7 alternative interpretations of love

Valentine's Day is upon us again – here's some breathtaking art to inspire your love.

These love-struck illustrations are an inspirational look at how love can mean more than just romance, roses and Hallmark rhymes. All completed as part of the Month of Love project, artists are invited to take a weekly Valentine-based theme and, using various mediums and drawing and painting techniques, interpret it in their own imaginative way.

Happening every week in February, and with the first two nearly complete, we've collected together the best illustrations so far, all of which provide a meaningful look at the powerful human emotion.

01. Erin Kelso

Erin Kelso - Charlie Parker

Charlie Parker, haunted by the ghosts of his wife and daughter, shows a sad, yet touching side of love

Artist Erin Kelso's 'Charlie Parker' illustration is a chilling example of the power of love. Kelso created the illustration for the first week of this year's challenge with the concept of 'Heroes' – a term that can be applied to protagonists and/or idols.

Inspired by dark hero, Charlie, from John Connolly's book series, his mission is to destroy human (and not-so-human) evil, sometimes with the help of his dead wife and daughter – seen guiding him as ghosts.

02. Tiffany Turrill

Tiffany Turrill - On the Ice

Sometimes love is less about romance, and more about sacrifice, support and friendship

"On the Ice" is another piece inspired by the 'Heroes' challenge. "The final act of one of my favourite stories, The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K. Le Guin," reveals artist Tiffany Turrill.

"The story is somewhat inscrutable, you're thrown into a new culture just as the envoy is. The story plays with bias, point of view, with what's left unsaid. In the end, there's understanding and love: romantic love, friend-love, and love of home …but each is the kind that's tinged with regret."

"In the story, Estraven, sacrifices his career as an influential minister to save the in-over-his-head protaganist, Genly. Eventually, they're forced out onto to the ice, and must learn to trust one another in order to survive. History will view them as heroes."

03. Owen William Weber

A Present by Owen William Weber

Owen Weber's take on love is a very familiar one to any cat owner. Based on the challenge, 'Lost in Translation', he focuses on how cats show their love, opposed to how humans reveal their own feelings.

There are many forms of love, each expressed in their own way," says Weber. "Cats have a very strange way of showing love most of the time. A single glance can say it, a simple brush of its tail can say it, merely gracing one with their appearance can mean a great deal from a cat. A gift of a dead mouse, though, that speaks volumes."

04. Taryn Cozzy

Taryn Cozzy- Lost in Translation

Cozzy's portrait illustrates how keeping your fingers crossed doesn't help build a lasting relationship

Taryn Cozzy illustrated this piece, also for the theme of 'Lost in translation'. "I learned that communication is more important than I thought it needed to be to make a relationship last – it can really ruin a great relationship without it and I guess we both learned the hard way," she says.

Her image shows how hope and keeping fingers crossed behind your back can't salvage a relationship, everything must be out in the open or risk being lost in translation.

05. Craig Maher

Craig Maher - Lost in Translation

"The original is unfaithful to the translation" - Jorge Luis Borges

Also created for the theme 'Lost in translation', Craig Maher's piece is a poignant look at modern culture and technology. Quoting Argentine poet Jorge Luis Borges, the Maher placed "The original is unfaithful to the translation" underneath the image.

Perhaps a critique on modern relationships, being communicated through technological devices – whatever you take from the piece, it is no doubt an interesting take on our current cultural climate and every human interaction.

06. Amanda Clarke

Amanda Clarke's Acorn Kiss

Peter Pan's version of a kiss is quite different to Wendy's idea, but it's no less meaningful

Amanda Clarke's "Acorn Kiss" is another tongue-in-cheek look at various meanings of love, requitted and unrequitted. The image is her interpretation of Peter Pan and Wendy Darling's 'kiss' from Peter Pan.

"I'm most familiar with the Disney version of the story, and did a mashup of that and the book," says Clarke. "Wendy is smitten with Peter and wants an actual kiss, but Peter is oblivious and gives her an acorn instead."

07. Djamila Knopf

The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Djamila Knopf

Sometimes love can be summed up by shared moments, and a powerful feeling of self-satisfied happiness that comes from within

A quote from The Perks of Being a Wallflower, sums up Djamila Knopf's take on love and heroism:

"I know these will all be stories someday. [...] But right now these moments are not stories. This is happening. […] This one moment when you know you're not a sad story. You are alive, and you stand up and see the lights on the buildings and everything that makes you wonder. And you're listening to that song and that drive with the people you love most in this world. And in this moment I swear, we are infinite."

Knopf says, "The Perks of being a Wallflower was one of those special movies that left me with a feeling that something inside me had changed; as if I had grown as a person just by watching it." Her interpretation of the scene that stuck with her the most, was set to David Bowie's song Heroes.

Check out Month of Love for more inspirational imagery.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alice Pattillo is a staff writer at Creative Bloq, where she creates content for the likes of Imagine FX, 3D World, net and Computer Arts magazines. When she is not writing about VFX and digital art, she freelances for Metal Hammer magazine, watches too many horror films and reads comic books. Sometimes she sculpts monsters and has been writing her own comic book for over ten years (it's still unfinished…).