A Letter to Young Artists

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Makoto Fujimura has followed up his Letter to North American Churches with a Letter to Young Artists (based on a letter originally written for Michael Card’s book Scribbling in the Sand):

We have been taught to be self-sufficient, that the ego is the only source of creativity. [C. S.] Lewis’ suggestion is that there is a greater source outside of ourselves to create from. There will be a quiet joy even within that wrestling. In that world to come, you are already famous and successful. You just can’t hear the sounds of accolades yet. You already know that the creative journey is not an easy one. Lewis continues in the same passage, “But there may be a period, while the wings are just beginning to grow, when it cannot do so…The lumps on the shoulders…may even give it an awkward appearance.”

Have you ever felt awkward, and felt the “lumps”? If you are an artist, perhaps you began your journey realizing that you are different from others. We have gotten used to having these “lumps” and accepted the fact that to the world the “lumps” looks strange and unnatural. Your teachers and your friends may not fully understand your intuition to try to fly with your winged “lumps.” What started out, at first, as trying to be yourself, may have become an effort to shield and protect your true identity from the world. Perhaps rebellion became the only path you could journey on. Your “lumps” became a defense mechanism, or even a weapon.

What if Lewis is right, and you are destined to “fly”?

Read the whole letter here.


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