To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts


“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts – such is the duty of the artist.” – Robert Schumann

I seem to be on a tangent about art again at the moment.

I read “Looking For Atlantis” by Colin Thompson to Rilien at bedtime again tonight. He fell asleep as I was reading it, but it is such a beautiful book, and I enjoy it so much every single time I read it, that I felt I had to finish reading it – out loud – until the end, even though the little guy had crashed out.

It got me thinking about how profoundly powerful Colin Thompson’s artwork is – that 21 years after it was originally published, it is still bringing joy to people the world over. It has been crafted so lovingly, so beautifully, so vividly… it shines so brightly as an artwork.

Then I began to ponder that this timeless quality is the nature of all good art – it transcends the time period from which it was born.

Think: Shakespeare, da Vinci, Mozart, Michaelangelo, MC Hammer, the list goes on.

I thought some more about my own art as a family portrait photographer. In my work, I show my clients how beautiful their life is, and how much they have to love and be grateful for.

And so I thought some more about, and searched for, quotes about art, and the artists who create. This quote popped up, and I loved it. It is the perfect fit for what I do, what each artist does.

It is so true, and yet it does not describe an easy quest. Men’s (and women’s) hearts can be so dark sometimes, that the notion of sending light into that darkness is like tossing a thimble-full of water into a fire.

The quest is simple, but not easy. (As is so often the case.) And it can be quite a battle, sometimes. Hence the army stencil-styled font choice. (See? It all connects.)

For now, let me be content to say that I see my duty as an artist to continue sending light into the darkness of men’s hearts. In other words… Illuminating Lives.

With love,
Israel. xo

P.S. You may be surprised – or not – to know that the phrase “Illuminating Lives” was given to us as the “brand promise” of Israel Smith Photographers back in 2006 by Jonathan and Patrick of Coast Design. I still am gobsmacked at how the brand has grown with us, and relates to us viscerally, even now. Those guys at Coast do amazing, timeless art in their branding and design work.