ISFP Personality Type: The Sensual Artist

ISFP personality type

The ISFP personality type, which makes up about 9% of the population, relates to the world through the senses.  Their sensory approach to life drives their hobbies, career choices and relationships. But not in the way you might think.

The present moment is an ISFP’s happy place. Like true zen masters, ISFPs have been living in the Now since long before Eckhart Tolle made it cool. Though they may seem carefree and even self-indulgent at first glance, the ISFP personality type takes life very seriously. All of their exploits are driven by their deeper values. Their core beliefs are the winds that direct the sails of their decisions.

Unlike the more logical types, such as the ISTJ and INTJ, the ISFP is not interested in planning a secure future. Their main goal in life is to build identity in the here and now. They are creating a collage of experiences that align with their values. For the ISFP personality type, the beauty is in the process rather than the final product. And if there is one thing ISFPs know about, it’s beauty.

The ISFP eye for aesthetics

The ISFP personality type has a natural eye for aesthetics. They are the hands-on artists who transform everyday objects and spaces into a sensory delight. Whether their creation is in the form of visual art, music, or interior design, it is sure to titillate the senses. ISFPs also have a deep appreciation for the beauty of nature.

The ISFP personality type at work

The ISFP personality type will often choose a career that allows them to be creative and work with their hands. They might also choose jobs that afford them the freedom to focus on their personal pursuits. They are the adventure sport enthusiasts who moonlight as bartenders. Or the jazz singers who bookkeep during the day.

Some of the best jobs for ISFPs include:

– Interior designer
– Musician
– Carpenter
– Chef
– Cosmetologist
– Preschool teacher
– Florist
– Dental hygienist
– Fitness trainer
– Firefighter

ISFP Relationships

Like most introverts, ISFPs prefer quality over quantity in relationships. Loyal and committed, they value lifelong friendships. Though they are friendly, it’s difficult to befriend an ISFP who has already established his inner circle. If you are lucky enough to already be a member of an ISFP’s core clan, consider yourself privileged. She will stick by your side for better or worse.

An ISFP is highly perceptive of others. When they look at you, it might seem as if they are staring into your soul. Don’t worry, it’s only because they are. 😉

Their sensitive nature means that ISFPs are always considerate of the feelings of others. Since they hate conflict, ISFPs do their best to preserve harmony in their relationships. However, in the face of criticism, an ISFP may loose his or her temper.

The ISFP personality type tends to be service oriented in relationships. They prefer to “show” instead of “tell” when it comes to expressing their love. “Doers” to the core, ISFP lovers show their affection by doing nice things for you. Changing the oil on your car translates to “I love you”. An elaborately prepared meal means “I care”. ISFPs also show their love by being considerate of your needs. If you need space, they will gladly give it to you. They expect the same in return.

The ISFP need for space

The ISFP personality type is strongly independent. They need time alone to reflect. Solitude allows them to hold their experiences up to the light of their core values. Since the ISFP is the most experimental and adventurous of all the introverted types, they are often mistaken for extroverts. Those who don’t understand them will be confused by an ISFP’s sudden need to withdraw.

Don’t try to change them

ISFPs receive a lot of flack for the way they live their life. Others often nag them to be more practical, and focus on the future. If you know an ISFP, appreciate them for who they are. They are sensual artists who bring a lot of beauty to this world.

Here are some famous ISFPs you might have heard of:

Famous ISFPs

Avril Lavigne
Brad Pitt
Barbara Streisand
David Beckham
Brittany Spears
Lady Gaga
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Ulysses S. Grant
Paul McCartney

What about you?

Are you an ISFP, or do you know one very well? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences related to the ISFP personality type.





  1. Another beautiful article Michaela! Wonderfully written! 🙂

    • Thanks Marko!

  2. the points about being mistaken as carefree and self-indulgent, as well as an enjoyment of being creative are so true…..I think I need to do a few more creative things to get more balance in my life. I dont mind bieng mistaken for things that are similar to me, but being mistaken as the opposite of my character, is one of the more frustrating aspects of living in this kind of manner.

  3. This is me! Just came across your website. I feel like it’ll be part of my daily routine now. Thanks Michaela.

    • You’re welcome, Anthony! So happy you found me! 🙂

  4. Overall very close for me. Maybe the closest I’ve seen and I’ve seen a few. It a great gift to be seen clearly. Thank you!

    My particular path to accessing beauty or opening the door when beauty knocks (beauty being one of “The” big three – Truth, Beauty, and Goodness) has been thur allowing space for endless constant refinement. As so freeingly paraphrased, allowing space for what the process provides rather than what the outcome of the process provides where so much of the world seems focused.

    “Their main goal in life is to build identity in the here and now. They are creating a collage of experiences that align with their values.”

    This points to something important that I’d like to play with to see if I can even more clearly see it.

    “Their main goal in life is to build identity in the here and now.” Could be distilled to Goal=identity, now or Goal=identity. This for me depends on what you mean by identity.

    I think, my current goal/focus/moving towards is daring to let go of the comfort/familiarity protection/insulation of identity. As

    as Karlfried Gras von Durkheim so VERY boldly said in THE WAY OF TRANSFORMATION

    The man who, being really on the Way, falls upon hard times
    in the world will not, as a consequence, turn to that friend who
    offers him refuge and comfort and encourages his OLD SELF to
    survive. (Here OLD SELF means identity to me)

    Rather, he will seek out someone who
    (or build a life where those in his clan)
    will faithfully and inexorably help him to risk himself, so that he may endure
    the suffering and pass courageously through it, thus making of
    it a ‘raft that leads to the far shore’. Only to the extent that man
    exposes himself over and over again to annihilation, can that
    which is indestructible arise within him. In this lies the dignity
    of daring.
    (or as you gently put it “…the ISFP is the most experimental and adventurous…”)
    Thus, the aim of practice is not to develop an attitude
    which allows a man to acquire a state of harmony and peace
    wherein nothing can ever trouble him. On the contrary, practice
    should teach him to let himself be assaulted, perturbed, moved,
    insulted, broken and battered – that is to say it should enable him
    to dare to let go his futile hankering after harmony, surcease from
    pain, and a comfortable life in order that he may discover, in
    doing battle with the forces that oppose him, that which awaits
    him beyond the world of opposites.

    (This guy doesn’t sound like a ISFP tho there is something to be gleaned from his passion and insight)

    The first necessity is that we
    should have the courage to face life, and to encounter all that
    is most perilous in the world. When this is possible, meditation
    itself becomes the means by which we accept and welcome the
    demons which arise from the unconscious – a process very
    different from the practice of concentration on some object as a
    protection against such forces. Only if we venture repeatedly
    through zones of annihilation can our contact with Divine Being,
    which is beyond annihilation, become firm and stable. The more
    a man learns wholeheartedly to confront the world that threatens
    him with isolation, the more are the depths of the Ground of
    Being revealed and the possibilities of new life and Becoming

    Inspiring and shakes me profoundly.


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