{This is an update of a post from 2013. Enjoy!}

In a recent collaboration, I had an experience that for me was quite profound. I had been asked by the very talented Sally DeFord to create some images for a song she was composing. {She likes me, she really likes me! But I don’t get it.}

She sent me the words so I could ponder them, and then I listed to the music to understand the mood. Then I was given pretty much free rein to come up with my own interpretation. So the first order of business was to reject any ideas from my husband.

The project took many months. When I finally saw it all put together, I was surprised by the emotion. This led to some introspection about the influence of stories, the impact of pictures, the power of music and what happens when these potent forces come together. It also led me to look up the word “introspection”.

Try This Experiment

Though it won’t be quite the same, I want you to experience the project as I did. I want you to first just read the words. Then take a look at the images that were chosen for the song.  And finally, I want you to watch all the elements at work together.

1. The Lyrics

By Sally DeFord of Sally DeFord Music

I Know My Father Loves Me

He numbers the stars and He calls them by name
He watches the sparrow, and the nest whence it came
He cares for the lilies, so lovely to see
Because He loves them so, I know He loves me

He watches the lambs in the fold where they sleep
He cares for the shepherd watching over
His sheep He knows His creations, where e’er they may be
Because He loves them so, I know He loves me

He numbers the stars, and our tears and our smiles
He knows every sparrow, and He knows every child
And when I see starlight, or birds on the wing
I know my Father loves me, and my heart sings

(I found out after the fact that the song was inspired by these three scriptures and written for her granddaughter, Lyric.)

“Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? … Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:6, 7 KJV)

“Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” (Luke 12:27 KJV)

“He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.” (Psalms 147:4 KJV)

2. The Images Used in the Video

(These images are discussed in my post The Inspiration Behind the Art: I Know My Father Loves Me.)

*click on an image

3. Now Watch It All Come Together

(Did you know you can get the sheet music for this song for free?!)

The Result

When you saw it come all together, was your reaction any different than seeing the pieces individually?

Mine was. I had spent so much time with the words, the images, and the music that I probably was a bit numb to their message. I was, therefore, stunned at my visceral reaction when they were combined.

I’ll admit it – I cried.

The Takeaway

We all have our stories to share. There are people we want to connect with. Why not make our message more powerful by combining the various elements of communication? When we create visual art, we can make our message more appealing.

  • Add a story to the art or tell the story of how it was created.
  • Turn your still images into a video.
  • Bolster your images with music or an audio track.{Yes, please!}

Your audience will respond.

(Visit my Digital Tools for Artists post for some great free resources to make it all happen.)

Check out my other collaborations: