Don’t Be Afraid of White Spaces" by Jana Misheva

Meet Jana Misheva, our Words of Wisdom winner! After 570 fantastic design submissions, the words of Jana’s doodle-centric type design really spoke to us. What was Jana’s design saying? It was saying, “Print me. Print meeee. Just do it.” So, we did. Then, we got in touch with Jana to ask her a few questions about her design. Check out the interview below, and don’t forget to congratulate Jana on her second printed Threadless design!

How about a quick introduction? 

Hi! I’m Jana Misheva from Skopje, Macedonia and I work as graphic designer in advertising agency during the day and illustrator at night.

Congratulations on winning! How did it feel to get the news? 

Thank you Threadless! And thanks to everyone who supported this design and wanted to wear it one day. I was literary jumping from joy when I got the news, it’s still quite unbelievable.

Your design, Don’t Be Afraid of White Space, is simple at first glance, but quite complex when looked at closer. Could you walk us through your process? If you have any process photos, please share!

The process was like filling a space with the randomness of my thoughts, made out of many doodles, phrases that I tried to link with the words fear and white space, stuff that I thought would make the design fun to watch for a long period of time. Here is the process in fast forward:


Do you have a favorite phrase in your design?

It’s the apocalyptical question: Wanna watch the world end in 3D?

As a designer, is not being “afraid of white space” something that really influences your work? 

I think all designers or any creative person has this fear or anticipation before starting a project.

Fear of the white paper or screen that stares at you at every beginning, that white space that is challenging you. It has also a lot to do with procrastination, or how the sketches or doodles that you make before starting the “final” piece can be a way of postponing the actual work and eventually becoming the final design.

How do you find time to balance all your projects?

It all has to do with how much I’m in love with certain project and the idea behind it and then I find time even if that means nights without much sleep.

GrindSpaces is all about just letting things happen - true serendipity if you will. Is that sort of the mindset you had when creating this design?

It really was! It was flow of ideas that filled the space exactly as they should and thinking again about it I wouldn’t change a thing

Do you work better independently or in groups/collaborations?

It depends on the project, sometimes I want to finish a project by myself because I can’t wait to see the idea I had as a finished project, but sometimes it’s fun to see how an idea is developing in group or collaboration and be part of the creative process.

How would you describe the art scene in Macedonia? Have you ever spotted a Threadless design over there?

The art scene is very small but active, where small group of creative people are trying to make a difference using the design trends at the moment and mixing them with the local mindset, trying to evolve in recognizable design community in the region. Threadless is starting to get popular in Skopje, I have spotted people wearing Threadless designs and there is definitely interest for the Threadless designs. 

Being that this challenge revolved around motivational words, what is some advice you can offer to artists trying to break it into the design world?

My advice is to never stop trying, never stop working, even if there are failures along the way that shouldn’t discourage you but only make you better.

Are you working on any cool projects at the moment?

Yes I’m kind of playing with letters and graphics, mixing them and having fun in the process…It’s my ongoing personal typographical project. Here is an example:  


Any last words or shout outs?

Much love to the Threadless stuff and community, you guys rock!

To all the designers out there don’t be afraid just make stuff and great things will come along the way.