Dear Younger Me,

When I began pondering the idea of writing a letter to you, I came across a C.S. Lewis quote from The Four Loves. It reads: “Our model is the Jesus, not only of Calvary, but of the workshop, the roads, the crowds, the clamorous demands and surly oppositions, the lack of all peace and privacy, the interruptions. For this, so strangely unlike anything we can attribute to the Divine life in itself, is apparently not only like, but is the Divine life operating under human conditions.”

Now in my 6th decade of life, I have the luxury of retrospect that allows me to see how our Lord has interwoven His divine will into the unexpected, unplanned, and sometimes undesirable events of my life. From this perspective, I want to encourage and motivate you with these three insights.

As an artist, you have sensitivities and understandings that can teach and reach others in ways that, say, scientists, mathematicians, or athletes cannot. We often just think of our art “works” as our goal, but I want you to embrace your artistic ideas, prayers, problems, interpretations, and joys. Gratefully let the Spirit of God teach you about Himself in unique and personal ways that your artistic disposition can appreciate and value.

Life really does have seasons, and each one will bring its own responsibilities of time and energy, of commitments and interruptions. Those years when you must focus on teaching art in public school with no energy left to pursue your own artmaking will still be training you in the creative process, art media and techniques, how to set up your own creative problems to solve, and even how to communicate. Those years when you find yourself studying about artists instead of being one will become vital in who you become as you mature as an artist. Your daily activities and your studies will be influencing you in ways you are unaware.

As a Christian artist who dreams of praising and glorifying your Lord and Savior with your art, I want to refer you back to Lewis’ quote. Jesus’ earthly life was not one of impressive grandeur, but of humbly and faithfully walking with His Father. There are works of art that really are awesome and bring us to our knees (so-to-speak), but there are also works that whisper to us, make us laugh, make us see ordinary things in a new way. These too are of the Divine nature.

Truly Yours,
Deb Kuster

Author Bio

Dr. Deborah Kuster has been involved in the field of art education for 40 years, having taught art to all ages in schools and museums. She has recently retired from her position as Professor of Art Education at the University of Central Arkansas. Her art is made from her personally hand-woven textiles. Her work has been in numerous regional and national exhibitions and is featured in multiple issues of the national publication Art Quilting Studio and an upcoming Studio Art Quilts Associates (SAQA) Global Exhibition, Musica!. More information can be found at www.deborahkuster.com.