Part I Sexy Female Artists Reflect on Notions of the "Sexy Artist"

By Monica Adrian

I've been all over in search of attractive, talented female artists who have likely received from time to time compliments such as:

"I think it's sexy you're an artist"
"The fact that you're an artist makes me more attracted to you"

I consider these statements to be extremely vague and confusing. They could mean so many things! That's why I've turned to these lovely ladies to ask them what they think. I had them answer the following questions:

Does being an artist make you feel sexy? Or if someone is an artist does that make them sexier?

Do you believe people paint artists as higher sexualized beings? Why do you think this is or is not?


Mia Tavonatti

Artist of Many Trades

Santa Ana, CA - United States

"I think the fact that I have committed my life to the study and pursuit of art has definitely added to my confidence and personal satisfaction, and I think that is what comes off most as being sexy. In my experience, when people discover I am a full time artist, they are intrigued and interested, but it isn't until they discover how serious I am and how talented they think I am, or am not, that they consider me more or less attractive. Being an artist can be a turn off too, because we have a reputation with the general public of being flakes, dramatic, emotional, intense or all of the above. I am not personally attracted to other artists because I think there is only enough room for one of us in the house :)
Having said all this, I would estimate that most men who have met me, have become more attracted once they looked into my work and learned more about me and my career. It doesn't hurt that I paint myself semi-nude, wrapped with water :)" -Mia

The Power of Words Project

Svelata Foundation

Mia Tavonatti Productions, Inc.

Natasha Kudashkina

Artist | Body Painter | Videographer

Toronto, ON - Canada

The Emerald Empress

 Does being an artist make you feel sexy? - Yes
Or if someone is an artist does that make them sexier in your eyes? - Yes
Do you believe people paint artists as higher sexualized beings? - Sometimes

"I think this depends on your personal vision/perspective on arts and artists.
When I think of an artist I automatically imagine a tender soul, maybe a deep thinker, someone who is very visual and someone who has freedom of expression through arts. Artists are daring, confident and they usually don't care what other people think - so if you find those things attractive and sexy, then you 'paint artists as higher sexualized beings'.
It also would a lot depend on the art that the artist does. For example, I don't find landscapes sexy; I find them peaceful.
On the contrary, body painting is an art form and is very and almost over sexualized.
A lot to say on this subject, but all of it mostly connects back to what art you are looking at, making/creating.  
Personally I find brush strokes to be sexy, but if no one is watching me paint, they would never know."

Shayla Tansey


Calgary, AB - Canada


"Yes, being an artist makes me feel sexy. The reason behind this is that I find when creating art, I feel a sense of confidence and empowerment. Everyone knows confidence is sexy! It takes confidence to express myself through my art, and I'm aware of this. Feeling sexy to me also comes along with freedom and not being afraid to take the challenge of a new medium or subject and make it my own. Not having anyone tell me what to do, or how to do it, and knowing that in the end my hard work will pay off is very sexy to me indeed.

I do find other artists sexy! We are all programmed to be attracted to others with similar qualities so that our genes can be passed on. It's no coincidence that I like men with dark features that are artistic and love animals! It's also very sexy to me when a guy can sing or play an instrument and obviously many women feel the same, hence why there's so many groupies. These artistic talents definitely give a guy an edge when it comes to catching my eye, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't give a non-artist a shot if I felt we had things in common beyond art. He would still need to be supportive of my career and at least be interested in what I do, though!

I believe people do tend to paint artists as higher sexualized beings. Maybe this is because of the prominence of nudity in the art world, or maybe they've just seen 'Titanic' one too many times. Artists see things in a different way and most don't seem to be afraid to express themselves. A lot of art is also inspired by nature, and it just so happens that sex and nudity are part of it. Look at Georgia O'Keeffe's work! Vaginas everywhere!! Or are they just flowers? I'll never really know. Either way, every porno, nude painting, or sexy photo shoot that's done has an artist's name attached to it so it's really not that surprising that artists are associated with sex.
" -Shayla

Anna Yanova-Cattoor

Singer | Songwriter | Painter | Earth Lover

Los Angeles, CA - United States

                                                                                                               Colorful Brains

"To me, being an artist has nothing to do with sex or feeling sexy. It's about self-expression. It definitely empowers me, because I feel freedom when I express myself.
Every individual is different. I've been in the art society for a long time now. I mainly communicate with artists and from my observation, we don't think of each other as sexual objects. However, this might be just in my group of friends. With that said, I do believe that there is some kind of a worship towards people with power, and artists can be seen in that way as well." -Anna

Dianne Lynn Benanti

Large Scale Contemporary Artist | Oil Painter

La Quinta, CA - United States

I think at any age the hype is "sexual"  and we all attempt to sell ourselves in that light.... especially while we are young...
I think being an artist in any medium will make you feel passionate about who you are and what you wish to create... When you are painting a visual piece of artwork, if done correctly, you pass on the emotions of what the artist is conveying...most people who appreciate art will be drawn in by that~

I personally do not think that one needs to look "sexy" in order to pull  that off. I'm sure we can also agree that confidence in what we do and in who we are is very alluring to most...

