A Guide to Creating Better Art Using Emotional Intelligence

If you want to create better art, you need to understand and use emotional intelligence. This blog post will show you how to tap into your emotions to create art that is more meaningful and impactful.

Introduction: The Power of Emotional Intelligence in Art

Is it possible to use emotional intelligence to improve your art? Or develop your ability to recognize and comprehend both your own and other people’s emotions? Being able to control your emotions and respond effectively to the emotions of others is an essential part of developing positive relationships.

Art is an area where people tend to show a lot of emotion and is a unique form of expression. It can be a source of great joy and a source of inspiration. In addition to its inspirational nature, art can also provide an outlet for those who are struggling with their emotions. As a result, it can be both a blessing and a curse.

Trying to make people feel something is one of the most difficult things an artist can do. Making people feel something is one of the most difficult skills to learn, but also one of the most rewarding ones. Being able to understand how your emotions impact the art you create will help you be more productive as an artist.

This blog post will give you some tips on how emotional intelligence and creativity can be used to create better art. Keep reading on to learn more.

Table of Contents

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is a set of emotional and social skills that collectively establish how well we:

  • Perceive and express ourselves;
  • Develop and maintain social relationships;
  • Cope with challenges;
  • Use emotional information in an effective and meaningful way. 

The Emergence of Emotional Intelligence (EI)

Emotional intelligence (EI) has emerged as a key factor in success in recent years. EI is the ability to monitor and manage one’s own emotions as well as the emotions of others. It entails becoming aware of oneself and one’s feelings, as well as taking appropriate action when necessary.

The practical applications of EI contribute to its popularity. It can, for example, help people understand themselves and their emotions better, as well as identify and resolve interpersonal conflicts. It can also help people manage stress, leading to improved productivity and better creativity.

1930s Edward Thorndike

Edward Lee Thorndike was an American psychologist who spent nearly his entire career at Teachers College, Columbia University. His work on comparative psychology and the learning process resulted in the theory of connectionism, which helped lay the scientific foundation for educational psychology.

1940s David Wechsler

David Wechsler was a Romanian-American psychologist. He developed well-known intelligence scales, such as the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children.

1950s Abraham Maslow

Abraham Harold Maslow was an American psychologist who was best known for creating Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a theory of psychological health predicated on fulfilling innate human needs in priority, culminating in self-actualization.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

There are five levels in Maslow’s pyramid. From the bottom of the hierarchy upwards, the needs are: physiological (food and clothing), safety (job security), love and belonging needs (friendship), esteem, and self-actualization.

1970s Howard Gardner

Howard Earl Gardner is an American developmental psychologist and the John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Research Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education at Harvard University.

1985 Wayne Payne

The term Emotional Intelligence (EI) first appeared in an unpublished doctoral dissertation of an American researcher Wayne Payne titled “A study of emotion: developing emotional intelligence – self-integration; relating to fear, pain and desire (theory, structure of reality, problem-solving, contraction/expansion, tuning in/coming out/letting go)”.

1990 John Mayer & Peter Salovey

Dr. John D. Mayer & Dr. Peter Salovey are early pioneers in emotional intelligence both specializing in emotional intelligence and personality psychology.

1990s Daniel Coleman

Daniel Goleman is an author, psychologist, and science journalist. For twelve years, he wrote for The New York Times, reporting on the brain and behavioural sciences. His emotional intelligence theory outlines five components of EQ: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.

2011 Reuven Bar-On

Reuven Bar-On is an Israeli psychologist and one of the leading pioneers, theorists and researchers in emotional intelligence. Bar-On is thought to be the first to introduce the concept of an “EQ” (“Emotional Quotient”) to measure “emotional and social competence”.

Responsible for the development of the Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory (Bar-On EQI), an emotional intelligence test requires you to respond to 120 brief statements over the course of approximately 20 minutes. Your answers are scored automatically, and a summary of the results is generated and emailed to you. The summary includes an in-depth analysis of your strengths as well as areas where you can improve your performance.

