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Creative Gist: Do You Create Hidden Meanings in Your Works?

One of the hallmarks of brilliant artists or creative persons is the ability to keep people talking about their works long after their death. From Da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’, which is rumoured to have been painted in a way that makes her eyes change every time you look at it, to FedEx logo, which has a hidden arrow symbolising the company’s speedy delivery culture, creative people have always created pieces with hidden meanings.  

On Creative Gist today, different creatives share when and why they create hidden meanings in their works.

Naomi Ibharebhor

Medical Student and Blogger

Yes, I create hidden meanings in my works. In my writing, be it a poem, a joke or an essay, anything really, even comments. I feel like I leave behind little bits of myself, you know, like a signature. So yes, there are always hidden messages, a line between the lines — sentences with double meanings. Reading my work is like peering into my soul; you get to know me a little more with everything you see and read.
My passion shows through everything, but not everyone sees it; not everyone can understand. So, in the end, no matter how open my work is, no matter how seemingly clear the picture I'm trying to paint is, there will always be something more profound for someone who cares enough to decipher.
A message about what I have lived through and experienced: Perhaps those are the easiest to write about when you have made peace with it. For example, a tale about abuse: people don't appreciate openness and vulnerability anymore. So yes, I hide meanings in my work.

Payper Corleone

Artiste (Rapper)

Yes, yes, that’s the beauty of it. It’s then left for my listeners to make of it however they want to. I have had people giving their own interpretation of lyrics or songs that I wrote, and funnily, some of them actually made sense.
But asides from being witty with the punchlines, I tend to always try to show my sincere feelings in my music but not in an open or vulnerable manner.

Adegboye Michael

Artist and Graphics Designer

Yes, I create hidden meanings in my work sometimes. Sometimes, creative thinking goes beyond what we imagine. Some come freely as I create, but sometimes it takes the audience with deeper thinking to notice something hidden, if you get what I mean.
But sometimes, people need to be told the meaning of a creation before they understand what you are actually trying to achieve or what you pictured while creating that masterpiece.

Tobi Ogunrinde

Multidisciplinary Designer and Artist

Yes, I sometimes create hidden meanings in my work. Most often, I do it for fun and to see if other people would notice. Other times I do it because I'm trying to leave cues to explain my work. For example, my iridescent earrings to explain Afrofuturism in my work.



The fun part of my art is that it is comprehensive yet simple. You can derive denotative or connotative meanings to almost every punchline, and that's how I know I’m on track.


Creatives like Naomi and Payper create hidden meanings in their works to both conceal and reveal life-altering experiences without being completely vulnerable. As someone with a good eye for remarkable pieces, do you appreciate creative works  with hidden meanings more than ones with obvious messages?

As a creative, have you mastered the art of hiding your deeper feelings in plain sight? Does your audience often give different interpretations of your work? How has this enhanced your credibility and popularity? Tell us about it in the comments!

PS. If you would like to contribute as a respondent in the future episodes of the Creative Gist, send us an email to [email protected] or reach us via WhatsApp +2348088809311

Deborah Alfred

Deborah Alfred is a content writer, UX writer, and copywriter. A published author, she is the founder and community leader of WriterPreneurs' World, a writing community of over 2000 people. She employs simple yet effective writing and storytelling techniques that draw and capture her audience. Her moniker, Insightful Parrot, is a testament to her ability to see minute details that are usually oblivious to others and can improve any situation.

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