“To love at all is to be vulnerable.”
C. S. Lewis
As an artist, I always struggle between potraying and capturing love while trying to understand it on a personal level. But those two aspects are inexplicably intertwined. The more I know how to capture it, the more I understand. The more I understand, the more I am able to put it into pictures.
Nowadays, artists somehow flee from portraying love as an emotion on screen, because it is considered cheesy and frowned upon. Well, true it is, I also detest those cheesy moments where you are not moved but rather amused. But why is it? Because we fail to relate to those moments.
For years, love was portrayed in an unrealistic way, and deceived our expectations. But if we would portay it as what it is, we would create a deeper level of an artwork that is able to transcent into the human heart and touch lives. Here is what I found out.
1. Love cannot be put into words
The experience of loving has to be a picture – always, even if you write about it. Do not try to explain it or talk it down. It will always be superficial. It has to be an image rather then an explanation:
The ocean, wild and unpredictable. The untamed wind, the caressing sunrise.
I always choose outside pictures representing the inside.
For life, it means: rather then analyzing and thinking about it, experience it, soak it in, and live in it like mounting a boat and enjoying the journey. We tend to overthink, but it is always an experience.
2. Love is multilayered, wild and contradictory
Love makes no sense. Never try to simplify it in your artwork. Choose aspects that are unexpected: locations and music that seemingly do not fit together for example. Introduce movement, work with light in unexpected ways and let nature work for you. Sun, winds, anything that is wild and different will help.
For life, it means: Live out the unexpected. Make it an adventure by killing routine and trying to outiwt your partner every day. We are often struck in expectations that frustrate. Break them by acting differently today.
3. Love is personal
It’s always about people and portraying their individual relationship, be it a real couple or a fictional one. Every relationship is different, every person in it even more so. Try to find the essence and always make it personal. Give space for development.
Also, work with different forms of love, not only romantic couples. How deep a father’s love for his child can be! How tender a mother’s love for her daughter, or vice versa. Friends, siblings. Explore everything.
For life, it means: Do not compare. There is only one individual way for you, so while still learning from the experiences of others, find your own ways.
4. Love is the free choice to endure pain
“Why love if loosing hurts so much? We love to know that we are not alone.” – C. S. Lewis
Never portay love as a “happily-ever-after”. Because be honest now – has it ever been this way in your life? There are always those joyful moments, but there is also pain. We cannot escape it. Your work should reflect this.
To love, there is always a bittersweet aftertaste.
Still, do me a favour, do not make it dramatic either – umhumanly painful, tragic, tears and sobbing. Remeber: we make this decision freely, we choose to endure the pain, because it is still worth it. This fine balance is something you should always consider in your artwork.
For life, it means: Do not be surprised by pain. Do not let it throw you off track. You knew it was coming either way. Take it, because the it is worth the fight.
How was your experience portraying love in your artwork? Does it collide with life? Let me know in the comments section below.