EQI or equivalent tests are frequently used in conjunction with tests that identify personality types. For example, the work of Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung, as well as subsequent research that resulted in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

The Difference between EQ and IQ

What is the difference between EQ and IQ, and is emotional intelligence really intelligence?

Emotional quotient (EQ) tests assess your ability to recognise emotions in yourself and others and to use that awareness to guide your decisions. EQ is concerned with developing an understanding of, and ability to manage, emotions. EQ can be developed and improved throughout one’s life, and it can be used to predict one’s chances of success.

Whereas, intelligence quotient (IQ) tests assess a person’s ability to solve problems, use logic, and comprehend or communicate complex ideas. IQ is concerned with the ability to learn, comprehend, and apply information to skills, such as logical reasoning, word comprehension, maths, abstract and spatial thinking, and the ability to filter out irrelevant information.

Your IQ can help you get into college, but your EQ will help you manage your stress and emotions when it comes to final exams. Early emotional intelligence development can help students build self-confidence and resilience, as well as lay the groundwork for strong interpersonal relationships as children, teens, and adults.

What Is Emotion, and How Is It Distinct From Emotional Intelligence?

Emotions develop in our environment because of circumstances and knowledge. They can be defined as a natural instinctive state of mind derived from our current and previous experiences and situations. Our emotions are influenced by our individual feelings and experiences. 

Emotional intelligence is the awareness and ability to recognise, and understand feelings, moods, and emotions and use them adaptively. It entails learning how to manage our feelings and emotions and using this knowledge to guide our behaviour. Emotional intelligence influences how we act, including decision-making, problem-solving, self-management, and leadership.

The Three Key Elements of Emotions

  • Perception – The unique set of values each individual uses to interpret experiences;
  • Propensity – The psychological and emotional patterns through which we respond to stimulus;
  • Posture – The psychological postures and expressions we show to the outside world.

The Reaction Cycle and the Response Cycle

Reactions are actions taken in response to something; they are an evolutionary response designed to provide temporary comfort and relief. Reactions are survival-oriented and, to some extent, a defence mechanism; they are frequently quick, instinctive, and occur with little analysis or thought, driven by the unconscious mind’s beliefs, biases, and prejudices. That is why you appear to react ‘without thinking’ so frequently. A reaction is entirely based on the heat of the moment. When you react, you rarely think about the long-term implications of your actions.

In contrast, a response is usually more gradual. It is based on data from both the conscious and unconscious mind. When you respond, you consciously choose to take the time necessary to make a decision or to respond in the most appropriate manner, as the situation requires. With the luxury of space and time, you can consider both the desired outcome of the situation and the long-term consequences of your actions.

The Vocabulary of Emotions

It is essential to have a strong emotional vocabulary in order to create better art. This includes being able to recognise and describe various emotions in order to better understand and express them. A strong emotional vocabulary can also help you become more emotionally intelligent, which is useful for both artists and non-artists. There are numerous ways to improve your emotional vocabulary, including reading books about emotions, taking emotional intelligence classes, or simply paying more attention to your own and others’ emotions. You will be able to create better art and live a more emotionally intelligent life if you expand your emotional vocabulary.

By growing our emotional vocabulary, we can:

  • Better identify our emotions;
  • Bring a level of self-awareness to situations;
  • Have a better understanding of others.

Human emotions are defined by their energy and pleasantness and our body sends signals to pay attention to. Emotions can influence your thoughts, energy, and body language. When you experience high or low energy, your body will react differently and the nature of your thoughts change. This could come from your rational brain, which represents your ability to reason through various options, whereas your emotional brain represents your instincts, impulses, and intuition. For example, while your thinking brain is saving for retirement, your feeling brain is planning a holiday.

