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Artists Are Attractive

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Kishibe Rohan? More like Kishibae Rohan, am I right?

Characters often assume that artists—of any kind—have higher levels of compassion/insight/patience than the "average Joe". By this logic, they will make good spouses. (That a teenybopper writing smutty fanfiction is just as much an artist as Johann Sebastian Bach was will rarely be mentioned.) Bonus points if the artist in question seems tortured or vulnerable. Often, part of a character's attraction to an artist comes from the belief—true or false—that art is a window into the depths of the soul. The artist in question may also be something of a rebel, so this trope can often overlap with All Girls Want Bad Boys. Sometimes, it's not just artistic talent but also eccentricities that may come with said talent that make a character appealing. A male artist may be said to be In Touch with His Feminine Side, especially fine artists and poets, but not always.


On the flip side, a character might try to learn to play an instrument or attempt to appear more creative or artistically talented in order to woo a potential mate. Alternatively, they may lament that they can't compete with someone who can play guitar, or wonder why everyone seems to swoon over that poet over there. Characters may end up competing, either one on one (such as a Dance Off) or by entering a formal competition (like a Battle of the Bands), in order to win the heart of a love interest. If both characters are artists, they may get closer through Intimate Artistry. Specific subtropes are Elegant Classical Musician, Love at First Note, Dance of Romance, Girls Like Musicians, and the more gourmet examples of Through His Stomach. Subtrope of Inherently Attractive Profession.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Beauty Pop, haircutting is such Serious Business that Narumi tries to reconcile with Kiri, a girl he hates, just because he saw how incredibly skilled she was at it. Several volumes of Slap-Slap-Kiss later, they're married.

    Comic Books 
  • Johnny the Homicidal Maniac mocks this trope. Tess outright admits that she puts up with her boyfriend because he's in a band, though whether this is because she actually likes musicians or because she wants to look cool is unclear.
  • In Young Inhumans, San is an Inhuman with a diminutive frame, a dog-like face, and tentacle-like hair. Nobody would call his appearance attractive, but his powers allow him to create small organic sculptures, and everyone seems to like those. It even earns him a human girlfriend.

    Film - Animation 
  • In Sleeping Beauty, the second magical blessing bestowed upon the infant Princess Aurora is "the gift of song," ensuring that her musical talent would be one of the things which draws people to her. Sure enough, sixteen years later, her extraordinary singing in the forest is the first thing which catches the attention of Prince Philip. In a short montage of singing and dancing, they fall in love. (Good thing they're already engaged.)
  • For the penguins of Happy Feet, this trope is a cultural norm. Every penguin has a personal, instinctive 'heartsong', and they select mates based on which heartsongs meld the best. That said, how well someone's heartsong is expressed also matters; talented singers like Gloria attract many suitors regardless of how dissimilar their songs are to hers, and croaky-voiced Mumble is spurned by everyone because he has a heartdance. Naturally, in the finale of the movie, he shows everyone that dancing can be beautiful too.
  • In How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Toothless' attempt to appeal to a lady dragon with conventional art (i.e, drawing a picture of her in the sand) doesn't work, because she is wild and has no appreciation of human foibles. However, the ingenious acrobatics he displays during a Flight of Romance, a more typically draconic activity, impresses her.
  • In Alpha and Omega, the wolf protagonists treat howling as roughly equivalent to sex. Being bad at it is embarrassing and a serious hindrance to any romantic relationship. On the other hand, Lilly bonds with Garth by teaching him how to howl better- efforts that have borne fruit by the end of the movie.
  • In Balto, the titular character is a stray from the wrong side of the tracks, unable to match the luxury that Jenna is used to. So for their first date, he shows her a part of the town she's never seen before; an underground crevice holding several shards of colored glass, which reflect a panorama of rainbow light when a lantern is shone on them. Jenna is awed and touched that he was able to show her "the Northern Lights", even when there was no aurora in the sky.

