Portraying Evil in Art

Portraying Evil in Art

Portraying evil in art accurately can be hard. Evil is part of reality. It is a legitimate topic for all kinds of art…and yet, as creatives how do we guard our hearts? This may be the most challenging for actors and actresses depicting evil characters, but any creative taking time to paint the scene, write the dialogue, or design the environment for this evil will encounter a unique challenge.

Occupational Hazard

Portraying evil can come with a sort of occupational hazard. This is not a reason to avoid it. The grand narrative of Scripture could not be told without the reality of sin and evil. From the very first book of the bible, we see original sin, even living in an idyllic garden. They betrayed God’s trust and chose to do the one thing they were commanded not to do. And this is followed quickly by Cain killing his own brother, Abel. Evil has always been with us. To fail to portray it at some point may be a failure to be honest about life and reality, like a Pollyanna worldview.



Share your thoughts in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!

Copyright © 2022 Joel & Michelle Pelsue. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission.

2 comments on “Portraying Evil in Art”

  1. David Woodard Reply

    Dear Joel,

    I set aside time to hear your whole lesson on evil. In my novel, I found evil to be very seductive in the antagonist. It was necessary to limit the number of scenes and opportunities for the evil to appear, when it did it was usually successful. In my book, the ending is a triumph of good over evil (not exactly original), but I found the journey and writing to be hard. This is a real struggle, and I appreciate your Biblical wisdom and teaching on the subject.

    • Joel Pelsue Reply

      David, thank you for taking time to comment. It’s amazing how universal this issue is… whether it is for historical novels or young adult fantasy works. The dynamic is always there. Great to hear your experience and perspective.

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