Finding the art within...One woman's journey to self worth - Word&Way

Finding the art within…One woman’s journey to self worth

By Jennifer Harris
Word&Way News Writer

Erin Davis“Beauty is one ugly subject,” suggests the back of Erin Davis’ new book graffiti. Like many young women, Davis spent years battling a negative body image.

“I didn’t understand why I didn’t look like the examples of beauty in culture,” she said.

Davis began to question her worth, which led to an eating disorder. But losing weight only added to the problem.

“It seemed the skinnier I became, the more I struggled,” she said.

“I knew the Lord, but I failed to look at what Scripture said.”

When one of the girls in the church youth group asked her to teach a study on beauty, she immediately said “no.”

Davis believed she had nothing to say on the subject since it was such a personal issue for her. “But God had different plans,” she said.

The six-week Bible study “changed my life — it changed their lives,” Davis said.

The study was an in-depth look at what the Bible says about matters of beauty and a person’s value.

Others began noticing a difference in those who were a part of the study, and Davis began receiving invitations to speak to other groups.

graffitiDavis, along with her husband Jason, founded Graffiti Mini­stries, “an or­gan­ization ded­i­cated to ad­dressing the issues of identity, worth and true beauty in the lives of young wo­men.”

Davis also assists Jason in his role as youth minister at Na­tional Heights Baptist Church in Springfield.

As more people seemed interested in the study, Davis began talking to Moody Publishers, who decided to release the message in her new book graffiti.

She admits in the book’s introduction that people often find the title perplexing.

“Over the years, I have come to admire graffiti as a beautiful art form,” she explains. “I am intrigued by the shapes and colors painted on train cars and bridges….

“The world finds it hard to look past the vandalism — and I am certainly not advocating defaming public property — but while most people don’t recognize the appeal of art made with a can of spray paint instead of a brush, I have come to realize that true beauty is often found in the places where the world does not recognize worth.”

The book features journal space at the end of each of its 13 chapters, along with questions to encourage thought.

Davis said this book isn’t designed to be something you just read, but a journey with God to learn “who we are” and where our worth lies.

She hopes reading will turn into a conversation between the reader and God.

“I am so passionate about this [conversation] happening at a generational level,” she said. “I hope moms get it, as their daughters are watching.”

It isn’t enough for mothers to tell their daughters that they are beautiful.

“My mom told me I was beautiful frequently,” Davis said. “But my Mom struggled with her own beauty. You have to get it yourself before you can share it.”

Davis shares her own journey in graffiti. “It is my heart in a little book,“ she said.

Davis is also available for speaking engagements. Visit the Graffiti Ministries Web site at or e-mail

Above: Author Erin Davis and her book on identity and self-worth, graffiti.