Let’s play a game! Try testing your natural response to fear. What are your responses to threatening or dangerous situations? Not everyone’s source of anxiety stems from the same place. We acquire fears through life experience, which can make our subconscious associate unrelated things as triggers to those things we fear.
This illustrations speak to our subconscious fears through what we notice first when observing them. Look at “Butterfly Apple” by surrealist artist Vladimir Kush. What jumps out at you first?
The Knife: If you noticed the knife first, it reveals that you subconsciously fear a terminal illness. Many that see the knife first share the fear of suffering. They also worry that they could die at any moment.
The Caterpillar: Those who see the caterpillar right away are said to have a fear of the paranormal. This fear of ghosts, also known as phasmophobia, affects those who believe potential entities are all around us.
The Butterfly: Noticing the butterfly… reveals you have subconscious fear of betrayal. Most times people that notice the butterfly first have been betrayed more than once. You dread that it will happen again.
The Apple: If you spotted the apple first, this means that you have a subconscious fear of your loved ones dying. This is usually common for those who have already lost someone close . The pain is something that they can’t bear experiencing again.
What do you notice first in this skull illusion painting by Trevor Brown?
The Girl: If you spotted the little girl sitting by the tree first, you subconsciously fear making big decisions and stress. Most likely you’ve experienced trauma in your childhood, which has affected these abilities that have become a source of anxiety.
The Strawberry: Strawberries are often a sign of love. However if you noticed this strawberry is turned upside down which means that you are likely in a complicated romantic relationship. Subconsciously, you fear that you may never find true love.
The Butterfly: The butterfly represents a missed opportunity. If you noticed the butterfly first, it could mean you are scared deep down that you’ll never have the chance to make up for an opportunity you missed.
The Trees: If the trees on the other side of the illustration were what you noticed first, then it represents the subconscious fear of dealing with an inner conflict. This inner conflict may even be guilt or depression.
The Skull: While there’s no actual skull in the illustration, many notice the optical illusion that is present. If this skull was the first image you noticed, it may mean that you have a subconscious fear of disappointing others.
The Skull: Those who initially see the skull may be suppressing a secret or rejecting a certain truth that they subconsciously fear will be exposed in the future.
The Girl: This fear could stem from a past experience of being unable to change the outcome of something that happened to you or someone close to you.
The Trees: If you noticed the trees first, may mean you subconsciously fear the unpredictability of the future
Background Figure: Those who notice the figure often value their privacy over most things and fear being seen from a stranger.