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Submitted on
February 13, 2013
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The Lonely Path

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 7:32 PM

I have never found a companion who was so companionable as solitude.

Henry David Thoreau

I always thought Thoreau’s comment was simply a word game— ultimately not of much value and false at its core. A Valentines Day in solitude should mean being all alone and alone means being unhappy, pure and simple. Still, it will turn out in life that the most alone we can feel is ironically in the crush of family and friends and even in the embrace of one’s Valentines Day companion— but lost and unfulfilled in one’s dreams and visions.

Spring feelings

by pamukcuceveyediprens

empty poem

by the-psycrothic


by miaboas

alone with me

by LauraZalenga

Become aware of your aloneness— which is a reality. And it is so beautiful to experience it, to feel it, because it is your freedom from the crowd, from the other. It is your freedom from the fear of being lonely.


Most all art has to come from a singular obsession. Is a companion, even for Valentine’s Day, a weakness to convention in the face of a need for excellence? It an be many years of Valentines Day cards and chocolates before the true source of loneliness descends: a disconnection to your muse, your art, your desire – the essence of that which makes you an artist. Will you abandon the false happiness of crowds and the search for that special somebody and nostalgic rituals and embrace the search for connection throughout the fullness of the universe through art? Solitude is the path to ultimately connecting with us all— to really touch others with love.

Shakespeare, Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin and Abraham Lincoln never saw a movie, heard a radio or looked at television. They had 'Loneliness' and knew what to do with it. They were not afraid of being lonely because they knew that was when the creative mood in them would work.

Carl Sandburg

No me esperes con la lluvia

by tatucito

Singin in the Rain

by crilleb50

if you're lonely.

by wannywanwan

Our truest love lies in what we find within ourselves and then share with all humanity. The artists, writers, collaborators, appreciators, and visionaries, here at deviantART, perhaps in solitude in front of their screens and canvasses, share this grand conversation with each other everyday through their own personal, yet fully connected art journey. You can never be “alone” on Valentines Day ever again. The key is in the words of Paul Tillich, the existentialist philosopher, who once said: “Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone and solitude expresses the glory of being alone.”

The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


by akirakirai

inside the dream

by monika-es

We can recognize the dawn and the decline of love by the uneasiness we feel when alone together.

Jean de La Bruyere


by nitchzombie

The more I think about it, the more I realize there is nothing more artistic than to love others.

Vincent van Gogh


by Coferosa

Lone Wild Goose

by sarriathmoonghost

Pale Flower

by GerryArthur

We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone.

Orson Welles


by Kosmur



Would you rather experience the loneliness of a loveless Valentines Day, if you felt it aided in your art? Or is Valentines Day the sort of thing that feeds your art too much to be abolished for even one year?


Do you have an understanding of what it means to be truly alone in the world as an essential ingredient in making a truthful and moving piece of art?


Do you like being in solitude as meditation to art or do you need the support and love of another?


Do you know a difference between sadness and solitude?

I always thought Thoreau’s comment was simply a word game - - ultimately not of much value and false at its core. A Valentines Day in solitude should mean being all alone and alone means being unhappy, pure and simple. Still, it will turn out in life that the most alone we can feel is ironically in the crush of family and friends and even in the embrace of one’s Valentines Day companion – but lost and unfulfilled in one’s dreams and visions.

Writers: $techgnotic
Designers: $marioluevanos
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MelikeBAt Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Featured in the preview of my journal skin:
tonygutierrez Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
clar q entiendo eso aveses la compania no te dejari consentrarte
kfaber97 Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013
I find that going through the hardships of life and the pain of being alone help give inspiration for art pieces. I don't know why but it just seems to help, if i'm the only one who believes this i'll shut my mouth.
milovanf Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Well, being alone isn't bad at all, but sometimes its better to have a girlfriend beside you, that will always help you and guide you. For someone is good to be alone and for someone it's not.
redfoxj Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013
Someday I hope I'll be able to write moving articles like this. It's wonderful and it cheers up the loneliest of people: myself.
Moaheya Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
1. I often wonder about how arbitrary these dates are. Why is one day more important or potent than any other, beyond 'because we say so'?
But if loneliness does inspire your art; if you pour all your creative energies into amplifying your loneliness, methinks you are in a mind frame that will ensure you continue to be lonesome into the future. Good art should not require that.

2. Good art is like good acting… it's better if the emotion is behind it. Any emotion can be poured into art. Joy, pain, desperation, peace. If you are truly lonely, it naturally follows that you will be better at expressing that emotion in art.

