45 degrees off

Seeing the same thing from a different angle.

Monthly Archives: February 2012

Positive Space

Life can be really hard. Sometimes it’s filled with seemingly insurmountable challenges and crushing pain, physically and mentally. For some people, it’s a series of problems that would be annoyances individually, but they all pile up on top of each other and become a heavier load than the person can carry. And some people just aren’t able to handle the occasional challenge very well because they generally have a smooth road to travel and aren’t prepared when a challenge pops up. (It may be difficult to feel sympathy for those people at times, but think of it as the mental and emotional equivalent to having never developed a resistance to common germs.) Life can seem like all the space has been filled with negativity.

Creating positive space in our lives is an important part of our physical, mental, and emotional health. If we can’t create enough positive space to push all the negativity out then we at least need to create enough to have a safe harbor for ourselves. That’s part of what my art does for me. It’s a way to create pockets of positive space in my life. The winter has not been kind to my health. We’ve had a string of things going wrong since the new year started. It’s normal for me to face issues with depression in the winter. Somehow, I seem to have handled it all better this winter than I have before. I think it’s because my reaction to all these problems has been, “I need to go draw something.”

This post on Keitharsis really struck a chord with me.

I can’t name one perfectly content Creative who is producing major work.  Can you?

Most of us are running away from something.

Or running to something.

Or needing to prove something.

We’re incomplete.

We’re complicated.

We’re hypocrites.

We doubt.

We care.

And I don’t think this is something we can (or should) purge from our lives.

Quite the opposite.

I think it’s what makes us real and human.

As an artist, I’m not just creating visual images. I’m creating positive space in my own life and, hopefully, the lives of others.

In art, “positive space” and “negative space” aren’t emotional concepts. Positive space is where there are “things” in a piece. Something fills this area. Negative space is the empty space between things. Both are important, and how one balances the two has a major impact on the finished work. They may not be emotional concepts, but in some ways they are very much like the positive and negative space in our lives.

I’ve talked before about how important my black and white work has become at this point in my life, and how much I feel I have to learn from it. It creates positive space in my life. I also get more feedback on those pieces than the other work I do. (I appreciate all the feedback. I just can’t help noticing when some things get more response than others.) I’ve moved the products with black and white work on them out of the store they were in and put them in their own place.

Welcome to Positive Space!

I’ll try not to change the storefront too much as I clean it up. The categories under “Browse this Store” on the right hand side of the page are very handy for narrowing down what you’re looking at.

Since this post is about creating positive space in life, I’d like to point something out about the pillows like the one pictured above. You can find them at Positive Space, and also at Everyday Myth. I will also be adding cloth napkins, placemats, and kitchen towels. These products are manufactured by a company called American Mojo. You can read their mission statement by clicking on that link.

They are helping single mothers hold a job to support themselves and their children. I have personally known women (not always single moms, but also mothers in households that desperately needed two incomes) who have faced the problem of finding a job that would pay for more than just the childcare needed so they could go to work. American Mojo understands how the childcare costs hurdle can make it almost impossible for a lot of single mothers to provide for their children.

By creating a place where mothers can take home more of their pay, they are creating positive space in the lives of these families and giving these mothers the tools they need to create positive space in their own homes and the lives of their children. I’m really happy to be able to put my work on products made by them.

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