Thursday, June 17, 2010

Muse Romance

One of the more heralded relationship models out there, so far as I can tell, is that of the artist and muse who are madly in love with one another. Their passion fuels magnificent art, one piece after another. Together, what they create far surpasses what either of them would have created independently.

But sometimes, it doesn't quite work that way. For whatever reason, once two people begin existing as romantic partners, their ability to create together sometimes drops away. I've personally experienced it with my partner- it's exceedingly rare that I pose for him, and what is probably the best piece he's drawn of me, was executed before we began dating. I've heard similar accounts from others. Some people find themselves painting what they expect their partner to look like, rather than how their partner actually appears. Others struggle to objectively evaluate what is more or less flattering when the subject is somebody who they always perceive as beautiful.

This isn't to say that the ideal doesn't exist. It certainly does, and those are the relationships that turn into the love stories of the art world. As always, I'm curious as to others' experiences with this. How does the creative process play out with your romantic partners? Do you inspire one another, and push one another to new artistic heights? Or do you find that creative energy sputters out the closer you become to a romantic partner?


  1. It depends on whether the model is used as a stand-in for other characters or as a portrait/editorial subject. Knowing a person really well can affect the ability to typecast her as characters, but would improve the ability to make really insightful representations of the real personality.

  2. I married my muse.

    When I met my wife a few years ago I was just getting back into serious photography, doing non human subjects mostly. As I started slowly getting interested in shooting people in general and nudes in particular, she started to pose for me, and some of the best work I've ever done resulted.

    We don't shoot together as often as we should - it takes a lot of concentration to keep having a fresh perception of someone who's around you at all times, but when we do we get great (at least i think so) results time after time. It helps that she's incredibly versatile as a model.

    And so on.

    I came here from MM, by the way. You do great work :)