Breathing Room

My love of white space can’t be overemphasized. White space—or as often called, negative space—is a term for the aesthetic design principle of leaving “white” (aka relatively empty) space in your art. The space serves as a resting place for the eyes as well as a means to balance a page.

Whether it is in decorating my home, putting outfits together, taking photos, or designing layouts, I need space! I need places where my eyes (and heart!) can rest, unhurried and uncluttered. I dress in mostly solid colors, I have big open spaces on my walls, and the subjects of my photos often only take up a small part of an image.

I admire photographers and scrappers (and fashionistas!) who can pull off a full layout or a dazzling and decorated outfit. I just can’t do it.

Oh to have that talent. Heddy’s page above is incredible. It is full and fun!

However, when I scrap, I just need my space. But, I often create my page with everything where I want it, often filling the whole page. At the end, I adjust the size of my papers and elements until I feel like I can breathe.

Take this layout, for example. I used Sweetiekins kit by Traci Reed & Erica Zane. I am trying to be a little less of a simple scrapper, taking advantage of more of the awesome papers and elements in a kit.

I put the layout together, filling almost all of the page. I liked the placement of everything, but as often happens, I knew I needed more space.

To do this, I simply select all layers (select > all layers) and then I deselect my background layer, since I don’t want to resize it. Then I just grab one of the corners and I shrink the contents of the layout until I feel I have given the page enough room to breathe.

Once I am happy, I click the green check mark to confirm the pages, and then I save my layout and breathe easy.

After scrapping for eleven years, my style continues to evolve, but there are certain aspects I don’t think will ever change. Breathing room is just one of those things I will always need — in life and in art.


How about you? Do you use a lot of white space? Do you find that your scrapping style mimics your style in other areas of life?