Colorado Springs artist Shelly Hitz uses the art of lettering to create coloring pages and books centered around her faith. She uses her art to deal with anxiety and to inspire and teach others. (Video by Skyler Ballard)
There are many ways to feel close to God, from reading the Bible to singing along to a worship song.
For Shelley Hitz, it also happens with markers and pieces of paper.
She picks a word or verse and ornately draws each letter, beautifully curving the ends of certain parts to create a flowy font.
At the end, she feels less stressed and she has a piece of artwork to show for it. And she has spent time soaking in words that encourage her faith.
“There’s something really powerful about it,” she said. “It’s tactile, it’s visual, it’s colorful. It’s almost like you’re meditating on those words.”
Hitz shares her faith-based lettering and watercolor art under the name Your Creative Adventure (yourcreativeadventure.com).
It started five years ago with a self-imposed challenge. The Colorado Springs woman joined hundreds of others in the online 30 Days of Bible Lettering challenge. Each day aligns with a piece of Scripture to draw out. Participants then share the final product on social media with the hashtag #30daysofbiblelettering for others to see.
“God might be using you to reach someone scrolling through his Instagram feed, desperate to hear the gospel,” the website says of the annual challenge.
Each day, Hitz’s lettering got a little better.
“It opened up this whole side of me that I didn’t know was there,” she said. “I got obsessed with it.”
She didn’t just love the pretty pictures she was making.
“I was dealing with anxiety at the time,” Hitz said. “I loved that the lettering was very calming to me.”
By that time, Hitz had left her career as a physical therapist to pursue Christian writing and speaking. She and her husband have collectively written more than 60 books. Each step of the way, Hitz has surprised herself.
“Sometimes in life, we put ourselves in a box,” she said. “I was always good at math and science and I thought that’s who I was. Now I’m doing all these things I didn’t know I was capable of.”
The latest iteration of that came around the beginning of the pandemic. Hitz asked God what she could do to help people.
Her mind went to art. “I felt like art is so soothing and might be a way to reduce anxiety when people are stuck at home,” she said.
So she launched a line of faith-based coloring book pages.
They are based on different Bible passages and include a mix of black and white words and images to be colored in.
Just like her hand lettering art, they’ve taken off. And she’s heard from many people about how the simple act of coloring has helped at a time when they needed their faith.
“With the time that you’re coloring, you’re thinking about that Scripture maybe more in depth than you would if you were just reading it,” she said. “It’s a good way to keep those words with you.”
This content was originally published here.