So yesterday I was up all night working on a sketch related to this whole bokoharam issue.
After weeks of sad depressing news, I was hoping that the sketch would help make people smile and perhaps even make them laugh. So I drew it all up and finished at about 2:00 am. I posted it on instagram, twitter, pinterest, facebook and my site and
jumped walked into bed.
When I woke up, it had had already 100+ likes on instagram. Cool I thought, but then …
I started reading some comments, and then I saw the words: stereotypical, ethnical, biased and other negative words kept on rolling. I mean it was not like everything was negative, in fact only about 103% was negative, but it was consistent enough to make me look at the sketch twice. On the second look and now with a clearer head and much needed sleep, I was able to see how what I sketched could be misinterpreted and misunderstood. So I
deleted altered it …
I realized that sometimes an artist/writer can be misinterpreted in many ways. But how we choose to respond is what is critical … we can ignore the misinterpretations or try and understand them and make changes. Now I am not saying you should listen to every single person that does not like what you have created, because trust me after writing for over 9 years, you are sure to run into a steady dose of people not liking or understanding your shit. And if you responded to everyone one you will go crazy.
What I am saying is that you as an artist (and we all are artists) should define your very own personal criteria for altering your work based on outside comments. It could be quantity, it could quality and a host of other factors. For me personally I fully saw the validity in the claims and thus made the decision to alter it …here’s hoping you like the altered sketch and that it still makes you smile/think as much as the first one.
Okechukwu Ofili is an author, speaker, and blogger and a The Trent Elite Voice. Follow him on twitter, Facebook or subscribe to his blog for more honest talk and as @ofilispeaks on instagram for more sketches! To bring Ofili to your school or organization as a speaker simply go here. His third book How Intelligence Kills was published in December 2013, order it at http://bit.ly/intelligencekills.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.