Advice to Artists from a Novelist/Critic/Academician

Revered author C.S. Lewis penned these words: “Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.”

For those of us who are committed to being authentic and avoiding cliché, this is liberating and empowering advice.

Our calling to be creators and re-creators is guided by respect and love of the truth. The performing artist seeks artistic truth in word and music, and personal truth finds its way into the performance. Inspiration and preparation — in its various forms — allow that performer to deliver the truth through his/her own lens.

Mature artists and students alike must choose to seek truth in art and in themselves. Truth is a beautiful thing, though it may seem ugly, coarse or even repulsive. Singers must find that broad range of expressive potential in their voices — literally and artistically.

This brilliant quote is my favorite excerpt from C.S. Lewis. It surely bears further analysis, contemplation and application…


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