Negative Space

You realize you are a person who pays attention to negative space when you are the only one in graphic design class to point out the arrow in between the letters ‘E’ and ‘X’ on the FedEx Logo.  Google it.

I was surprised I was the only one that put my hand up and pointed it out when our teacher asked “What conveys movement?”

I thought it was so obvious and that anyone would notice this, but that is the beauty of art, everyone sees different things.  That is why I think working with negative space is so clever.  It highlights the space within and around other shapes or images.

When an artist can do that well, I love it.  Silhouettes can highlight and emphasize negative space, and placement and arrangement of objects.

Having read the ‘Power of Now’, the topic of negative space comes up in a bit of a different context.  The idea that where there is space, lies the ‘unmanifested’.  If anything that exists is a manifestation, then the unmanifested exists in space. This unmanifested space gives the opportunity for manifestations to appear.

From The Power of Now:

“The unmanifested is not separate from the manifested.  It pervades this world, but it is so well disguised that almost everybody misses it completely.  If you know where to look, you’ll find it everywhere.”……… “Look for it in the silence out of which the sounds come and into which they return.  Pay more attention to the silence than to the sounds.” ……… “Every sound is born out of silence, dies back into silence, and during its life span is surrounded by silence.  Silence enables the sound to be.”……… “The Unmanifested is present in this world as silence.”   (Page 135-6)

Just as silence enables the sound to be, negative space enables an image, or Art ‘to be.’  An important art lesson, found in the ‘The Power of Now’.

A challenge for you: what do you notice in the unmanifested or negative space in the world around you?



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