Aunty, people criticize me for my graffiti art!
Dear Aunt Sevvy, I’m a professional artist and a letterer. I have been doing graffiti legally for six years. I think of it as a way to witness. But I still have people telling me that it’s the wrong medium to share God through. What should I do?
Public Art for Jesus
Dear Public Art,
I’m sure you understand why many people, especially older people, associate graffiti with vandalism and gang activity. They don’t realize that it has transcended its origins to become a new art form of its own, a means for artists to express themselves, share information, show off their talents, and even protest injustice.
You said that your graffiti is legal. I’m assuming that means you are seeking permission and doing public art in approved spaces, not defacing property—which means you aren’t breaking any laws. But it’s likely that people don’t understand that.
You might try to explain what you’re doing. Talk to your pastor and ask if you can do a short mission spotlight-stye presentation. Share some of the history of graffiti, share your love of art and of Jesus, tell how you are reaching people who would otherwise not be reached by conventional methods. You might find that by educating them a little, you’ll change some hearts.
Or, you could just ignore your detractors. Accept that they don’t understand your vision and intentions, and continue joyfully sharing your love of Jesus in your own way. No artist ever has everyone’s approval. But as Taylor Swift would say, shake it off. You know what you’re doing is legal, artistic and has good intentions. Don’t let them discourage you.
You can write to Aunt Sevvy at DearAuntSevvy@gmail.com. Please keep questions or comments short. What you send us at this address won’t necessarily be, but could be, published—always without real names. Aunt Sevvy writes her own column, and her opinions are not necessarily those of Adventist Today’s editors.