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Lettering The ‘I AM’ Statements of Jesus

The “I AM” Statements of Jesus

Over the last few months, we focused on the “I AM” statements for our monthly #LetterforHisGlory challenge. There’s seven of them in the Gospels, and one in Revelation. It was so good to work through each of these, along with other artists just as passionate about lettering and sharing God’s truth. And it was even better to study and write about each of them in depth.

Jesus does not leave us to wonder about the important things. He makes it so abundantly clear that HE alone is the way of salvation and our source of abundant life. He alone can provide the nourishment, the guidance, the protection, and the hope we so desperately need.

  • He is the bread of life – John 6:35
  • He is the light of the world – John 8:12
  • He is the door of the sheep – John 10:7
  • He is the good shepherd – John 10:11
  • He is the resurrection and the life – John 11:25
  • He is the way, truth, and life – John 14:6
  • He is the true vine – John 15:1
  • He is the beginning and the end – Revelation 22:12-13

Jesus bookends our Scripture and our story from the very first chapter to the very last! He was there in the beginning, at the creation of the world (Colossians 3:16-17). And He is there at the end of our story, when this world is finished and eternity begins (Revelation 1:7-8). Truly, there is no other name under heaven whereby we can be saved!

Designing the Collection

When I was thinking about creating these pieces, I wanted a very cohesive look for them all. After a few hours of sketching out different ideas, I designed a simple dark blue background and basic format that would work for all of the verses. I always love combining different lettering styles, and was happy it worked well to do that here.

Although I toyed with adding the full text for each verse, ultimately I decided to keep them short and to the point with just the key phrase. Additionally, I chose to emphasize the “I AM” portion of each verse with slightly larger, bolder lettering – since that’s the most critcial part of each phrase – and use the varied lettering styles in the same format for the rest of each verse. And while I typically enjoy creating abstract pieces, in this case a more realistic illustration style (with a few creative variations) seemed to fit better with the significance of these verses. I didn’t want viewers to simply brush them off as a pretty piece – I wanted people to stop and give serious thought to the truths I was sharing.

This collection definitely challenged me as an artist! It was hard to keep the lettering consistent across so many pieces, and trying to keep the drawings less abstract definitely challenged me. But I think my skill improved a bit as a result – at the very least, it gave me confidence that I could draw these things – and it provided more time to meditate on each of the verses. Which is always a good and profitable use of time!

Do you have a favorite among the “I AM” statements or pieces?

PS. You can read my reflections on each verse here.

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