So, after 13+ years of scrapbooking, I have finally decided what I love most about scrapbooking. And yes, it is the creative outlet that I really need to survive! But I don't feel that each and every layout must be an absolute phenomenal creation from the depths of my heart or right-brain. In fact, that entire thought just made me have a sharp pain in my head. So here's a few random thoughts on how I feel about scrapbooking:
- Total uniqueness is not an option. I think that it has been this belief that each layout must be different and exclusive that has led me to totally abandon the process (but not the buying!) for long stretches at a time. It is totally overwhelming and stressful to me to have to produce distinction in each creation. The best of my originality comes in the papers I choose, the embellishment I use and, most, the stories I tell through my layouts. But there's only so much you can do with a 12x12 background. In fact, I have created things to only see an almost exact sketch a year or so later (not a scraplift because who could have seen something I made when no one ever saw anything I made). And that's okay.
- Scrapbooker and artist is not a synonym in my mind. I am a crafter. This is a craft. Whether I use paint or found objects or just stickers on paper or canvas, I am still crafting. I appreciate that some people may feel they are artists; but I am more proud of being a craftsman than I can say. In fact, my brother is an artist - he was born with this innate talent to create amazing artwork from nothingness; I was born a crafter as I can create artistry within a given framework. Einstein was a genius, Renoir was an artist, Jesus was a craftsman. And that's seriously okay.
- I need motivation. I need someone or something to say 'get er done'. Classes, forums, photographs, this blog and a sense of achievement all give me the inspiration to accomplish something. But not someone telling me I should scrap this or that... that makes me crazy! Nor the fact that there are 1,000s of photos or 100s of stories that need scrapped - that's just pressure. But accountability and pride drive me. And that's okay.
- I love a good sketch. And what may be great to you, is not good for me. Scraplifting is my new favorite way to scrap. It totally takes the pressure off. I spent most of my scraplife ignoring sketches; not entirely true... I collected printed sketches, but only used one in all the time I can remember. And even though I had this collection and looked through them monthly, I just didn't find anything I felt comfortable recreating. Obviously, I was collecting the wrong sketches and felt that each must be recreated exactly... exactly the wrong attitude. There is no way to rectify the amount of time and money I have spent on this hobby to the few layouts I have actually produced. But with my new scraplift epiphany, there is no way that I can't get through these 1,000s of photos in time. And that deserves a great big, WOOHOO!!!
- I don't have to journal on my layouts to tell a story. For the longest time, I did very little, if any, journaling on my layouts... afterall a picture is worth a 1,000 words. But then, I started to journal - sometimes a little, sometimes a lot - and it started to feel that it should be a part of every.single.layout. But sometimes, every once in a while, it's not necessary. The photo(s) can tell the story - the whole story - because of the subject or a look on a face. I have layouts like that... the entire story is wrapped up in an expression, in a dress, in a mirror and in the title -nothing more necessary. And that's okay.
- It's okay that I'm hoarding the things I love the best. Let's face it, I've always had a little stash issue. But then it came in so handy when going through the worst of times. So it's probably only natural that I'm gathering a little right now. Of course, I'm using a LOT. But then, it's not just that. I really do believe that it's perfectly okay that I have 4 sheets of Ring Around the Rosie paper and 3 sheets of teal/black Mini-Market letters because I love them so much. On the other hand, I don't have to have every.new.thing. in my stash and I don't have to be 'on-trend' in order to make absolutely lovely layouts that I can be proud of. And that's okay.
- I cannot! randomly cut up a stack of 12x12 papers. It's an exercise of creativity about kits and starting points and freedom that I just don't get. I have a stack of randomly cut-up papers... it's called a 'scrap basket' and it's the first place I go once I decide on a 'theme' for a layout. Also, I've only been on one 'crop' in 13+ years and don't see that changing anytime soon. So the fact that I'm just not a kit person is totally okay. I choose a set of supplies for each layout and pull those out, but I don't like to make a stack of premade kits and then put photos with them. It doesn't work for me. And that's okay.
- I am not a photographer! In no way, in no how. I take photos of events. I occasionally take photos at other times if the moment comes along. But being a scrapbooker has in no way made me a photographer. Taking photos has come with the love of scrapbooking... and with the fact that I want to make my grandchildrens' lives remembered as opposed to the lack of pictures in my brother and my lives. And about 50% of the time, my photos are not very good regardless of how much I've read on the subject. Don't get me wrong, there are times that I love taking photos - but because I scrapbook does not in any way make me a photographer. It's simply a means to an end. And that's okay.
- I don't understand that whole Project Life thing. Honestly, maybe it's just because my life is so utterly boring. Here I am day-after-day doing the same thing - or nothing. And really I don't think this is so extraordinary. I don't think this is just a matter of my circumstance. Even when I worked or when I was single or when the kids were young, most of the days were fairly much SSDD. Of course, not every.single.day., but most were fairly much the same. I know that so many people love it... and that's okay.
- I wish I was a professional scrapbooker... not. Okay, this a 'right-on'/'hell-no' thing. I love scrapbooking and what a great way to make a living. But then, if I had to do it all the time I'd probably become totally overwhelmed and/or bored. But then would I get phenomenal travel opportunity? But then would I be able to go? And really, do I want to have to tell arbitrary stories about the kids just for the sake of scrapping? (Okay, let's face it, I'm pretty good at that!). No, I think I'm happy it's a hobby. I think that this blog is as 'professional' as I'll ever get. And that's okay.
Now, I am very interested in knowing your scrapbooking epiphanies - whether you figured them out today or 5 years ago. We each have our own - whether it's that you love making cards more than layouts because of the paper or that you prefer Smash Books & mini-books to 12x12 or that you prefer the artistry only using photographs as another medium or that you only use scrapbooking as an aesthetically pleasing platform for photographs - it's all very much okay.
"It's refreshing to see a woman who can artfully weave her individuality into an otherwise safe ensemble." - Nina Garcia