Interview by Briana Lassiter
What a privilege it was for me to interview prophetic artist Todd Polyniak this week!
As I’m preparing this article and looking through the beautiful art he sent me to be featured, I’m reminded of how one piece of God-given art can touch many of us in drastically different ways to minister to us exactly as we need.
Our Father knows each of us so personally, and He communicates with us in the exact way He knows we can receive from His heart to ours.
I hope this interview encourages you to ask for and receive your own gifts of creativity.
No matter where you are. Whether you think you’re gifted or not. We are His beloved children, and we are all His favorites. We are spoiled by His love and there’s nothing as a doting dad, that He wouldn’t give us if we ask.
If after reading this interview you find yourself asking the Lord for more, as I have, why don’t you pray with me for a fresh release of new giftings?
Hey Dad, it’s me, Your favorite.
I want more gifts, I want to receive more, and I want to give more. I want to experience more of you and be with you more. I want to know you, as much of you as I can know! I want to minister to your people and bless them. I want to see healing and deliverance for myself and others as I reflect you while using your gifts of creativity. I want more.
Please release more to me, and teach me what to do with what you give me.
I love you, honor you and praise you!
INTERVIEW WITH TODD POLYNIAK
(To see Todd’s Bio, click HERE)
BL: Tell me about when you first realized the Lord had gifted you with artistic anointing/ability?
TP: I have been painting and sketching since I was a small child. However, when I first came to know Jesus at the age of 16, I began to create paintings that expressed prophetic pictures of what God was revealing to me about himself. One of my first prophetic paintings as a young teen was of an image of a father and child holding hands and walking on the beach with the words, “Follow Me”, painted above it.
As the years went on, I became involved more in “church” which focused more on preaching the “Word”, and at the time, artistic expression in the church was not valued. So I did not do too much of it.
However, around the time of 9/11, after the World Trade Center fell, Adonai inspired me to pick up my paintbrush and sketch pad again and I have been painting ever since.
BL: Tell me a little bit about how you became passionate about worshipping while doing art?
TP: I started bringing my sketch pad to church and would draw impressions that God would be giving me during the service. Often, he would tell me to sketch or paint something for someone next to me or a few rows back, or someone who would be a complete stranger, and it really blessed them.
Many of my paintings were done while worshipping in the Prayer Room at the International House of Prayer – Kansas City – as well as in Cranford NJ. I began to realize while I, in the past, would have a “word” for someone that was written – the painted or sketched picture would have an amazing impact on people as well as myself. It released a special type of blessing that I had no control over – and ministered to people long after I had given it to people.
BL: At what point did you realize doing prophetic art was your spiritual gift?
TP: I believe that a spiritual gift is something that builds up and encourages God’s people.
I realized it was a spiritual gift when the people who I gave my paintings to told me how it ministered life to them.
In one painting, which is of Jesus reaching down and pulling Peter up out of the water as he was sinking, a brother told me how it transformed his life as he was going through a very difficult transition. Every time I see him in the Prayer Room he comes up to me and thanks me because it still gives him hope that the Lord is there for him and wouldn’t let him drown.
BL: What do you dream of being the next step for you as you follow what the Lord is telling you to do next with this gifting?
TP: I suppose the next step that I dream of is for the prophetic pictures to be shared with more of God’s people. Perhaps the pictures, through the power of the Holy Spirit, would bring healing and encouragement to those who look at them and go back to God’s Word and meditate on them.
I guess if the Holy Spirit could use handkerchiefs touched by Paul and Peter to bring miracles and healings, why not prophetic paintings and drawings?
BL: What is an unexpected way you’ve connected with the Creator while doing art?
TP: Often, when I am painting a prophetic picture, I get a deep sense of the Peace of Jesus and I feel like I am painting in the very throne room of the King of Kings in heaven. God does a deep healing work in me as I am doing my art, so I am blessed while the paintings become a blessing to others.
“When I was younger, I thought that my art had to be good to be prophetic. Actually, even art that is raw and somewhat awkward can and does speak prophetically.” ~TODD POLYNIAK
I do not experience that sense when I am simply sketching or painting for myself. I also experience a greater degree of revelation from God during and afterward when I am painting prophetically.
BL: What are three words to describe how you want others to feel after they’ve witnessed you using your art to love Jesus?
TP: Inspired; inspired to use the artistic gifts that He has given them and not to be afraid of how it will look to others. (When I was younger, I thought that my art had to be good to be prophetic. Actually, even art that is raw and somewhat awkward can and does speak prophetically).
Have courage; that they would not be afraid to sketch, paint, dance, whatever while worshipping in a corporate setting and not worry about being judged. By the way, more than one person was given a prophetic painting by me in a service who was secretly judging me because it appeared like I was not paying attention to the preacher or not singing the worship songs. Don’t worry about it. Be courageous and let God deal with his children. He is the only one you want to please anyway.
Inquire; ask God what it is that he would have you do in experiencing worship as you use your art to love Jesus. Learn to listen to what he is saying and don’t be afraid to try new mediums – new styles – GOD is creative and doesn’t paint the same sunset every day. He has made millions of types of different fishes, plants, etc. So ask him what you should experiment with.
BL: What would you love to tell the church or the body of Christ about how prophetic art has changed your encounters with the Lord or your perception of Him?
TP: I would tell the body of Messiah to be open and welcoming to the artistic community and see it as another way of expressing the truth of who God is, who those who love Him are, and what God is doing in the present moment. Also, that while preaching the Word is important and commanded in the scriptures, that there are many other ways that God can and does express his truth.
When I returned to the arts after a very long time of it being asleep in my spirit, something happened, something woke up in me, and I have never been the same. I remember Jesus rebuking the Pharisees because he said that they refused to go through the door into the Kingdom of God and they also prevented those who wanted to go through it but then blocked it: they would not let them go in. (Matthew 23).
Sometimes, I think the church does the same by promoting just one form of the arts (i.e. singing and playing on the worship team) rather than encouraging all of the arts to be expressed in a corporate setting. I applaud the groups that allow and encourage all of the arts because they truly are gifts from God to be enjoyed by the people of God.
We at ICFTS would like to thank Todd for sharing his gifts, time, and wisdom with us by being a Creative in Action.
If you would like to know more about Todd Polyniak, his art, and his work, you can do so by following him on these platforms:
By Briana Lassiter
I’m married to my dearest friend of 8 years and mom to an energetic 6-year-old. My greatest joys come from traveling with my little family, cooking for appreciative recipients, learning herbalism and natural medicine, and every experience I get to have in prayer ministry. I’m an avid tea and book lover and can’t get enough of either. I love Jesus and the daily adventure that comes from walking in friendship with him as he arranges and rearranges my story.