Featured Artist: Chantal Kerkhof

You've probably heard of and seen many beautiful examples of art journaling, but if you're like me, you'd never before seen it done in a Bible.  Growing up, the idea of writing in my Bible was sacrilege, and then as I got older, study Bibles became more mainstream with the sole purpose of being marked up and written in -- but only for study! 

But the idea of turning the Bible into a work of art?  Never!

Except it not only makes sense, it actually makes the most perfect sense, from a spiritual and faith-led place.  This is exactly what artist Chantal Kerkhof does.  She creates art in her journaling bible under the name of OnYourWingsofLove, in addition to creating other pieces of art via her business, Darkest Raven Designs.

Tell us about yourself.  Who do you share your life with?  What is a typical "day in the life" at home?  Do you have any hobbies or interests worth noting?

I moved to Australia in 2010 and became Australian citizen in 2015. In two weeks time I will be married to my wonderful fiance Lee. We’ve met via community theatre. He was musical director and I was in the ensemble for the musical. I work as a project secretary in Perth CBD. I have been with the same company for nearly 6 years now and this year it will be time for a change. I would love to spend more time on my art projects and making music so perhaps another job closer to home or a part time job would be perfect.

Now tell us about your art!  What do you do?  What is/are the medium/media you use?  What is your artistic process?

Onyourwingsoflove is purely here for my bible journaling journey. I spend my time with God journaling and drawing as for me this is a perfect way to meditate on His word and growing closer to Him. God gave me creativity so why not use it in the best way possible. He created us to create. Before starting a new page, always thank God. Ask Him for direction, love, inspiration. Thank God even if it doesn’t go as you planned or hoped for. You art is for you and it doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s about the process and the time you spent with God. This is how you will grow closer to Him and his ways. Then pray to him to fill you will love, ideas and creativity.

Everyone wants to know:  where do you get your ideas?  What fuels your passion?  Are there other artists who inspire you?

For my bible journaling I get a lot of my journaling prompts from bible journaling groups on Facebook. Also Pinterest has some good prompts if you search for Bible Journaling or Scripture writing. For Darkest Raven Designs I get my inspiration mainly from Burton-esque style movies and other artwork. My passion for drawing or creating has always been here. I always look for new ideas to bring my creativity to life and onyourwingsoflove is the latest result of that.

What are your "credentials"?  Do you have a degree or specialized experience doing what you do?  How did you get your start?

I don't have any degrees or specialised experience. Everything is self taught and I believe I got given this gift from God to create and make people happy with my art. Everyone can create. It takes practice and patience but every one can do what they love if you put your heart into it.

What makes you excited to "go to work" each day?  What are the specific challenges in your field or expertise?

Actually my work is not that exciting at the moment. I am a project secretary in the city of Perth but I am looking for another job in 2017 to perhaps work part time and concentrate more on my creative projects. I am sure God has a plan for me. I just need to be patient.

Who is your ideal client?  What kind of product is this client looking for?  What does she need or want from you?

My ideal client is one that describes exactly what they want. Colour/theme/kind of drawing. Then I know I can really personalise it the way they want the commission to be. This way they can cherish the piece of art for the rest of their lives and it truly means something to them.

Do you incorporate any spiritual practices in your daily life?  What keeps you sane?  Favorite comfort food or hot beverage?  What is your "center"?  What is your higher purpose or calling?

I do incorporate spiritual practices in my life. The whole point of setting up onyourwingsoflove is sharing my creativity with others but it’s mainly my journey and how I grow closer to God. I read daily devotionals which I get via email from www.raystedman.org and there are loads of other devotional sites where you can sign up and get prompts in your email. The thing that keeps me sane is mainly my art. If I haven’t done anything for a week I feel restless until I pick up my pencils again. Also, Lee is here for me. He is the world to me and I cannot imagine my life without him. My favourite comfort food…. tough one. This could be anything… from a biscuit, a cracker, cake or just a proper meal. Anything but chocolate. I love food. I tend to eat less when I am occupied with my art though. Favourite hot beverage can only be coffee. Tea in the evenings. My centre of my life is God. He comes first. My purpose? To serve God better tomorrow than I did today. In a ‘help others’ kind of sense: I hope that my art makes people smile.

Can you give us one to three "random facts" or juicy tidbits about yourself?  Have a funny experience to share?

When I was in high school I used to absolutely hate history classes. Now I love reading books about English (Victorian/Edwardian) History and I own over 20 books about that era. I can really recommend "How to be a Victorian" by Ruth Goodman. I absolutely love Lacey Sturm's music. She is such an incredible source of inspiration to me. If you ever lost, listen to her music or read her books. It will keep you on the right track and you will find the love of God again. Another fun fact about me: I am Dutch! I grew up in The Netherlands, Rotterdam.

Where can we find your business online? Please include your social media links and e-mail address as well!

Lauren BensonComment