For about a half of year I didn't watch one movie. My logic behind that was; interaction with people, without outside forms of entertainment, never compare to movies. For example, the most I have ever laughed wasn't from a movie but from hanging out with friends. In fact the less outside forms of entertainment my friends have, the more entertained I am at our attempts of entertaining ourselves.
For my movies, I wanted to draw my inspiration from life experiences and conversations amongst friends, not from other movies. I talked to a stranger, who soon became a friend, and he said, "make sure you don't get legalistic with that" and he was right to say that.
I watched a movie with friends after that period. The movie was Evan Almighty. I cried, I am not ashamed to say that, I think it was because movies were so rare to me, it's been so long. I then knew that all movies/art have a good or bad impact, even a sequel to a family comedy. I started seeing how a lot of us watch movies, listen to music or read books as not a form of inspiration and thought but as a form of escape. To escape from our lives, our pain, our trials and our jobs.
A doctor once told me that pain is there to tell you something is wrong. Maybe that applies to our emotional and spiritual pain too? Leprosy actually isn't a skin disease, it's a disease of the nerves. The skin is affected because when a leper gets cut, there is no pain to alert them. The cuts and sores get infected and eventually there skin is damaged.
If we have pain and watch movies and television to distract us, we can eventually grow numb if we haven't already. Is there pain in our life that was pushed aside a while back or dealt with? I now try to watch movies and listen to music intentionally. Maybe there is nothing wrong with turning off your stereo, listening to your car engine and thoughts.
I watched a movie this weekend with a good friend. That night I realized that art isn't something to be afraid of. It's powerful and addicting, but like everything else, it needs boundaries and respect. When I watched that movie I saw honesty, joy and pain. I realized then that art is the collection of an artists joys and pains.
I heard the Bible verse, "there is nothing new under the sun" and I thought, well obviously King Solomon hasn't seen an iphone. But he was right, there is nothing new under the sun. All the ingredients and materials to make an iphone have been around before Jonah and the fish. The difference is, the combination of those materials. The recipe. Currently I am using all the same letters in the English language that Abraham Lincoln used for his speeches. I am just arranging them in different ways than he did [with spelling and grammatical errors too].
It's been said that art is the expression of oneself. If that is the case, why are artists striving so hard to be original? We all have had different experiences, joys, lessons, pains that have made us, if we only are honest we will naturally be original.
There has always been the big argument of 'Christian music' and bands saying 'we are a band of Christians not a Christian band', then fans saying 'you need to say Jesus, x number of times in your songs'. Then there are the bands that follow that formula but for some reason you can tell they aren't giving it their own recipe. I believe that whatever art we focus on, whether it be film, photography, music, comedy, speech, drawing even just social interaction. Ourselves will come out, what drives us and provokes us will come out. If we are truly believers of Jesus, and God's Kingdom of Love, that will come out of our everything.
If you want to be a true artist that inspires people to think and challenge their faith, just challenge your own, and when you make honest art, that will come out. What we spend/waste our time on, what our thoughts are occupied with will come out. Whether it be specifically or just negative and positive things that come out.
Art is a collection or recipe of the things we enjoy. Which makes me think of creation being God's art. We can look at His art and notice that he cares a great deal for us and the rest of His creation. He gives the worms plenty of dirt to slide their slimy bellies through, He gives the birds, trees and the trees, birds. The squirrels get nuts and always have a place to store them, the fish not only have water to swim and play, but gils to do that successfully. The wind has it's dead leaves to play with and bees have theirs flowers. God makes us who we are then allows us to be that. But it's when we walked away from Him that we loose that. A true artist allows you to see the things that make him tick, make him smile and even make him sad. I pray that as my life continues I can see God's art and know Him more. I can see how He smiles upon us and how He misses us when we leave Him.