Alabaster co-founders Bryan and Brian have reimagined the Bible with stunning visuals and an updated design.
“It’s not only deepening people’s experience with God, but shaping where Bibles are placed in the household,” shares Brian.
Brian Chung: Me and my co-founder have two different names, but the same name. So I’m Brian with an “i,” he’s Bryan with a “y.” We have the same last name — Chung — so it’s a little confusing.
We’re still a start-up, so many folks think that we have our own office space — we don’t. This is my home. I’ll show you around downstairs.
Oh, sorry. We’re getting ready for a photoshoot right now, so that’s the other Bryan. He’s the other co-founder, and so we’re just running around.
(Speaker: I’m so sorry!)
It’s okay. Come on in. Come into the garage. We’re shooting in our garage right now. It’s a really hot day. This week is supposed to be record highs and so we covered all the blinds and we’ve made this mock-shift A/C unit over here.
So Bryan and I, we had some Christianity exposure growing up, but it was really in college where the both of us decided to make our faith our own, and follow Jesus as Christians. I think that’s why we really resonated when we said, “Hey, let’s take the Bible and design it beautifully.”
One of the things that we’ve seen along the way with our books is just sort of the placement of it. What we’re seeing is our Bibles being placed on the coffee table. The coffee table is a place of gathering, it’s a place of conversation. It’s a place where people are actually going to pick up the book, versus pull something off of the bookshelf.
It’s been really cool seeing this biblical text — a simple design change shifting its usage just by like widening it up, putting some pictures in it. I know it’s a small thing, but for me it feels like a big thing of just how we’ve seen art and design be used to not only deepen people’s experience with God, but even shape where Bibles are placed in the household.
Bryan Chung: What we’re doing for this shot is we just took a shot for the Tower of Babel. So the first shot we did — right, the whole idea of the Tower of Babel is they tried to build it up in one line. So our next shot’s going to be basically spreading those bricks out. So we are taking a bunch of fishing line, going to hang it on a pole here, and then just kind of like disperse it to make it float.
I think what’s interesting about art is that it makes you ask more questions than less. That’s something that we’re very cognizant of, and interested in doing an at Alabaster.
As you can see, right, we’re playing with bricks, we’re playing with flowers — we’re not shooting a literal Jesus. I think that’s what it’s about, right? It’s about letting people experience the Bible in a new way. Especially for a generation like us that is really into visual things, right? We’re a very visual culture.
Brian: We always ask the question: Are the things that we’re making good and beautiful? Are they doing good things in the world? Are they creating a more peaceful world? Are they bringing healing into the world?