Fulfilling the Desire to Create, Part I


I knew Courtney King Walker as an artist. When we met in St. Louis, Missouri, in the mid-90’s, I was a young mom with occasional free-lance writing or editing opportunities, and she had just taken a job as a graphic artist for Brown Shoe Company, the parent company of Naturalizer Shoes. The interaction with another creative mind inspired me in my own expressions.

Later, with the birth of her children, Courtney’s primary creations shifted toward her home and family, from which she shares her talent in words, music, art, food and love. In the changing phases of her life, Courtney always feels the need to create.

Most recently, I have come to know her as a Christian (LDS) songwriter. She has self-recorded five of the 15 or so songs she has written. She began songwriting without formal training after 10-12 years of piano lessons. Around the age of 16-18 she figured out that she could write music at the piano if she just played and then wrote down the notes, and she wrote something for her high school graduation.

During the summer before she started college at Brigham Young University, she read the book, Jesus The Christ by James E. Talmage. She read about those anciently who did not believe that Christ was the son of God, and the thought came to her to write a song reflecting Christ’s divinity.

“I was always able to write and express myself well,” Courtney said. But now, she felt a purpose for that expression as she thought about “looking at Him and seeing His divinity. The words just kind of came out,” and she put the words to music and created the song, His Eyes.

His Eyes by Courtney King Walker, copyright 2001

On this recording, Jill Thompson and Linda Stewart sing vocals and Courtney accompanies them on the piano. (Singing is not her talent, she said.) She recorded it at a Bay Area recording studio in California in 2001 after many years of revisiting and revising—an important part of the process. She said,

All of my music has grown up. As I’ve grown older, I look at how naive I was. I go back and revisit it to see if it is sensitive. I ask myself, ‘Is that careful enough? Is that kind enough?’

That type of emotional and spiritual reflection and expression motivates her creative process, not commercial success. She said,

I always received support from a handful of people who listened to my music and liked it even though I didn’t have the training. I just do it the way I know how, which is probably blasphemy to people in the music world.

Though her audience may be small, the depth of her ability is great and the absence of fame or commercial success does not diminish her talents and creations.

Fulfilling The Desire to Create is Part I in a series from an interview with Courtney Walker. TJ will publish more of Courtney’s words and songs in Everyday Biography, on Wednesdays in July. His Eyes is copyrighted by Courtney King Walker, 2001, and downloads may not be sold or used without permission. You may contact Courtney by email at walkerfamily5 (at) gmail (dot) com.

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