Young Hollywood
 Let’s take Picasso for instance- I'm sure during his life span, he had countless women at his beck and call...Now the question is, would they still be there if he was not a brilliant painter?

It becomes shallow when one only concentrates on the exterior... If you define who you are by how good you look, it’s a short lived experience....It’s also a strange dichotomy because I think we are all wired in one way to judge first by beauty alone....

The bright side to being an artist is that we are able to "create" our journeys on to canvas! :) This I believe surpasses the notion for "sexualized beings"...
It simply creates a state of "being" and that alone trumps all other emotions...

Mary Manning

Artist | Illustrator

Norman, OK - United States

                                                                                                  The Little Mermaid

"I'm not sure if it makes me feel any sexier, and I'm not sure if another artist seems any sexier in my eyes simply because they're an artist, but I do think they are very different.  Artists are a difficult breed sometimes, because they're more sensitive. That's all ;)  They are also usually very intelligent people and the combination can make us seem somewhat eccentric ;)

Do I believe people paint us as higher sexual beings?  I don't know, but again, if they do, it's probably because we tend to be more sensitive, or maybe more aware of our sensual side ;)" -Mary

Nozomi Takeyabu

Artist | Creator | Healer

Torrance, CA - United States

Earth Goddess
"It is true that many artists including myself tend to express our sensual side in our art. I really enjoy embracing goddess(female) beauty in my art. To me, there are different forms of 'Sexy'. Sexy can be sexual, or sexy can be attractive. Because my art is more focused on 'Healing', 'Calming', 'Zen', 'Beauty' and 'Spirituality', I do not feel a connection with Sexual Sexy but I do feel 'Sexy' in the way of 'Attractive' sexy in my art. Art is my love and expression of my soul. Being an artist makes me happy and confident, which makes me feel attractive. In this way, yes, being an artist does make me feel sexy. :)

Just being an artist does not make them sexier to me. But an artist with real soul, artists who are truly passionate about what they are doing, artists who creates things with their soul and spirit, that makes them sexy, or ‘attractive sexy’ as I had mentioned above. More than the label of 'being an artist', what comes from their spirit is what makes artists sexy.

It is just my opinion. I think people may think artists as higher sexualized beings because artists often express their sexuality in their art. Many famous artworks contain nudity as well. People are so sensitive to sexuality. So many people may tend to put their mind on the sexual side of art that makes them believe artists as higher sexualized beings." -Nozomi


Victoria Miller Dietz

Artist | Mother

Venice, FL - United States

Someone is Watching
 "Yes, it makes me feel sexy at certain times. I feel I connect with myself completely when I can successfully create a concept or idea fully on canvas. That gives me a sense of confidence similar to how you feel when sexy.
I am not sure how others view artists, but when I have thought about it in the past, sexy did not come to mind as a word society thinks when you talk of artists. What does is struggling doing what they love and need to at any costs. This was easy for me as an artist when it was just me. I didn't mind the sacrifices, lack of money, or late hours hosting exhibitions. In fact I loved it. However, after having my son, I closed my fine art gallery and started painting/working from home, because providing for a family is now my priority, a must, but so is creating and I still do that. To me that is a whole new definition of talented and sexy!" - Victoria


Shreya Shailee

Abstract Artist

New Delhi, New Delhi - India

The Guardian
"As an artist, I feel comfortable in my skin. I need not work hard to please someone. I think the effortless style is what pleases people and maybe that's why people consider me sexy.

Whenever I meet an artist, I feel intrigued by the fact that they are living in a parallel world of ours, a world of their own. I don't find them sexy, instead I see them as someone who has a high intelligence level.

The idea of being with a famous and influential person does intrigue people in the beginning, but artist's reclusive nature drives most people away.

