Should creativity be influenced by one’s faith?
By Josephine Amoako
It’s a huge blessing to be a creative. Unlike logic, there are no rules set in stone in the world of creativity. The ability to outperform and excel within the stipulated rules of that space is what is expected of any talented or creative person.
Superstars like Messi, Ronaldo, LeBron and Curry would not be celebrated for their prowess in their games only because they display much skill, ut because they do so within the confines of the game. They wouldn’t be admired worldwide if they were notoriously breaking the rules every chance they got.
For creatives, anything and everything can serve as a muse. For painters, writers and song writers among other groups, there are bounds to how much they can express themselves and explore their creative fields.
And it is in this vast space to explore one’s creativity that begs the question: should creativity be influenced by religion or some sort of moral compass?
I’ve across some pieces that I personally found ‘outrageous’ yet observed by many others as a ‘great work of art’. There are some music videos I can’t watch because the message being conveyed makes me cringe. There are some songs with amazing compositions, but I can’t bear to listen to because of the lyrics. After much reflection, I noticed the underlying factor in these scenarios: my faith.
I couldn’t appreciate certain creative works because the message conflicted with what I believe in. But I have to admit to myself that because I don’t appreciate the essence, doesn’t diminish the fact that it is someone’s creative work. The fact I would find the lyrics of a song profane and/or the music video ‘dark’ doesn’t take away the point that the artiste can really sing.
The question is, should our creative works be confined to our moral values? Or we should go all out regardless of what our moral codes entail. When it comes to television and motion pictures, I’m totally open-minded. As a writer, I believe the screenwriter and director have a story to tell, regardless of the language and nude scenes shot. As long as I find the plot catchy, I’m all in. If I find it lame, nothing done is good enough for me.
As creatives, all we intend to do is to tell stories of life whether fictitious or true. And for one, it is outrageously exaggerated for effect for another watcher, that’s his or reality. Thus, if you are tempted to tone down on the intensity, you might be watering down one’s experience that he is dealing with at the moment.
I’ve had to reconsider how I write certain scenes in my stories because I know how people who know me personally would make a big fuss about it and tease me unceasingly. I had to pray about it and commit the whole process into God’s hands, asking Him to let me write it in the best way for the story to be told and ignore what anyone says. And so far, so good. If God approves, who cares about what someone says?
I feel creatives take on a similar approach in dealing with critics. They know what they are capable of and the message they want to convey. If you’re not comfortable with it, it’s cool. One can’t please everybody anyway. Just find your preference and enjoy it.
When I first started writing, there was no focus per say. For me, the wilder the better. I was young, having fun exploring this amazing talent. But as I grew, I wanted my writings to have a purpose, so I asked God to step in. For me, my faith influences my creativity to an extent – depending on what I want to explore and convey.
What do you think? Kindly share your thoughts and thanks for reading.
© Josephine Amoako 2018