3. To me it doesn't really matter, but I prefer the peace of solitude that comes with no distractions.

4. Solitude can be the most peaceful place of all, if you are happy within yourself.
meganpu Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013
I think i really like what you wrote...keep going!!!
Pain-Rikudou Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013
Someones must be alone...
deviantART muro drawing Comment Drawing
DavesDreams Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I am an introverted loner by nature and just separated after spending half my life with my wife. This Valentine's Day was not a 'good' day emotionally for that reason. I always have preferred to be alone when I create and rarely even now suffer from 'loneliness'. Most of our media-infused culture alienates me and I have trouble relating to people who emulate it. I guess I'm just most comfortable when alone.
Ppssecca77 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013
This was awesomeness! but being alone on Valentines day isnt always a bad thing. i was alone and u wanna know what i did. sat in my room after school and watched 'Dr. Who'. Best V-Day that i had in a while.
kanashii-kokoro Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013
Good job, you helped me sort out some feelings I've had tangled up for quite some time.
I feel like my mind is flowing, instead of that knotted up feeling I had before I read this.
For that, you've got my thanks
MManUltra Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
1. Owner of A Lonely Heart - Yes. That is all.

#2 : Black + White == Gray (NOw and 4EveR A Man).

c. YOu can not be the past nor the present nor see the lies perfectly... Be the future.

iv. Machine! Auto-Correct! No... I am who I say I am... My friends know the truth, and that is beautifully sad in its singularity... Think black holes... That is me. My... "gravitas."
MManUltra Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Some one any one see 1...
draenei-friend Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Being alone isn't always bad. Many people, like me, enjoy the solitude. It's called being introverted.
tomytieneblas74 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is very deep ! And this is coming from one who does'nt have a "someone special" in life,very sad indeed. Not a day goes by that I dont think of how long I'll be lonely and single now that I'm in my 20s.
amiga-32 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013
hmm i don't totally agree i think solitude can be wonderful , i spend most of my days in solitude and find it enlightening and it allows me to get alot of reading done which i love :)

I think it can be fun to send Valentines Day cards etc but the fact a whole day is put aside for it is more a reflection on how warped values are in society in general that a day like this is even needed.

ZeBracArdeaTH Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013
i was actually glad to be alone on Valentines day.
NikolleIce Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
1). I experienced the loneliness of Valentine's Day as well as joy and love on another year of this event, so I can do both. That means that I could experince loneliness, since this year I was away from my other half. I think art is valuable, so I would experience (once again) the loneliness of Valentine's Day, especially for art.
2). Well, I was alone in the world, but not truly alone, there was always someone on who I could count on. But I have a great imagination, and since there aren't too many people that love me around me, there are just a couple of them, I won't be so difficult to imagine how it would be to be truly alone.
3).In art, I always preffer to be and work alone. I need solitude as meditation to art, but that solitude has to be until I finish my artwork, and not a whole week or month, or year. When i'm doing and artwork I really don't need the support of another, maybe because I never had one, or I did for a short period of time.
4).Yes, I do. It's true, they both have a lot in common, but they still are different. Sadness can come from other reasons too, not only because a person is all alone, and when someone is alone, it's not necessary to be sad. But solitude can generate most of the times sadness.
TheVampiressAssassin Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013  Student Digital Artist
That's all bullshit. Just because you're alone on that fake holiday, doesn't mean you're unhappy and lonely. I was single for it. You want to know how I spent it? Talking to awesome friends on facebook mobile, eating chocolate, and watching horror movies. I was as happy as can be.

1.Valentine's Day is a bullshit crock holiday. It forces men to romance their women only once a year and the women force these men into making sure it's amazing or else. Why can't you romance the person you are with 365 days a year? Why does it have to be forced only once a year?

2. You don't need to be utterly alone, depressed, and lonely to make any sort of beautiful art. You could be the most happiest person in the world and create the most saddest and depressing art that most people can relate to.

3. Makes no difference to me if people are around or not.

4. One leads to another.
draenei-friend Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
^I agree. Ditto
TheVampiressAssassin Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Thank you for agreeing. :D
Licoriceallsorts Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013
1. Love is for every day; love celebrates itself every day. I have never cared for Valentine's Day whether in or out of a relationship. It is just another marketing opportunity. Since that is how I see it, I have no sentimentality about being alone or with someone else on that day. But if I am to be with my greatest loves, then I will be with my children.

