Making Room for the White Space


If you’re familiar with art and design terminology, white space is a compositional element where the artist chooses to leave a portion of the page unmarked. Wikipedia says that white space shouldn't be "considered merely 'blank space'- it's an important element of design which enables the objects in it to exist at all.” I intentionally use white space in my work all of the time: it gives the objects within the image a special sense of importance, scale, and interest. However, I'm not very good at creating white space in my life. I know it’s important to leave room around the edges, but for some reason I like my schedule to be full to the point of exploding and I feel like I'm wasting my life if I'm not constantly doing something productive. If my life over the past several years were a website, it'd be one of those geocities websites with a tiled background, packed to the brim with animated .gifs of flaming text and shiny objects.

(Anyone know what I'm talking about? ...Anyone?)

To be completely honest, sometimes I make myself so busy that I no longer feel productive. Instead, I feel like my mind is going a thousand miles a minute and when I want to stop working at the end of the day, I just can't. I have to be doing SOMETHING, and usually I pick something incredibly insignificant to fill my time with. In the end, this just ends up making my mind feel more cluttered.

Sometimes I need to just. stop. Just make more room for the white space. Sometimes the most productive thing I can do is be quiet. Still. Wait. Listen. Be with those I love and not feel pressured to make progress.

Because it's the white space that enables the objects in our life to exist at all.