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Creating white space


As artists, we understand the need for white space. White space is the space between design elements and also the space inside the design elements. Without white space, which truly doesn’t have to be “white,” everything would run together. Imagine if there was no white space in this type. It would all run together and be confusing, to say the least.

The amount of white space you include varies based on your design decisions. Your goal should be to balance design elements, organize the content for ease of use, and to allow a place for the eye to rest.

You also need white space in your life, space that allows you to rest and reconnect. Once you appreciate what it does in the art you create and the art you view, you can appreciate its value in your business and life.

Imagine if your life or business calendar was jam packed with no relief. You would end up overwhelmed, frustrated and stressed. You could become resentful about what tugs at your life.

If you go back to the goal of white space in design work and think about the concept in your life and business, it would balance your life, organize your days, and let you have rest.

Here are some ways you can create and use more white space in your life.

Schedule it

You can’t have more white space if you don’t allow for it purposefully. It’s so easy to fill your calendar with things to do that you don’t have any time left to rest or for yourself. Get out your calendar and block that space off. You need to make you a priority. If you don’t, chances are that you will find yourself overworked and overwhelmed.

An important note: you need to schedule your white space first rather then work it around your other commitments. Chances are if you try to fit it around everything else, it will fall by the wayside.

Say no more often

It’s so easy to say yes to every opportunity that comes your way. When you’ve placed yourself as a priority and blocked that white space, then it’s easier to see that you can’t take on more.

And, speaking of no, try saying no to busy, not just new opportunities. Many people fill their days with work, and not all of it is productive. Take time to consider if what you are working on is busywork or if it will lead to a productive outcome.

Take a break from social media

Do you find yourself checking your Instagram feed in the grocery line? Yes, we all do it. We get in the habit of having to fill every minute with something. Try taking a break from social media. Leave your phone in the car when you park your car. Put it in another room part of the weekend or evenings. If it’s not at the ready, you can be more present.

Create white space in your surroundings

If you’ve created white space in your calendar, what do you do with it? In some cases, you’ve set aside days for family activities, a vacation getaway, personal art, or just for yourself without a plan.

If it’s just for yourself, one idea would be to create a physical space in your home that is designed for mental white space. Maybe for you it’s a meditation room where you can go and sit without having to do anything. Maybe it’s getting up before everyone else in your house and finding a nook to have your tea. Maybe it’s sitting on a bench in your garden or a park. It allows you a place to “be,” which is something many of us don’t take time for.

It’s your turn

Do you have enough white space in your day? How do you create and use it?

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3 Responses to “Creating white space”

  1. Pamela R Jernigan said:


    How do I go about getting “white space” in digital file storage? I am overwhelmed with all the photos I take when working on a piece. What is important to keep? This is both on my phone and computer. I am not particularly adept in electronics, etc.

    Pam Jernigan

  2. Morna said:

    Pam, what a question!!! I can appreciate what you are saying. We recently had someone talk about digital organization in our ICAP Members’ Studio. One of the things she said was file digitally so you can find it in the future. Lots that you’ve already filed, you’ll never find, so start with today. You may need to go back to previous files and refile at some point, but do start going forward. Think about how you would search for something and set up a system that could work. For example, Art Piece Title Close-up In process #1 might be how you would search, and you could have many in process photos. You could create a folder for each piece and then subfolders may or may not be needed. In this case, you might want a subfolder for in process and all the close-ups go in it. How would you title the individual files so that you could easily find them, by date, perhaps? If you have specific elements of the project, they might need a folder. So spend time thinking about how you search. That’s the first step. Then go from there.

  3. Pam Jernigan said:

    Thank you so much! Makes sense now!

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