2. It depends what you mean by being alone. Being surrounded by people who don't understand or respect you is lonelier than being by yourself. I think art can be created in any circumstances, but not every circumstance is right for every sort of artist. I need lots of space and silence, and people in my life who will respect that and not interrupt me. I'd rather have no one then people who are clingy, demanding, and jealous of my time.

3. I like solitude. I don't like showing my art to anyone who knows me, and especially not lovers. I am very private.

4. Of course. There is no sadness in solitude, unless it has been forced on you and not chosen. But even then, it is possible to find happiness. We all have to live with circumstances we have not chosen. It is up to us to make something good come out of them.
RiseandBe Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Loneliness and being alone are two very different things. I crave to connect with other people, and often have trouble doing so on a deep level. Because of this, I have often felt lonely when surrounded by people. However, I adore being alone. I thrive in solitude. My "me time" is my most treasured and sought after time. I will never take for granted my husband or son and the time we get to spend together. But being with them, or other friends and family, is like being on a completely different plane of existence than being alone. I absolutely need both to survive.

As for V day, I haven't celebrated it since I was about 16. I think it's silly and unnecessary. If you can't show someone your love and appreciation without a holiday telling you to, than maybe you don't really love and appreciate that person. Love should be something shown naturally, flowing freely because you can't help it. Otherwise, it's plastic, fake and empty. And no one really wants that kind of love.
alialkamel Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013
Blazespirit Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013  Professional General Artist
1. Would you rather experience the loneliness of a loveless Valentines Day, if you felt it aided in your art? Or is Valentines Day the sort of thing that feeds your art too much to be abolished for even one year?
I have been on both sides of this, I have had years of being loveless and I have had years of being in a relationship. This year was the first that really sparked my creative fires, the relationship I am in lights my creative fire. I think for me, the loveless leads to depression and depression leads to an dim fire.

2.Do you have an understanding of what it means to be truly alone in the world as an essential ingredient in making a truthful and moving piece of art?
I do. I have been seen as an outsider most of my life, and have made pieces that express this. I have always wanted to go to one of those camps where you are alone with your art for a month, you get your meals delivered, but little human contact happens. I think with that type of room to move and be alone, amazing things can happen.

3.Do you like being in solitude as meditation to art or do you need the support and love of another?
I have strong roots in both. I create for love, but I also create from solitude.

4.Do you know a difference between sadness and solitude?
Oh yes, very much. Having experienced both very recently, there is a distinct difference, but they can also stem from each other, it depends on where you are, and what the situation is.
Lucidstillness Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013
Every artist, by necessity, knows what it's like to be alone with a canvas. Much like a child taking an exam, I view art as a test for what an artist has learned about the world; the child does the exam alone, without the distractions of others, and applies what has been learned, and an artist does the same.

So, now for some questions...

1. To be honest, I've never thought of Valentine's day as anything more than a celebration of the love we (hopefully) have around us all year. Even so, much like Christmas, people can experience both great joy and great sorrow on this day, because it reminds us of the love we either do or do not have. An understanding of both, I think, is important to art.

2. As I mentioned earlier, we are all alone at some point, and that isn't necessarily a bad thing. When you're alone, you can't run away from yourself, nor can you ignore what needs to be done. To make any work of art, one must be allowed to concentrate in solitude.

3. I do enjoy solitude a great deal, but I also need love in my life.

4. Certainly, and if anything it is easier to be sad in a crowd than to be sad alone, in my experience. So much pain comes from our fear of not fitting in, or our concern about not being good enough, that we can even take self-loathing with us into solitude. The key, I think, is to find a balance between the social and the self.
E-Ocasio Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013   Artist
I think Valenties day is just another day, is no major holiday like Halloween or Fathers Day, or Mothers Day. Love in al its forms should be celebrated every day by everyone. Ergo the very deep loneliness you speak of is something experienced by anyone any time of year, it just accentuates during the "special days" society and tradition have denominated taboo to negative feelings.
I'm alone most the time, my creativity dosen't await for a special day in the calendar to be sparked, regardless of the mood or holiday involved.

