Jon Bybee

Sacred Scribble

For the past 5 or so years I’ve been taking my iPad to church to occupy my hands while listening to sermons. The first hour of my church is spent together as a congregation hearing sermons given from members of the congregation, we call “talks”. Since we have a lay ministry we don’t have a paid full-time pastor or minister so we teach each other about Christ’s gospel.

While these “talks” are happening I start randomly sketching. I don’t have any set idea in mind. I just start with a single line, then as I hear the individual talk I just let it flow. It reminds me of the Beastie Boys song lyrics from the song “Slow and Low”. It goes like this, “let it flow, let yourself go, slow and low, that is the tempo”. As I draw, the sketch can come out as a flowing curving line, or sometimes as an angular sharper sketch. I don’t know how or why they come out this way, I just let them happen.

I get two main benefits out of the sketches. I’m sure there are other subconscious benefits but this is what comes to mind. The first is a sense of fulfillment having created something that didn’t exist in the world until I was blessed to spirit these scribbles into it. Ironically the second benefit is retention. I retain what’s said better than if I was sitting there trying to be still and reverent, which I’ve never been able to achieve in my 52 years and counting.

I look back at these sketches and think, did I really draw that? When I’m designing in my regular life nothing looks like these drawings my cousin dubbed “Sacred Scribbles”. They are a creation unto themselves. I hope I don’t sound full of myself when I say I’m quite proud of them. I can’t believe I actually created them. I can stare at them for quite some time and get joy out of just looking at them. The feelings I had while drawing them come rushing back to me. It’s quite cathartic, and fulfilling.

I sometimes wonder what influences these Sacred Scribbles. I believe in a higher power, an unseen presence in each of our lives. I won’t go into details about what I think that is but I believe everyone has it in their life whether they recognize it or not. I think of it as a light, insight, a sliver of the divine logged in our souls.  I believe this power can help us make positive choices, and help keep us from harm, if we listen that is. It can help you recognize truth when you hear it, and conversely lies also. I believe it helps influence my Sacred Scribbles as well. For what reason I don’t know.

I think of myself as the conduit to receive this art from this higher power. I’m not the interpreter. I leave that up to the viewer. In a very real sense, I want the audience to tell me what the art means. I hope you find something in them to inspire or uplift you in your journey around this big blue planet called Earth.

Printing Plate/print overlay

I’m not the interpreter. I leave that up to the viewer. In a very real sense, I want the audience to tell me what the art means.