Valentine's Day Submissions - What does love mean to you?

At the beginning of February, we asked young people to create something to portray their perception of love however they saw it, and submit it for us to collate and share for Valentine's Day.

Enjoy original songs by Abbie and Guillaume, Mia's artwork and Amelie's poetry, as we explore how different people perceive the idea of love this February 14th and channel this into their creativity!

Abbie Hodges - Aged 16, from Leamington Spa (@Abbracadabracus)

I struggle a lot with social anxiety so doing something like this was a huge step forward for me. From the very beginning I knew what it was going to be about if I ever decided to commit. Valentines day is universally known as a day where we heavily recognize the love we have for other people but I didn’t want to write about that. I wanted to express the lack of love we have for ourselves.

It is very clear, to anyone who pays any real attention, that generations today struggle with self-love and acceptance due to the constant wrath of social media and online trolls who get a laugh out of putting someone else down. I personally just want to say that being a tad selfish is okay - if it doesn’t hurt anyone else - so be selfish! Don’t be shy and go love yourself. Not just on the 14th of February. Every. Single. Day.

I think what led me to write and produce the song was the motivation to do something different. This was my first time actually singing for other people and although it might not be the greatest it made me feel comfortable and happy. I don’t have access to a range of instruments or fancy recording equipment so I jumped from app to app on my phone to try and make it sound as good as I could get it to. I definitely think that it is really important to try and do something when motivated despite having a few obstacles, especially now during lockdown. I found a way around my own personal obstacles with this project and I am glad I found the time to do it.

Guillaume Mcleish - Aged 18, from South Africa

When I first read about the collaboration I wanted to write a song about why I don’t really understand Valentine’s Day. But after some thought and thinking about what love meant to me, I came up with this song idea. I was inspired by the overall idea of loving someone and the feeling that it creates. The overall theme of love to me is just the feeling of two people making each other feel whole. This song represents love to me as it just expresses how once you love someone there is nothing you won’t do for them. I got out my computer, opened GarageBand, switched on the mic and just sang what I felt. After coming up with an original catchy melody I wrote lyrics that represented the type of love I want.

Mia Sage - Aged 16, from Warwick (@x_mia.karolina_x)

Being newly single I decided to make a card to show my love and immense gratitude to my family who love me no matter what (despite all the mood swings and been cooped up for the many months). I’ve been making cards now for years and decided on a more simple design as I’m pretty busy with school currently. I just used patterned paper and acrylic paint for details and a brush pen for calligraphy on the inside. Hope everyone has a lovely Valentine’s Day!

Amelie Friess - Aged 16, from Leamington Spa (@amelies_poems)

I’ve been writing since I can remember. Poems usually don’t take me more then 15 minutes, the writing isn’t difficult but the concept is. I wouldn’t say I seek out inspiration, I wait for something to come to mind and then it’s a race to write it down before the moments gone.

I love poetry as a form of writing. I think the less you say, the more freedom the reader has to connect with it however they need to. Most of the time when I start a poem, I have no idea what it’s going to be about. I take a line for a walk and focus on images, try and perfect snapshots of a moment or feeling. I think it’s like looking at a photo album: you collect all these moments and pictures and only later once it’s finished can you sit back and notice all the ways they connect and have meaning.

I’m a hopeless romantic (if the poetry didn’t give that away already), but I think love presents itself in more ways then we could imagine. I think people fall in love thousands of times a day, with strangers on the bus, songs in coffee shops, laughs from across a room. I think that fleeting love experienced with a stranger is the most precious, because it can never be ruined. If you never find out the name of the song, it will always exist as perfect to you, because there’s never been the opportunity to ruin it.

I wish people let themselves fall in love more. The world would be a happier place.

It was wonderful to see a range of submissions exploring different ideas and views on the idea of love, and we hope you enjoyed them as much as we did! A massive thank you to everyone who submitted their work. Make sure to check out our amazing creators and have a fabulous Valentine's Day, no matter who you spend it with!