In the long run, they'd rather come across as self-obsessed and introverts which could be too much to take. So, I think most people don't see artists as a long-term partner." -Shreya

Alexandria Weaselwise Busen

Matthews, NC - United States


Morel in the Iris Bed
"In my experience, many artists (including myself) don't always necessarily feel sexy themselves as people, but they have the magic within their artistic talents and visions to express their sexuality, whether it be in a big-larger-than-life way or subtly through their work. Others (as well as other artists) therefore find the creator as sexy through their works and the artist then feels a sort of sexiness through the alias of the character they have made themselves to be through their creativity. " -Alexandria


Megan Doman

Artist | Athlete  Model

Deephaven, MN - United States

A Colorful Classic

"Being an artist does not make me feel sexy necessarily. To me, and I think many would agree, that being attractive and sexy comes from one's intelligence, confidence, and success. Unfortunately, the best way I feel confident and sexy about my career to others is making it a financially successful one. Personally, I love what I do every day and feel confident in pursuing my talent and dreams, but I also want my work to be lucrative. I guess this means I find myself at least hot if not sexy?!

People will paint certain types of artists as being higher sexualized beings yes...depending on the person's form of art though. Picasso began creating when he first started painting the prostitutes in his neighborhood in Barcelona, Spain. From his choice in subject matter alone, the persona surrounding him at the time I'm sure was that he was a sex-driven artist. Some high-fashion photographers are considered sexy today because they work with sexy models. On the other hand, would most consider a video game designer, or comic book artist sexy? They create amazing and popular pieces of work, but most would not deem them attractive. The reason why we decide which type of artist is sexy or not can be a mystery. Perhaps it is their popularity, their subject matter, their process, their lifestyle, their media, or their physical appearance. It's hard to say, but I like to hope we are gaining more respect for the writers, fine artists, videographers, stylists, etc. of the world." -Megan

Natasha Rozhdestvensky

Artist | Model

Los Angeles, CA - United States

Twisted Beings

"Does being an artist make me feel sexy? Yes. 
For me it depends what sort of art they do whether that makes them sexier in my eyes. Not all art I like. But just knowing someone can be creative is attractive to me.

I believe people could see artists as higher sexualized beings. Anything is possible." -Natasha



Dammit. I want a say!

Monica Adrian

Artist | Blogger | Art Teacher


Does being an artist make me feel sexy? Yes, after reading what the wonderful ladies said above, I would agree with them. Being an artist gives me the gratification of having something that is my own to constantly strive at, gain recognition, and likewise build self-confidence through my feelings of personal achievement. Having all this makes me more interesting as a person and therefore sexy.

Does being an artist make me look sexy? Hell yeah it does! I think my style and choice of subject matter is perceived as sexy because it presents me as someone who is sexual. As Alexandria Weaselwise Busen noted, there is the notion that perhaps I am expressing myself vicariously through my art. However, when I'm making erotic or sensual art, I'm never thinking about sex. I'm concentrating on the technical aspect and the creative choices that are involved. It does not serve me as some sort of pseudo masturbation.

I think there is a huge disparity (though contingent on the type of art) between the way female artists feel sexy and look sexy. When I blatantly get hit on with comments like, "I think it's sexy you're an artist," I don't think they're commenting on what I get out of it personally, but the outward allure that it projects.

However, after hearing these women respond to why they would be attracted to other artists, hearing a statement like, "The fact that you're an artist makes you more attractive," doesn't register as an insult anymore. Nozomi did an excellent job distinguishing between sexual-sexy, and attractive-sexy. Attractive-sexy compliments are always welcome.

I agree with the ladies that said that it partly depends on what type of art you do when being deemed as highly sexual or not. As a somewhat erotic artist, I definitely seem to have felt the sexualization of artists to a far larger extent. But I don't think that the sexual artist stereotype is limited only to erotic artists. Artists in general can be thought of as passionate, sensitive, and emotionally turbulent human beings, as if we need to make art to assuage our personal sufferings or keep us mentally sane. It's this stereotypical view of artists being volatile, impassioned creatures that I feel is connected to them being painted as being more sexual  as well. I presume the logic is that artists are at a constant emotional high with a lot of pent-up energy that needs to be appeased through the means of art or sex as a release.

The thing is, you don't have to be unstable to want to create art. The patience and dedication for it can stem from positivity rather than negativity. I think this is understood when looking at Nozomi's Zen art.

However, is there some reason why artists are often thought of to be physically attractive? The process of putting this article together had me come up with a theory.