    Film - Live Action 
  • In 10 Things I Hate About You, Patrick goes into the fake-boyfriend scheme expecting that Kat (the girl he's deceiving) will have bad taste in music. His realization that she does not is one of many scenes where he begins to fall in love with her for real. His Apology Gift to her is a specific guitar she's wanted for some time. It proves his sincerity not because of its financial value (though that is also substantial) but because it shows he was listening to her and cared about her desires.
  • In Not Another Teen Movie, according to narrative tradition, Jake begins to see Janey as more than an object of derision when she shows him her emotional, passionately crafted stick figure paintings.
  • In Ivan Vasilievich Changes Profession, when Zina tells Shurik she's leaving him for Yakin, her director, she says, dreamy-eyed: "Yakin... Yakin is talented"! When she later quarrels with Yakin, her ultimate insult towards him is "And you are a mediocrity!"
  • In Titanic (1997), Rose spices up her sex life with Jack by asking him to draw her in the nude. The tenderness and detail of his sketch contrasts with the coldness of Rose's Yandere fiancé, who only appreciates art- and Rose herself- as a financial asset.

  • Earth's Children:
    • Ranec is known for being one of the most skilled carvers in the Lion Camp and is very popular with women; his artistry highlights his sensitive and attentive personality. He carves a beautiful figurine showing a woman transforming into a bird for Ayla when they get engaged. However, although she's attracted to him Ayla's true love is Jondalar and when she breaks up with him she returns the carving, feeling it isn't right for her to keep it.
    • Jondalar himself has some skill in carving, an offshoot of his main skill as a flint-knapper. Ayla is fascinated by this, as the people who raised don't really create visual art and the idea of making or adding to things purely for decoration hadn't occurred to her. Jondalar is inspired to carve a Mother figurine in Ayla's likeness out of love for her (even though these figurines don't usually have faces); Ayla is deeply touched and cherishes the figurine. In a more practical sense, he also shows her how to make better spearheads, for which she's very grateful.
  • In Gone with the Wind, although Scarlet detests Rhett in the opening chapters, she is willing to concede that he dances "divinely".
  • In the romance novel Tropical Dragon Diver, Bastian (an unusually pacifist dragon shifter) is surprised and gratified when his girlfriend recognizes the value of his hoard, that being archaeological and artistically arranged. Other dragons just pile up every financially valuable possession they have and call it a day.
  • In The Tale of Genji, a sufficiently beautiful poem, written by a woman he hasn't even met yet, is almost enough to sway the protagonist to infidelity. This is an exaggeration of how important calligraphy was in the Heian era...but not a big one.
    Matthew Gerber: Such an aesthetically pleasing exchange brings Genji’s mind to the capital, and his waiting wife Lady Murasaki, and he feels with the pain of guilt that he should be so attracted to Lady Akashi. Pleased by her poetry, he wishes to write her more often, but is stopped only by the recognition that it would be unbecoming of him. In this case, a woman’s exceptional poetic skill is romantically effective at winning Genji’s affection, even though he has not yet even met her in person.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In The Book of Heortling Mythology, Orlanth and Emperor Yelm decided to Compete for the Maiden's Hand through a test of music. Orlanth played on the bagpipes, a new and ungraceful instrument that disgusted the court's snooty judges, and lost. However, he made the "maiden" (Ernalda) and many of Yelm's servants laugh, which won them to his side later on.

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons: In the episode "A Star Is Burns", this trope is parodied. An indie film connoisseur is brought to tears by the "soul of a poet" revealed in Barney Gumble's autobiopic, yet recoils in disgust from the actual man. In a later scene, Barney's flowery, self-conscious monologue on the horrors of alcoholism does nothing to stop him from drowning himself in booze despite promising to go sober after winning a film contest - because after his prize is revealed, a lifetime supply of Duff beer, he has it hooked directly to his veins.
  • In Family Guy, Brian tries to exploit this trope, boasting about his literary ambitions to make himself seem hip. However, as anyone who's been around him for longer than 5 minutes realizes, he cares only about his image, not about putting actual effort into writing. This is why he's never published anything.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In "Love That Squid", Squidward gets too nervous to speak to a lady customer, so Spongebob has to do the talking in order to convince her to go on a date with him. When she's unsure, Spongebob lists all of Squidward's good personality traits along with his hobbies, including his ability to play the clarinet and paint, to make him sound appealing. Given her love for the arts, it works and she agrees to the date.
  • The Ice King attempts to invoke this trope, particularly in the episode I Remember You. It doesn't work.
  • In Twelve Forever, main character Reggie develops a crush on Connelly after seeing her working on her film. Later Gwen comments on how seeing Todd with a guitar seems right.
  • In Miraculous Ladybug, although Marinette is already taken, she recognizes and appreciates the effort Nathaniel/Evillustrator put into creating their date night. One season later, Nathaniel falls in love with Marc, another artist, when the two collaborate on a comic book together.

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