"Human beings are designed for many things, but lonelyness isn't one of them". Mary Alice Young -Desperate Housewives
chrys33 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013
Congrats for this enterprise. The best and only cure for loneliness is activating one's inner creativity. Everyone has some of it but must walk some miles alone before discovering it.
innographer Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013
deviantART muro drawing Comment Drawing
0animeprincess Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013
wooooow very nice being all alone is not a nice thing i know how it fells .
Edenflare Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013
Being alone isn't a good thing in life we were all made to have a companion. That said I hope a meteor strikes Earth and everything gets wiped out so all know the pain my eyes see. Not one single human was ever nice to me on any valentine or holiday or 24/7 for 33 years and I go out a lot, everyone is miserable, self centered and judgmental and superficial so yeah all humans deserve it.
Von-Krupp Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013
1. Focusing on Valentine's Day is really irrelevant. Not trying to make a sap story here, but I've never really had anybody; I see couples every day being happy, angry, sad, etc. and while it used to make me create some pretty sappy stories, now I'm all but completely tuned out. So, I have that emotional experience to draw on when I need it, but Valentine's Day itself can disappear and it would not change a thing.

2. It's not an essential ingredient unless you are implying that being the sole proprietor of an idea that you have put into some form of media is being truly alone. But even that is not required in order to generate something moving. What is required is technical skill and an understanding of psychological physics. Use this imagery, get that general reaction from a given sample size of a population. You can ignore those principles and still make something moving, but it will relying entirely on the contemporary environmental factors to be moving and will thus not be timeless. Many people can collaborate together on a work using the outline mechanics and create a timeless, moving work. Ridley Scott wasn't alone in the vision for Blade Runner. So my understanding is that being truly alone is not an essential ingredient. Being clear of thought and having conviction in your ideas, is. You need not be alone in your conviction.

3. I like sharing my ideas and bouncing them with trusted friends, but I generate them alone whether or not I get reinforcement or feedback. The best ideas usually come when I make an experimental doodle in class while tuning out the lecture and everything else around me.

4. Sadness is an emotional response to negative environmental stimuli, a reaction the mind has to sudden shock at losing something it deemed of high value. Solitude is when the mind blocks itself off from some kind of stimuli; it is a relative term. You can seek solitude from yourself by going to a loud party and interacting with others, or you can do the inverse by locking yourself in a quiet room.
Dimeolas7 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013
....very nice work, but alone doesnt mean being`s the bane of the modern world that people seem to have to have noise and commotion and 'be in touch' at all times. perhaps a fear of seeing the truths of life and getting in touch with themselves. I`ve always thought that a wellbalanced life had pauses in which to reflect, digest, and redirect ones understanding. Much in the same way that the pauses make the music so also in life....
GJZART Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013
some people prefer to be alone.
Saikotsunami Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013
1. Valentines day is a bit odd. Everyone seems to think it's such a bad thing to be alone on Valentines day. If you truly love someone, you should be out there showering them with love year round. Perhaps not every day, but at least a few times each month. If you do that, then the significance of one particular day out of the year diminishes. With that in mind, I actually like solitude, and being alone. I'd actually quite enjoy a day where I was completely alone and cut off from the rest of the world. I think it would really help me get in touch with myself, and my muse.

2. It's paradoxical in a sense. I draw a lot of inspiration for my craft (the written word) from my experiences with others, but until I've had the time to just be by myself, away from others, I can't formulate my stories. While my experiences give me the raw materials for my stories, it's my time alone that brings them to life. When else am I going to imagine the scenes unfolding? As for understanding what it means to be truly alone, I'd argue that to be truly alone, you'd have to be able to escape your own self.

3. I need both. While most would consider me an extrovert, I'm more closely described as a gregarious introvert. What that means is that while I can be very friendly and social, I need to withdraw and be by myself on a regular basis to decompress. It's when I'm decompressing that I often produce many of the things I create. That said, I, like most living creatures, need the love and support of others. The love and support I receive often translates directly into my work, so both have their part to play.

4. Most definitely. Solitude is the state of being alone. Sadness is an emotion that is likened to feeling weighted down. For some, Sadness can cause solitude (in driving others away), for others solitude can cause sadness (they feel sad when they are alone), and for people like me, the two do not have a direct cause/effect relationship.
nobleman082 Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013
1 - I am not an artist. I am not a writer. I have no outlet for what I am feeling. For me, who has never even felt what romantic love feels like, I would accept a lifetime of loveless Valentine's for just one. For me, I don't know what loveless means, for there is nothing to compare it to.

2 - Loneliness and solitude might help create wonderful artwork, but there is no substitute to love and to be loved.

3 - I crave the love of another. I need and want it, but I know I'll never receive it.

