This Can Happen
You Just Need One Rule
When composing a painting or photograph, many artists and photographers use what's called the rule of thirds. You've probably seen it whether you recognized it or not.
It basically states that focal points of your composition should fall on or near imaginary crossroads within the canvas or frame. Imagine drawing a tic-tac-toe board on your canvas. Where the lines intersect are where you want to place important parts of your composition such as the horizon or people.
It makes for a nice, off-center look that's far more interesting for the viewer and gives the finished piece good balance. It also splits your canvas into thirds both vertically and horizontally.
I was thinking about the rule of thirds concept as I was scouting angles for reference photos and realized just how much life is reflected in that idea.
Life's Timeline and Three Main Focal Points
Think of life's timeline consisting of three phases - childhood, adulthood, and the golden years. It's funny how interesting things seem to happen where those phases intersect, just like in a composition.
There are also three main focal points of your personal world - your professional or work life, your family and friends, and your private life or "me time".
If you're like most people, you probably behave somewhat differently at work than you do around your family. And you probably don't act the same way when you're alone as you do when you're with your friends.
Three different personas that again become very interesting at the crossroads and can become unbalanced unless you segment them with some type of rule.
A lot of men tend to become top heavy in the work and professional area while women tend to go overboard with family and friends. Neither seem to give enough attention to private time which is just as important.
When you never take time out for yourself, you become overworked and tired. You can't help others when you're drained of your own energy.
It would be like painting an ocean scene without the ocean. If you only had sand and sky, it would no longer be an ocean - it would be a desert!
So what would your life look like if you applied the rule of thirds?
Ok, it doesn't have to be precisely thirds, but the idea is to allot time for each of these three important areas of your life.
Work is usually the easiest because your schedule is probably set by a supervisor.
Family and friends will often remind you of their needs, so they stay at the forefront of your mind.
But it's up to you to lobby for your own down time.
Whether you take some time at lunch to be alone and recharge, or you set rules at home about private time, it's important that you get it.
That kind of balance will make all the difference not only in your mental and physical health, but will spill over into your work and personal relationships as well.
You'll be a better employee, a better spouse, a better parent, and a better friend when you take care of yourself.
So be the artist of your own world and try composing your life using the rule of thirds. I think you'll find that a balanced life is the most beautiful of all art forms!
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Below is a puzzle piece from one of the paintings in the gallery. If you can guess the name of the painting correctly, you'll be entered for a chance to win a FREE MUG of your choice!