I purposefully paired the artists' artworks with complementary profile pictures. This wasn't very difficult to do and happened quite naturally (picking the best profile picture with the best work of art). Artists' art, generally speaking, seem to reflect who they are outwardly as well as inwardly.
Do you think you would find viewing this article as aesthetically pleasing if you were to look at the two photos separately?
There is something that heightens the visual experience of viewing beautiful art with beautiful people. However, I believe this effect creates a phenomenon of conflating the artist with their artwork, and at the same time can lead to viewing the artist with their art as one combined artist-art-object.
This is a problem because it detracts from the artwork, making it incomplete without the image or the presence of the actual artist. Or at least the artwork becomes more alluring to the viewer after seeing that the artist herself is highly attractive.
Despite this theory, I think there is art out there that is so amazing that it transcends the idea of sex sells. Take Mia Tavonatti for example. Forgive my partiality, but her art is so beautiful that as gorgeous as Mia herself is, it doesn't make one hell of a difference.
Perhaps the only way to escape the sex-sells complex if you're a beautiful woman is to become so talented that nobody gives a damn about what you look like. Unfortunately, most of us, or at least when selling to the opposite sex, do care. I'd imagine that they would likely describe their purchase as art done by a beautiful woman as if this makes the art more valuable.
Maybe this isn't quite fair to say. I have made blind sales at galleries, not having Tavanotti's talent, where they hadn't seen what I look like at all before deciding to make a purchase. I believe that this has happened or very likely could to all the other female artists I've featured above. That being said, most sales at galleries are done at opening night where the artist is highly encouraged to be present.

Going back to the idea that the artist and their art complement each other, none of the woman above answered anything about their artwork serving them as some kind of fashion accessory to make them look more visually appealing. Art is more personal and expressive than to serve a superficial function. The idea that an artist would create to try to accessorize themselves with artwork is ludicrous. However, to the viewer I think it has this effect.
If art is expressive then it would be appropriate to think of art as an outward representation of who the artist is. It's as if you can see a piece of themselves visually.
Maybe this is why the sexy artist fetish seems to be so prevalent. There's a certain appeal to developing one's sexual attraction to another as the art gazer at the same time as being the artist gazer.
In this way artists have an advantage of gaining someone's attraction because they have this higher form of self-expression that non-artists don't have. Getting to know someone as a person and through their art is hot hot hot.

If the idea of art being an attractive accessory applies, then it is one super important accessory. It's something that complements who the artist is on a deep personal level. It's something that artists wear always as part of an identity.

The question seems to be; how much can we or should we judge a person by their artwork.
There's always going to be some discrepancies between what the art evokes and who they are.

I'm still figuring this out, and hope you'll check out what the male artists have to say in Part II of this article.

Check it out here
Part II Sexy Male Artist Reflect on Notions of the "Sexy Artist"

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  1. As neither a female, not an artist, here is why I personally think female artists are "sexy". In a society where sexuality and expressiveness, especially that of females has never really been promoted. Artists have continually tested and broken these imaginary boundaries. Expression through music/painting/writing ect, shows confidence in oneself, it shows the ability to be vulnerable, and its shows a level of openness. Some men may not accept that someone being vulnerable can be sexy, but an artist being able to put her emotions/thoughts/feelings in front of the world is an extremely attractive quality. This is especially true if the artist is doing so from a place of personal self-fulfilment and non-neediness. I do and will continue to find artists or any other females willing to be direct about themselves/their desires/their passions “sexy”.

  2. I believe beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I personally think all artists, whether male or female... no matter what they look like, are beautiful and sexy in their own right. (Even non-artists)

    They might not have the "typical standards" of what society views as gorgeous but to me, and hopefully to others, they are just as sexy because of their talents or passions.

    While you mention that it's ludicrous to base someone's value on their looks instead of solely on their also point out and state that if this notion was true, this is one super important accessory.

    Our society, as a whole, really needs to steer away from this type of thinking. Overall, your article has left me with the impression that it seems to heavily lean towards the fact that it does and should matter...but it really shouldn't.

  3. Hmmmm... That's not how I used the word ludicrous. " The idea that an artist would create to try to accessorize themselves with artwork is ludicrous."

    What this is saying is that artists don't create art to have something that makes their own exterior image look better. That's never the intent. And if it is that would be ludicrous.

    I find your interpretation of the overall impact of the article interesting. I think I make a case that it does matter, but I think I'm also saying that it shouldn't.

    What I mean about art still serving as an accessory, is that if it is one, it's not something superficial like a bracelet or necklace. It's something that complements who the artist is that people can visually see, but on a deep and personal level. Thank you for the critique, because I definitely want to eliminate confusion. I may edit the article a little.