Do you know how to K.I.S.S.?
K.I.S.S. is my #1 rule in art, design and life!
K.I.S.S. stands for "Keep It Simple, Sweetie."
What do you want to focus on? What's important to you? Can you make it simple for others to understand?
When we design or compose something - a work of art, an invention, a community or anything new - we must consider how all the parts fit together to create a whole.
Artists and designers carefully consider the placement of each element in the overall piece.
We have a main focus, and everything else supports that.
Balancing Positive and Negative Space
The concept of positive and negative space is helpful to understand and apply K.I.S.S.
I think it has a lot of value, not just in art, but in life.
What do we mean by positive and negative space?
If positive space is occupied space, i.e., an object or living thing, then negative space is unoccupied space, i.e., empty space.
Artists and designers consider negative space to be just as important as positive space!
Negative space provides "breathing room" around the focus of your art. Negative space emphasizes positive space. Negative space allows relaxation for the eyes and mind.
Ideally, we want a balance of positive and negative space.
We use the word "busy" to describe works of art, designs or patterns that are crammed full of details and action. In a busy work of art there's very little negative space, very little breathing room. There's an imbalance.
Where's Waldo? comes to mind. Where's Waldo? illustrations are meant to confuse and distract you from finding what you're looking for. If this is not your intention, don't make your artwork too busy.
Being busy is not necessarily a virtue.
Being busy might mean that you don't focus enough on what's truly meaningful.
Being busy might mean that your message gets lost in the clutter.
Being busy might mean that you are overwhelmed with too much going on.
Isn't this true in life, too?
When and Why K.I.S.S.?
My beginner students, when they start out drawing, often have a tendency toward busyness.
They feel that they need to include everything in their picture, just like a photograph. They think they need to draw every blade of grass, each strand of hair, every leaf on a tree.
They become overwhelmed, intimidated, and even discouraged by the amount of work that would take.
I show them ways to simplify the picture, making sure there's negative space around the subject, and leaving out unnecessary details.
Keeping it simple results in a stronger, clearer image.
My students are happy to focus their energy on what they find most interesting and compelling.
They feel empowered when they realize that they don't have to slavishly copy what they see, but are free to make their own choices and interpret what they see to create something original.
It's good to edit!
Before you begin, think about what's important to you, and what isn't.
Let go of, or de-emphasize, anything that doesn't support your true focus.
By keeping things simple, we show what's important to us. We allow space to relax, breathe and focus on priorities.
K.I.S.S. is how you show love to what's meaningful to you!
Do you think K.I.S.S. is a helpful concept?