup…”. Born and raised in central Ohio, Candice has always had a love for telling a story, and learning the stories of others, not only those of fiction but of truth. She is a fiction and non-fiction author, as well as a visual artist, and jewelry designer.
She began her walk with the Lord as a small child and has developed a deep-rooted and unshakable faith in the faithfulness of Christ, her Center, and Source. This is her Creativity in Action.
RR: Okay! Why don’t we start out with your projects, how are you are Creative in Action?
CC: Although, I like all Creatives, have many interests, I have prayerfully taken the initiative to narrow my focus down to my big three; growing ICFTS, pursuing my career as a fiction author, and my visual art.
First, let me say that it wasn’t easy…still isn’t at times, but I am living out the worth of doing so.
First of all, we have “I came for the soup…” or ICFTS. This project or ministry began as a personal blog that was set up more as a creative diary of sorts. For nearly five years prior to the birth of ICFTS, I found that I had been creatively stifled. I struggled to make art or even write. Then, in 2013, I was blessed to go to Europe for ten days and whatever had been holding me back from creating was broken off of me.
When I returned to the States, the Lord instructed me to start ICFTS and chronicle my journey into creating again and fine-tuning my creative voice, clarifying my vision. Up until about nearly two years ago, that was all I did with this space, shared my creative writing, art, and inspirations the Lord gave me.
Then, around a year ago, He instructed me to change my focus from inward to outward, to not so much focus on drawing out my own creativity but to guide others in the Body of Christ in doing the same thing.
Now I am on a mission to remind anyone who will listen, that being created in the image of God means you are created to create, and to find out what that means for you.
RR: Is there something in your faith that has inspired you to be creative, and how do you use your creativity every day?
CC: I believe that just like we need to breathe in order to survive, so too, do we have to create in order to fully understand our identity in Christ.
Creativity is more than writing, painting, drawing, singing, etcetera. It is expressed in how a person raises their children. How we present the Word of God to a lost world. Creativity is in how we manage our finances.
Doing any of these things, and doing them well, requires in my opinion, faithfully seeking the Lord and His wisdom.
So in answer to your question, the entirety of my faith inspires me to be creative.
RR: You mentioned fiction writing as well as art. Talk about those things. How do you keep your creative actions worshipful?
CC: This is exciting! So, on September the 28th of this year, I had the pleasure of self-publishing my first novel, NEXUS GATE 4037: THE ANIMAL. This is a complete work of fiction, speculative sci-fi, time-travel, and suspense, to be exact. How I keep my writing worshipful is by keeping Christ and His guidance at the forefront of every word I type and even every storyline I weave together.
We are called to do all things unto Him. To me, that means including Him and His opinion in the stories and even the art I set out to create.
RR: What are some things you do before starting a new creative project?
CC: Truly, the first thing I do is pray. I honestly consult Him in all I do, from the colors and patterns that may appear in the jewelry I create, to what stories to write and which ones to scrape. I especially seek Him for what to share here on ICFTS.
Exodus 33:15 says, “Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.”
I don’t want to do anything that doesn’t have His backing and blessing. As Proverbs also tells us, unless He, Jesus, builds the house, those who labor, labor in vain. Life is too short to be wasted on vain pursuits and too long to live with the regret of doing so. (PSALM 127:1)
RR: What do you do when you lose sight of the bigger picture behind your creativity or vision?
CC: I always go back to the beginning. I’m able to do that because I write my vision down. I also take note and realize that with every season the vision may evolve, or in other words, more of the vision is revealed for the road ahead and thus the presentation of the vision changes.
This is what happened with ICFTS. The season changed in my life, more light was shed on this path and more depth was revealed for what this creative space could be and do.
I still haven’t even scratched the surface of all that God wants to do through ICFTS, but I know that it is great and beneficial to the Body of Christ.
The people of God, living out their creative identities to the glory of God can and will change the world and the reach of the Gospel. Being reminded to keep Christ central in their pursuit of their vision and creative dreams is paramount.
RR: What advice would you share with other Creatives pursuing their vision and dream?
CC: Keep Christ at the center and the Head of it all and do it according to His design. Your call, vision, and dream is unique to you and the purpose He has for it. It may resemble that of others but it certainly isn’t a carbon copy. Your life up until the point of pursuing your vision is different from all others so too will the process of giving your vision life be.
Learn from others but remain authentic. That is done by allowing Christ to define you and your way.
- ICFTS: “I came for the soup…,” is a platform designed to encourage & guide Creatives to (re)discover & take hold of their dreams & unique creative voice, in order to step out in Christ-centered faith and give life to their vision. Our aim is to grow through our Vision, Voice, & Doing, following the path of DIBDC (Dream.
- Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!) all while nourishing the soul.
- CANDICE COATES WRITES: Visit the novel world of the genre jumper to stay connected and in the know about new fictional projects coming out. NEXUS GATE 4037: THE ANIMAL is available now on AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE. WARDEN will be released WINTER/SPRING 2019.
THANK YOU FOR READING. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ASK IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.