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The Art of Subtraction in Life and Design

by be.

If in my work I’ve learned anything it’s that effective design is a result of subtraction rather than addition. My most easily communicated works are simple ideas that can be felt immediately upon first read or reception. They don’t need a lengthy description or poetic caption. They only need to be seen to be understood in full.

If in my life I’ve remembered one lesson it is that sometimes the space that an object occupies is worth more than the object that is occupying the space. This too illustrates the value of subtracting from your day to day creation of the rest of your life.

What am I then but a result of my loss? My pain in loving and losing, in wanting and being weary, in needing and being neglected has chipped my shoulders but also molded my frame. In creating I have learned to rid myself of the elements which I do not need. In life too I must learn to make beauty of the things I want but have been unwillingly subtracted from the design of my being.

I’m often asked what my “style” is. In both creation and existence it is pain done beautifully and beauty done painfully. By choice or otherwise.


- Bryan 'be.' Espiritu