Logic v. Emotion

Fewer debates have had as long a history as logic v. emotion.  Sometimes it’s been viewed as a man v. woman, or civilization v. barbarian debate, but it’s been there festering in the background.  “How could this be applied to the craft world?” you ask.  Good question.

Spock, Paradigm of Logic
Spock, Paradigm of Logic

Let’s start with the easy side to correlate to art – emotion.  Artists are often equated with passion, intuition, and even the highs and lows associated with manic depression.  To many people, artists can seem unfocused, undisciplined, or even “airy fairy.”  (we know better though don’t we?!)  Sometimes we’re seen as being (at least somewhat) out of control.  Being emotional also means that artists can create things that resonate deeply with other people.  We seem to understand how others are feeling and then have the ability to translate that through our chosen medium.  Emotions help us find a more personal significance in our work.

That doesn’t mean that an artist can’t be a logical being.  Logic helps us plan, to plot things out through completion.  It’s what makes us measure twice and cut once.  When dealing with logic, everything has a purpose, a reason behind why it’s done.  Logic tells me that if I do this with the hammer, then the metal will move like this.  (Conversely, emotion would say “just go with the flow.  Hit the metal and it will move where it wants to go.”)  This doesn’t mean that being logical keeps you stagnant.  Logic is the love child of math and philosophy.  It wants to find the answer, to follow an idea to its ultimate conclusion.  This is an exploration.  This is working in a series, experimenting, finding a better way to do things.

Ultimately, I don’t think that logic and emotion are that different from each other.  We just have to find a balance between the two that works best for ourselves.  We need to be free and passionate, but also work within some sort of structure (even if it’s self-imposed) to help us focus and keep improving.

One thought on “Logic v. Emotion

  1. Logic and emotion are two ends of the spectrum that had placed me in the middle of a tug-of-war. In the end of that war, I realized neither one had to win, that neither one had to take power of me, control me. In the end, I saw that it was logical to let what was emotionally moving motivate me in my art. So instead of a tug of war, I gained the opportunity to attain beautiful symmetry.


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