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For the musician with self-esteem issues

0 Robert Levine

This study is about visual artists, but I think it should apply to us as well:

According to some scientists, even human beings are just trying to make it in the animal kingdom, and everything we do can be traced back to basic survival. Man hunt, man fight, man eat, man… paint? In 2000,Geoffrey Miller suggested that man’s creative pursuits were not survival mechanisms but courtship mechanisms, aimed to maximize mating possibilities. In other words, our minds operate like peacocks’ tails. The recent study, Status and Mating Success Amongst Visual Artists, examines artists and their mating habits, asking whether or not being a more successful artist will make you more successful in bed.

Helen Clegg, Daniel Nettle and Dorothy Miell conducted a survey for the journal ‘Frontiers in Psychology’, using a sample of 236 artists, 85 men and 151 women, from 18 to 78 years old. They gauged these artists’ success through a variety of factors including self-reported artistic success, time spent on art, the number of days artists have displayed their work over the past 5 years, minimum cost of art, maximum cost of art, percentage of income from art, importance of art in life, importance of public recognition, and importance of recognition from other artists…

To make a long story short(er), males displayed a correlation between making sweet art and making sweet love. Females, meanwhile, showed no correlation. Maybe humans are more like peacocks than we thought…

This reminded me of a scene in one of my favorite movies, the Scottish coming-of-age comedy Gregory’s Girl:

Not that any orchestra I’ve played in has been like that, of course.

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