This is something I've wanted to address here for a long while.
I used to scrapbook.
Like, obsessively. For years and years.
I started out doing it just for fun: when I moved to Vancouver in 2006 I had already been scrapbooking my highschool pictures and stuff for a while...but when I moved and started a blog, I became connected to this big network of online scrapbooking galleries and forums and other blogs written by super-talented paper-cutters. There has always been a cool side to it. (For reals, I know you're rolling your eyes if you don't know the industry at all right now). Back in those days, there were girls breaking the box left and right: it was kind of the heyday. Swears garnished pages, they became mixed with art journalling techniques, you didn't need to just make pages about kids: I was there. Give me that brand of scrapbooking, please. It was then I realized that other people are as obsessed about scrapbooking as I am! Danielle and Elsie and Nisa and Kristina Contes influenced me greatly. Cool girls scrapbooking? Yes.
It took me a long time to find my own style: I ended up spending a ton of time on pages because for me, they were never just pages. They were works of art. I needed an artistic outlet. To work with my hands. To not really think about anything, sometimes, and just express, make, scrumple, paint, spill, scribble. All that good stuff.
I then realized that companies had design teams - what? - and was encouraged through sharing my pages on my newly-started blog, so I tried out for Fancy Pants Designs and worked with them for a year. I delved into it full-on, after that - loving to get to scrapbook and share my pages and by inspired and try to inspire, in turn. Such a great community! I worked with a few great, small, vintage-inspired kit clubs - Rachel's Red Velvet Kit Club and The Dozens. It was super-fun. I learned a lot about myself and what I like artistically, in the process. I ended up designing sample pages for lots of companies along the way: Bella Blvd, Pink Paislee, Sassafras Lass, American Crafts, and lots more. I started making pages for trade shows and blogs, typing up technique tutorials, and completeing monthly assignments for companies I was working with in exchange for free product.
Eventually, I got to develop stamps with the lovely Michele of Purple Onion Designs (want to see?). I eventually ended up collaborating with Sassafras Lass designing two handmade-style paper lines (which I will add to this blog's archive very soon).
It was kind of a win win. For a while.
It was here that I realized the extent of my lack of knowledge about design. CMYK color swatches? I have no idea. I thank Sassafras immensely for taking a chance on me and letting me handmake paper designs and opening my eyes to this: that I need to learn more about it if I'm ever going to successfully pull off this whole design thing myself one day.
Eventually, this all made me realize some things:
1. Wow! I know nothing about design or print specs or vector design software.
2. This is what I really want to do: design lines & patterns, etc.
3. I'm spending a lot of time working for other companies here, not myself
So it was time to choose me over all other things, and I said goodbye to these companies and 'free stuff' and scrapbooking and signed up for design school. Something which many people told me I didn't need - but, really - it forces you to spend time figuring out, creatively and visually, what you want to do while learning technical stuff you need.
These choices means I had less time, and so I stopped scrapbooking.
I'm still figuring out how to fix this for myself - after all this history, I do miss it a lil bit. I'm a natural collect-all-the-bits-to-tell-the-story-er. And I'm sometimes at a loss as to how to transition this place from that to wherever I'm headed now: away from that. it's kind of been what ym online presence revolved around for a long time.
I've been thinking about doing quick digital books to document the mister and I's lives. And perhaps a small art journal for myself. I do a lot of process books for school, which are pretty much old school scrapbooks where you paste every aspect of a project in with doodles, drawings, and memorabilia, so I might keep something like that on the side. But the fact of the matter is, I just don't have the time to spend on it, anymore. (And I have nothing against those who do! Nor am I saying that you need time on your hands to scrapbook. I know how squishing it in when you don't is, too, trust me).
Do I have any regrets about the scrapbooking days of yore?
(Other than the amount of storage space scrapbook pages require? hah.) No. It was through scrapbooking that I fully realized my love for both illustration and design. Scrapbooking is essentially layout design: the organizing of elements on a page to communicate something. What?! I know, right. It's just hands-on design, in a sense. If you're me. Or anything like me.
I would still really really love to design paper, one day. Designing paper lines is so fun! Illustrating one would be a dream. It's just such a fun, trendy, ever-changing industry. And I have so many ideas for patterns it's ridiculous! One day I hope to pitch something. When I'm good and ready. Also, I still think that scrapbooking your memories can be rad, and is not just a craft designated to older ladies. It can be more than just stickers and pictures of your children: it can be art. It is what you make it, and that's what I always loved about it. You're recording your own personal self in a creative way that can and will be looked back on fondly. :)
How do you feel about scrapbooking? Do you? Don't you? Did you used to?
I feel like a lot of scrapbookers online go in full-throttle and then stop scrapbooking completely and it's such a weird phenomenon. Or maybe just the it's-art-not-scrapbooking scrapbookers? Do assignments get stifling and mundane, or is that what keeps you going? Do they inspire you, instead? I would love to hear your story with scrapbooking. Please share!