Love is a creative force, maybe more so than anything else. Get your mind out of the gutter for a second, though – we’re talking about love, not sex. That passionate and terribly wonderful affliction that comes to every person at one point or another is good for more than just weepy declarations and walking on clouds – it’s an honest, efficient method of improving your creativity and making you a better artist.
It’d be easy to point towards the mountains of love poetry out there, there is great examples of love inspiring creativity, as well as love smothering the artistic spirit. Not every expression of love is going to be Shakespeare – in fact, most aspires to “roses are red…” levels of insights.
Love doesn’t have to be the focus of a creative work for it to inspire. It just has to exist.Letting that sink in, love exists, and that is enough.
Artists who are in love – or in love with the idea of love – tend to have a fundamental shift in their thinking. They broaden their perspectives and look to the future. Any creative who’s ever scrounged for food, eyes on the pennies, hoping to make a sale, knows how heavy it is to lift you gaze over the horizon. Yet in an instant, love removes you from your daily cares and encourages you to look for more, look further, and see deeper.
Love vs. Sex
Dutch researchers has written an that article examines the relations between romantic love and creativity and between sexual desire and analytic thought. Their research suggests that when in love, people focus on a long-term perspective, which enhances holistic thinking and thereby creative thought, whereas when experiencing sexual encounters, they focus on the present and on concrete details enhancing analytic thinking.
If love is the abstract, sex is the analytic. While the latter might have quite a bit of appeal, it’s the former that really starts the creative mind churning. When your mind is opened to the world of romance and adoration, the subconscious connections in your brain start to bubble up. Love is living in a fantasy world – and living in it gives you access to other parts of your imagination at the same time.
Don’t go out there and declare your undying love for the first person you meet – that’s how you get a restraining order. Do, keep your mind and heart open to love and passion. That’s how you make the real artistic connections – and how you prepare yourself to let your humanity inform your art.
Scientific Sources Used in This Article
Why Love Has Wings and Sex Has Not: How Reminders of Love and Sex Influence Creative and Analytic Thinking
This article suggests that when in love, people typically focus on a long-term perspective, which should enhance holistic thinking and thereby creative thought, whereas when experiencing sexual encounters, they focus on the present and on concrete details enhancing analytic thinking. Because people automatically activate these processing styles when in love or when they experience sex, subtle or even unconscious reminders of love versus sex should suffice to change processing modes.
Read more at PubMed
On falling in love and creativity
By: Chessick RD
This paper discusses the ego functioning and self psychological aspects of falling in love and passionate love. These universal and extraordinary phenomena are conceptualized as representing the activity of the creative imagination in solving problems related to coping with intense narcissistic and libidinal pressures. The work of other authors explores the creative surge that can be generated by falling in love both in and out of the transference.
Read more at PubMed
Peacocks, Picasso, and parental investment: The effects of romantic motives on creativity
Four experiments explored the effects of mating motivation on creativity. Even without other incentives to be creative, romantic motives enhanced creativity. For men, any cue designed to activate a short-term or a long-term mating goal increased creative displays; however, women displayed more creativity only when primed to attract a high-quality long-term mate. These creative boosts were unrelated to increased effort on creative tasks or to changes in mood or arousal.
Read more at PubMed