When you change the way you look at things,
the things you look at change.
Perspective. What is it?
the art of drawing solid objects on a two-dimensional surface so as to give the right impression of their height, width, depth, and position in relation to each other when viewed from a particular point.
a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.
These two definitions connect well together and grab my attention. Perspective as an art form and as a particular attitude.
As an art form, perspective is used to give “the right impression . . . when viewed from a particular point.” Lines are slanted just so in relation to an object, depending on a chosen vanishing point on the horizon line, to allow your image to jump out of the page and portray imagined dimension and depth. It is a way to trick the mind into seeing three dimensions where there is, in fact, only two.
In the attitude department, perspective is how we look at things . . . “how we regard something.” It’s a way of thinking or feeling that is reflected in our words, our actions, our affect, and our behavior.
Perspective is everything.
Even though it doesn’t feel like it at times, we do have choices as to the way we look at things. When we are viewing something from a negative perspective, perhaps if we just re-located our vanishing point on the horizon line . . . well, our focus — our perspective — would change. As we adjust our vanishing point, the slant of the lines grow longer or shorter . . . creating an entirely different perspective. As the artist, it’s up to us as to where we want to place our vanishing point and when we want to connect dominant points to our object of focus.
M. C. Escher perfected the fine art of perspective and also of fooling our eyes to think that we are going up a staircase when we actually just might be going down. Or not. Or both. Escher is a master of perspective.
The next time you are struggling with a negative perspective or a perplexing slant on things, why not think like M. C. Escher and allow for some ambiguity in the situation while you are re-adjusting your vanishing point. Use your creativity, keep your mind open, and perhaps allow for both. Never underestimate the power of perspective. It can change everything.