'A Letter to Young Artists'

I’ve highly respected Makoto Fujimura for years. Not only for his work, but his desire to push Artists of any age or level of maturity; his desire for knowledge; his poetic heart. He pushes the boundaries of researching and unraveling how Faith and Art are intrinsically related, because our Father is the Creator of every fiber of what Faith and Art are. If you are a Believer this rings true, if you are not then there is another realm of understanding of what Art is and moreso, what is is not. Maybe for you there is a partial level of understanding yet a lot of questions and doubts. We've all been there. 

 

Soliloquies - Joy
Mineral Pigments, Gold on Belgian Linen
80x64"

Earlier this year Mako had an exhibit here at Baylor and I had the privilege of absorbing a few hours of his wisdom one of my advanced painting class.

The past 3 years I have turned to this Letter (link above) to remind myself of what the 'point' is. It’s easy to feel defeated when you are being harshly critique, put on the spot, disgraced, demeaned, not believed in. I’ve learned that in this life I must see outside of my heartache and rest on the knowledge that there is another Created Home waiting--for eternity--where a New Creation and newly created things are celebrated and everyone understands.

Lewis directs us to this incredible analogy of our maturity in Faith and as Artists through C.S. Lewis’ explanation of what the gospel simply is:

“God became man to turn creatures into sons; not simply to PRODUCE BETTER MEN but to produce a NEW KIND of man. It is not like teaching a horse to jump better but like turning a horse into a winged creature.”

(All caps emphasis by me.)

During my undergrad there were countless times that I felt misunderstood by fellow classmates or professors. In the Art sphere there is a universal, almost innate desire for what I (the Artist) am creating to be understood in every or at least one realm: intellectually, emotionally, psychologically, art historically, maybe even spiritually, heck even if someone got it subconsciously I could have a flicker of hope. If even one of those, then what I am visually pushing for will arrive at a point in which perhaps anyone could hop on board.

He (Lewis) explains the point of growing wings to which having wings, we walk around with these “lumps.”

“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.”

Mako states: 

“Only when we rest upon him as a gift, does he give us wings, to hover between heaven and earth. These wings are gifts of grace, aligned to the original intention for our being.”

If you consider yourself a type of Artist, one who creates, you need to read this. Need. I could go on popping out the many gems in this Letter, but I’d challenge you to read it and take something away for yourself.

Here's mine:

"Love is the ultimate fruit of the Spirit and our total dependence on the true source of creativity will nurture love. Art, ultimately, is expression of that love. Therefore we cannot create but by sacrificial love. We need to redefine art and its effectiveness by how it helps us to love one another sacrificially. Fear and terror, in any form, will destroy creativity and people."