4 - To me, there is no difference. I like my privacy and solitude, but I also want someone there to talk and listen to, who will not judge, laugh at, or belittle me. Solitude brings nothing but sadness.
GDMA Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Professional General Artist
Big deal - HA! I'm single since 2006 and I swear I'm much better without someone to hold me down. Besides, there is no creature in this Multiverse worthy of me, for nothing is perfect and I am nothing and everything in the same time, for I am an Universe of self-sufficient atoms, an organic civilization that's savage to the deepest depths, happy only when inflicting extreme mental and physical damage on humankind. Anyway, the fact is that we die as we are born: alone, and I exist only to feel hatred and wrath, despise and rage, to destroy everything and everyone in my path speaking of love as it isn't just a chemical reaction in the brain. There is no sadness, there is no happiness, there is no life, there is no death, just an endless recycling circle in the void and nothing is thrown out or away in this abominable and putrid thing I call existence. Nothing is real in this reality and everything is unreal in unreality. So, here are the answers:

1. I don't believe in retarded traditions.

2. I don't have to understand anything.

3. I need no-one to love me, but I do need people to support my art after I declare it complete.

4. I don't care. Only mindless destruction is important!
craqueenofnet Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Student General Artist
HemmiRoyds Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Student Photographer
snowbloodqueen Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Student General Artist
I feel this.
LordGreymon Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013
This is the path that I choose to follow. I know that one day my family will dissappear and I will try to cherish their good deeds through my job and my lifestyle. I believe that only the brave has the guts to follow that path, and that is what I am trying to discover as my life continue its course.

I know that I am not an artist, but I wiil try to follow this path in my own way in my job as a teacher.

Thank you for your sincere attention.
Wren-Graves Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Student Interface Designer
Ah... this article honestly was inspiring and made me feel alot better. As someone who is forever alone, it is really easy to get lost in self pitty but this gave me a different perspective. So thank you for that.

1. Honestly, I would give anything to have that creative inspiration. It's the only thing that makes me feel alive and I've been missing it alot lately. Valentines day, frankly, isn't important to me at all. I spent the entirety of it working over time anyways.

2. Yes, I'd like to think so. My most inspiring moments come when I feel like the only person in the entire world. This though is a completely different feeling than that crushing lonliness that comes while you are in the middle of crowds all by your self but even this might just be about perspective.

3. I've gotten along this far alone. Having a pillar there just in case would be nice though but not necessary.

4. Yes, solitude is nice and relaxing and open. Sadness is like a fog that passes over you and waits for you to walk out of it before dissapating.

Again, a liberating exercize. Thank you.
jtcheney Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
1. I would trade all my art, and never write again, if it meant not being alone. My lonesome solitude feeds my art no doubt, but I wish Love were the fuel
2. Yes. I do understand.
3. Even in a crowded room, I often feel alone. I don't need support to generate my work, but criticism often does the trick.
4. Yes or at least I know what both mean to me: sadness is self-loathing. Solitude is space for self-reflection
ClockworkerStudios Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Literally tearing up from reading this. Thank you. Thank you so much for sharing this. Been fighting a rising tide of loneliness for a couple years now, so things like this are, well, they hit in such a way, strike so deep that it's hard no to listen. Thanks again for this. I needed it.
Waterlash Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013
Being alone does not mean being unhappy Ive been told by numerous people that being alone with no girlfriend = Unhappiness when in-fact it all depends on how you view it. Not to mention that you do have friends and some people are better off alone or like it that way.

Sincerely, An annoyed Loner with friends.
deviantART muro drawing Comment Drawing
jkelly2010 Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Never had a girl friend for valentine's day. But I always felt so time of influence on this day ever year. The type of influence that makes me want to create stories of other people either in love or without love's touching embrace. This was what I needed to let those painful feelings of not yet having a companion go and move on. To put it short, THANK YOU!
StandingFace Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013
I can only say , thank you.
Marts-NZ Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
You express these feelings in such an understandable way, thanks for this,,.
Trekkie-Aspie Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013
I've never had a boyfriend or anyone for Valentine's day so...yeh, I don't have a comparison. No, I don't have an understanding as to what it means to be truly alone in the world. As a digital native, that part of the human experience is likely forever cut off from me. I don't know that it's mediation, exactly, but I do see the positive side to solitude - so yes, I do see the distinction between sad loneliness and happy solitude.
PhilMagWired Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
being alone for some activities is essential to me, like travelling for instance (which I am doing now). I really couldn`t handle being with others almost 24/7 which a lot of people are,would drive me mental! You get little periods of loneliness but you just have to open your mouth and meet people!
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