Dopamine and serotonin: The Regulating Hormones

Dopamine and serotonin are two important hormones that regulate emotion and influence behaviour. They are both neurotransmitters, and their functions are chemical messengers in the brain that communicate via neurons. While they have different functions, they both play a role in emotional intelligence.

Dopamine is involved in movement, coordination, motivation, pleasure and reward feelings. Serotonin is also involved in emotions associated with calm and contentment, but it also influences digestion and metabolism. Because of their roles in mood and emotion regulation, dopamine and serotonin are sometimes referred to as “happy hormones.”

By understanding how these hormones work, artists can create work that is more likely to resonate with viewers on an emotional level. Additionally, using emotional intelligence to manage one’s own emotions can help to prevent burnout and maintain a healthy creative practice.

How Does Emotional Intelligence Influence Your Life?

Emotional intelligence is a topic that has been receiving a lot of attention in recent years. Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to be aware and understand your own emotions and the emotions of others. EI has been shown to influence a variety of areas in life, including career success and satisfaction and even overall health and well-being.

How to Use Emotional Intelligence to Your Advantage

EI has been shown to have a significant impact on our relationships and overall life satisfaction by responding effectively to emotions in others, and create positive relationships.

While emotional intelligence is something that we all have to some degree, it is possible to improve your level of EI through practice and awareness.

What Role Does Emotional Intelligence Play in Art?

Emotions are central to all art forms, from painting and sculpture to music, film, theatre, and other forms. Individuals’ emotional intelligence abilities are critical in navigating the challenges of creative work. They are required to transform emotions into motivators of creative activity when creating meaningful and impactful art. Artists can create art that resonates deeply with viewers by understanding, managing, and being aware of their own emotions as well as the emotions of those around them.

How Does Art Education Develop Emotional Intelligence?

Can emotional intelligence be taught? Despite being stereotyped as “oversensitive,” most artists are emotionally wired into their surroundings. Observation skills are an important part of any type of art education and the development of the artistic process, be it at school or at third level.

Studies have found that, when compared to students who did not have access to the same experiences, students who participated in arts education gained significant benefits in some of the key areas of emotional intelligence. For example:

  • Increase in the amount of compassion for others;
  • Expressed more interest in how others felt;
  • More likely to have a desire to help others who were treated badly.

Furthermore, students who participate in art instruction often find their schoolwork to be more enjoyable, and it assists them in developing an underappreciated component of creativity known as creative and critical thinking.

The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider's web.

How Does Picasso’s Work Relate to Emotional Intelligence?

Pablo Ruiz Picasso is one of the world’s most recognisable artists, known for his unique style of painting and for pioneering the technique of Cubism.  His genius is demonstrated by the way he transformed art history through his life’s work. However, Picasso has another side that is equally fascinating: his emotional intelligence.

Picasso produced an enormous number of works during his lifetime, demonstrated an interest in a wide range of subjects, and exhibited great stylistic versatility, allowing him to work in multiple styles at the same time. The only artist who produced more work was Bob Ross, who is thought to have produced approximately 30,000 paintings, nearly three times what Picasso produced.

Creative Expression

Picasso’s relationships with women were important in the emotional and erotic aspects of his creative expression, and the tumultuous nature of these relationships has been considered vital to his artistic process. Many of these women served as muses for him, and their inclusion in his vast oeuvre earned them a place in art history.

Through cubism, the Picasso expresses his feelings for many of the woman in his paintings. One of these women was Françoise Gilot, a 21-year-old French painter and writer who met Picasso when he was 61, in a Paris restaurant. They were partners for ten years, had two children and she put her own already successful career on hold to be his muse, manager, and support system.

In 1964, a decade after her split from Picasso, Gilot wroteLife with Picasso’, a memoir of their time together. Picasso not only discouraged galleries from buying her work after their split, but also filed three lawsuits to prevent the memoir publication. In addition, 40 French intellectuals signed a manifesto demanding that the book be banned; fortunately, the challenges were unsuccessful.

