A journey toward spiritual connection – Drawing inspiration from art

His eyes can focus on a single movement on his computer screen for hours. After a while, the fluorescent light starts to hurt his eyes from rendering animations all day. His back begins to ache from sitting in a chair without much movement over eight hours.

But the physical pain and mental fatigue he experiences from creating art is when 23-year-old Full Sail student Darrell Williams hears the call of God most.

“When I catch my stride and I get in my zone I feel like that’s when I’m really feeling God work within me,” Williams said. “God is like I know this hurts, but keep going and I keep hearing that voice over and over again.

Millennials and Religion

Sarah Espedido / Orlando Sentinel

Darrell Williams, 23, grew-up in a family with a divided spiritual background. As a child Darrell went to a Baptist church every Sunday with his Great Grandmother in South Florida. While growing up in Chicago he attended his Aunt’s church who practiced Judaism. However, Williams hasn’t committed to any type of organized religion. Instead he practices spirituality in his own way through music and art. Saturday, November, 03, 2018. (Sarah Espedido / Orlando Sentinel)

Darrell Williams, 23, grew-up in a family with a divided spiritual background. As a child Darrell went to a Baptist church every Sunday with his Great Grandmother in South Florida. While growing up in Chicago he attended his Aunt’s church who practiced Judaism. However, Williams hasn’t committed to any type of organized religion. Instead he practices spirituality in his own way through music and art. Saturday, November, 03, 2018. (Sarah Espedido / Orlando Sentinel) (Sarah Espedido / Orlando Sentinel)

Art has always been in Williams’ DNA. His mom is a retired West African dancer and she makes jewelry while his dad is a retired break-dancer and rapper turned accomplished barber in Chicago.

Williams grew up in Chicago being exposed to a mixture of religious institutions including Muslim, Hebrew Israelite and the Baptist church. While he studied some Bible scriptures that have guided his life, Williams said he viewed the text like a collection of allegoric stories and figured there was no one particular faith that trumped another.

Millennials and Religion

Sarah Espedido / Orlando Sentinel

Darrell Williams connects with his spirituality through art that he makes as a graphic designer.

Darrell Williams connects with his spirituality through art that he makes as a graphic designer. (Sarah Espedido / Orlando Sentinel)

As an artist, Williams believes his inspiration comes from something greater in the universe. Labeling it, though, can be limiting.

He does subscribe to the idea that the sun can be a form of God that we bear witness to everyday.

“If the sun decided not to come up in the morning, we’re kind of done,” Williams said. “That’s an inevitable truth.”

A journey toward spiritual connection - younger generations increasingly cast off religious labels
The distressed denim pants, black combat boots and bomber jacket J.J. Vasquez is wearing makes him seem more ready to meet friends at East End Market’s trendy food hub than leading a church service a few miles around the corner. But at this church, 32-year-old Pastor Vasquez fits in just fine. …

Look for more of our coverage of religion and the millennial generation this week including the feature: A journey toward spiritual connection – younger generations increasingly cast off religious labels

Also look for more this week as we take a closer look at how some people’s views on religion have changed over the years at OrlandoSentinel.com/TheBridge.

Christianity remains the dominant religion in America today, but multiple studies and surveys are pointing toward shifting views among young Americans, who do not identify with a religious affiliation.

Christianity remains the dominant religion in America today, but multiple studies and surveys are pointing toward shifting views among young Americans, who do not identify with a religious affiliation.

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Shannon Green is a member of our community conversations team. You can contact her at sgreen@orlandosentinel.com or follow her on twitter at @iamshannongreen.