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Design assistant joins Team AiG
30 January 2004
Since childhood, Dan Carlson’s dream was to create special effects and other ‘cool stuff’ for Hollywood. But after years of training, he learned that opportunities in the ‘art’ world are limited for Christians, especially in Hollywood. Little did he know how God was preparing him for an even greater opportunity (Psalm 37:4).
Dan spent six years in formal art training—two years in industrial design at the Columbus [Ohio] College of Art & Design, and four years on a bachelor of fine arts degree in sculpture at the Ohio State University. He learned about drafting, 3-D rendering, stage and set design, photography, video production, product design, steel, wood, clay and other sculpture techniques.
But his dreams of a ‘special effects’ career went unrealized. ‘The entertainment industry, often hostile to the Christian worldview, just didn’t seem like where God wanted me to go.’
Dan spent the next four years as a self-employed drywall finisher, getting to know the construction industry—both commercial and residential—and the ins and outs of the trade. ‘It was a blessing, but God was preparing me for a greater task.’
During this time, Dan learned about AiG’s Creation Museum at a seminar in Columbus. He got fired up and sent an enthusiastic letter of inquiry about the ‘honor and privilege to serve the Lord at Answers in Genesis.’
Nothing was available at the moment, and six years would pass, while the Lord continued to prepare him—and AiG.
While living in Columbus, Dan volunteered to create graphics and set designs for a Christian radio/television ministry, geared for teens and young adults. There he heard many tragic stories about children—the amazing falsehoods they were being taught in secular (and even some Christian) schools, the struggles they faced each day in an amoral society, and the hopelessness that leads students to contemplate suicide even in grade school. He also heard stories about the many lives changed through hearing the truth of the gospel.
Recently, a friend suggested he get back into creative work fulltime. So, while on a walk with his wife, Tami, Dan considered resubmitting his resume to AiG to do just that. ‘Even though we hadn’t heard from AiG in six years, we decided that if God really wanted me there, He’d work it out.’
Meanwhile, Patrick Marsh, the museum design director, had been reviewing applications on file for a new position, looking for a person with just the right skills and experience. Three days after Dan’s walk in the park, Patrick decided to contact him about the position. This was the answer that Dan, Tami and their families had been praying for.
Finding Dan was an answer to our prayers as well!
Dan can hardly contain his excitement now that he’s here. ‘I see the museum as a phenomenal way to expose young kids to the truth in an exciting atmosphere. It’s not just a “kid zone,” but I’m convinced that it’ll have a life-changing impact on young kids.’
‘It’ll make such a difference in their lives,’ he believes, ‘to see that they have a Creator who has answers to their questions and a plan for their lives.’
Dan went right to work when he was offered the position, even though he had many details to settle, including a home in Columbus (over two hours away) that he’s in the middle of remodeling (the kitchen has been gutted!).
Dan will be helping Patrick in several capacities, both as an artist and as an experienced subcontractor. He can’t wait to ‘nail down’ Pat’s designs, converting paper to real-live plastic and steel. At the same time, he’s sure to throw in a few ‘special effects’ here and there.
Dan knows what it takes to bring together contractors and volunteers to convert dreams to reality. He’s seen the Lord do it all his life.
Please pray for Dan and the whole museum team, that the Lord would use each of us to glorify Him in this one-of-a-kind opportunity to impact the culture and the world.