The memoir is an invaluable work of art history in and of itself, revealing another side to Picasso as domineering, sexist, and borderline abusive individual.

Françoise Gilot and Pablo Picasso in Vallauris, France, circa 1952. Credit: Robert Doisneau/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

AI and Emotional Intelligence: The Future of Art, Design, and Creativity?

As artificial intelligence (AI) technology continues to develop, there is an ongoing debate about its impact on the future of art, design, and creativity.

Some people believe that AI will allow humans to create more realistic and lifelike art, as well as more empathy and synthetic human tones. Others worry that AI will lead to the creation of robotic and synthetic art that lacks the emotion and humanity of traditional art forms.

Additionally, when using AI to create art, one of the most common prompts is to use the name of an artist to create something in their style. Therefore, it could be argued that pretending to be an artist and then selling prints created by AI with the artist’s name in the title is unethical.

I see it as a tool, and it is up to each individual to decide how they want to use AI in their own art, design, and creativity. However, if you sell AI prints, I believe you should always disclose the fact.

Can AI Be Emotionally Intelligent?

The most troublesome part for AI systems is to imitate an artist’s empathy or sympathy. This is a critical factor to mimic since AI systems are not humans. In order to achieve artificial general intelligence, an AI must use empathy to make decisions.

AI and neuroscience researchers agree that current forms of AI cannot have their own emotions, but they can mimic emotions such as empathy. Synthetic speech also helps reduce the robotic tone many of these services operate with and emit emotions that are more realistic and offer better emotional intelligence benefits.

The future of Artificial intelligence (AI) involves robots that cannot only think and act like humans, but also feel empathy and emotion. This is sometimes referred to as “artificial empathy” or “robotic emotions.” While this may sound like something out of a science fiction film, there are already examples of AI that can mimic human emotions.

Artificial empathy enables brands to target individual consumer needs and can be used at scale to analyse customer behaviour for personalised insights. For example, Affectiva is a software company that builds artificial intelligence. The company claims its AI understands human emotions, cognitive states, activities and the objects people use, by analysing facial and vocal expressions.

In the future, AI with synthetic empathy could be used in a variety of ways, from helping us better understand and communicate with each other, to creating more realistic and lifelike artificial beings. However, for the time being, artificial empathy still needs human input and interpretation to work most effectively.

Emotional Intelligence

Conclusion: Apply Emotional Intelligence to Create Better Art

I hope you enjoyed my article on emotional intelligence and can see how it is sometimes better to work with your emotions rather than hide them. Through emotional intelligence training it is possible to develop skills to be more effective in social interactions. I also believe that this is a very important aspect of being a well-rounded artist and is a powerful tool to have in your arsenal.

If you are an artist, you may want to think about how to incorporate elements of this mindset into your Artist Biography and Statement.

Emotional intelligence is a skill that can improve all aspects of life, such as understanding how your emotions affect your relationships and being able to use your emotions more effectively at work. It is also known as the “soft” skill set. In other words, it is not just about being a good manager or leader, but also about how you interact with others. As such, it can be useful for just about anyone. In fact, many believe that emotional intelligence is more important than IQ when it comes to success.

Balance Your Emotions and Your Creativity

You will learn how to feel, think, and act more creatively and how to find the perfect balance between your emotions and your creativity. Additionally, by developing stronger creative relationships with your clients will hopefully result in more engaging, meaningful, and profitable art.

Maybe you have been told for a long time that you need to be more in tune with your emotions, but you are not sure how. You get frustrated when you feel like you cannot express yourself. Demonstrate your emotional intelligence by letting me help you harness your emotions and create art that is meaningful and fulfilling.

Emotional intelligence is an integral part of your life that you cannot afford to overlook.

If you think a friend, family member, or business associate might be interested in this article, please feel free to share and subscribe.

Thank you for reading.


Sea Spray

Relax and experience a sense of calm.

Latest Artwork

Scroll to Top