Is Social Media Affecting Your Creativity?

Credit: Shutterstock

There is a feature on my iPhone called Screen Time. Essentially, Screen Time tracks my daily social media usage, how many times I pick up my phone and what app I tend to look at first, and the number of notifications I receive through out the day. Now, at first glance, the data seems harmless and in most cases, pretty darn useful. However, I have discovered that the data is telling something about my social media behavior:

I SPEND WAY TOO MUCH TIME ONLINE!

Okay, honestly…I don’t need Apple Screen Time to tell me something I already know. I have become addicted to my devices. I pick up my iPhone first thing in the morning and it is typically the last thing I touch at night (hello YouTube videos). I use my device to text, talk to friends, read ebooks, listen to music, watch videos (and record videos), and conduct business. It is a fabulous tool that makes some of my everyday tasks a bit more efficient.

Until it doesn’t.

According to Screen Time, I spend an average 6 hours and 40 minutes per day on my phone. That’s 46 hours and 47 minutes per week! Of that, I spend 24 hours and 7 minutes on social media sites and apps, 11 hours and 17 minutes on entertainment (YouTube), and 4 hours and 23 minutes on creativity (not sure what that means).

Y’all…46 freakin’ hours per week!!!!! That’s the equivalent of a full time job! Can you imagine what could get accomplished in 46 hours!

Good LORD!

So, this all begs the question? Is my creativity affected by my social media usage? The answer for me is…YES!

Image Source: Grand Cayman Magazine

Making things is what inspires me. A robust creative session gives me energy and new ideas. However, I often find myself thinking, “I should probably work on a project, make a scrapbooking kit, or design a sketch.” The interest is there, but sadly, I remain parked on my couch, scrolling Facebook or Instagram.

And when I finally settle into a creative session, my mind is a big ball of mush, and my creative ideas seem elusive. It takes me longer to get started and I get frustrated when I can’t seem to find my groove.

Back to Facebook I go. (Rinse and repeat)

I feel guilty thinking about all of the creative projects waiting for me in my studio. Or the unread books on my reading cart. Or the ingredients that I purchased to make a new recipe…sitting on my kitchen counter, a constant reminder that I chose watching lifestyle videos on YouTube over making a delicious new dish.

Oh the things that could be accomplished and enjoyed if I was only willing to spend less time online and more time tuned into my life.

My creative space (well, former space). It’s heaven!

Don’t get me wrong, vegging out and surfing social media isn’t a bad thing. But, if surfing social media is keeping you from creating or otherwise spending your time doing interesting an/or more productive tasks, maybe its time to reevaluate the situation.

So where do we begin to reclaim our creative time? We begin to track how long we are consuming content on social media. We make a plan to change our behaviors so that we are devoting time to our creative pursuits. We put our devices to sleep for an hour, two hours, 24-hours, and we give ourselves permission to set boundaries and to focus on other things.

Sometimes, we need to give social media a break.

Over the past few months, I started decreasing the number of hours I spend on social media. I am spending more time in my craft studio, working on several projects, teaching myself new techniques, and enjoying every minute!

Do I still scroll Instagram and Facebook? Yes. But, I am learning to find a realistic balance…and that’s okay.

How about you? In the comments section, tell me if social media has affected your creativity. Do you need to change your screen time behavior?

Thanks for stopping by!

NEW! Live Creative Mini Classes – Victoria Marie Patreon Community!

I am so excited to announce that I will be teaching a series of scrapbooking classes LIVE on Zoom for the Victoria Marie Patreon Community!

VM Patrons will receive two (2) LIVE mini classes per month, starting on June 13, 2020!

The classes will cover the following topics:

  • Creative Techniques for Pocket Cards (6/13/2020)
  • Busy Pattern Paper Play (6/27/2020)
  • Using Products by Different Manufacturers on a Scrapbook Layout (7/11/2020)
  • Exploring with Die Cuts (7/25/2020)
  • Creating Balance and Symmetry on a Scrapbook Layout (8/08/2020)
  • How to Revamp Your Scrapbooking Style (8/22/2020)

Click HERE to view the class schedule!

The Victoria Marie Patreon memberships START at $5.00 per month!

Members receive EXCLUSIVE scrapbooking content via process videos, tutorials, live classes/events, exclusive scrapbook sketches, and much more!

If you are looking for more creative education and scrapbook inspiration, this community is for you!

To learn more and to become a member, click HERE!

To learn more about Patreon, click HERE!

I hope you will join our growing community! Thanks so much for your continued support!


Trial and Error – Why the Journey is Important!

Over the years, I have learned a lot about the creative process. First, it’s a journey and along the way, there are stumbles, falls, surprises, successes, and failures. Stopping midway through the creative journey leads to missed opportunities.

Recently, I was working on a design team project for the Hedgehog Hollow and I got stuck on a card design. I couldn’t figure out how to create a project using the products I was given. I spent about two hours making cards, trying different techniques, testing products, only to throw way about a third of what I was making.

Trash can filled with misfit projects!

Then it happened…I made a card that was actually pretty decent! It took several tries, a bit of frustration, a tiny bit of creative doubt, and a whole lot of trial and error. But I did it. Hooray!

Victoria Marie Designs for the Hedgehog Hollow (2020)

Roughly seven cards later, this was the finished product (see above). Had I not worked through the process of trial and error, trusted the creative journey, I would not have gotten to this point.

Below are photos of some of my past projects that took a while to complete. Through trial and error, I was able to work through the creative process to produce a finished product.

“Favorite Selfie” – Completed after 2 attempts.
“Color Me Happy” – Three days later…I finally got it!
“Cool in the Pool” – The shaker element in the word “cool” tripped me up!

Why Does this Matter?

The expectation that we should be able to go from point A to point Z of the creative process can be a bit self-defeating! We compare ourselves to artists who’s projects appear to come together so easily, as if their creative process is flawless and magical.

(Spoiler alert – it’s not!)

What we sometimes do not see is the trash can filled with projects gone awry. What we don’t see are the multiple attempts at trying something new or working through a creative block. We ALL go through this…even the most seasoned scrapbooker has been stuck a time or two (or more)!

The urge to give up is strong. Self-doubt creeps in and we say to ourselves, “I just can’t do this.”

But friend…we can.

The journey from point A to Z is where the good stuff is! The creative process gives us room to experiment, find out what works and what doesn’t. We make adjustments and try again. We get frustrated and walk away. And then we come back and experiment some more. We work through the learning curves, and with each step, we add more information and skills to our knowledge base.

At the end of the journey, we often walk away victorious, or if we do fail, we can celebrate the fact that we are much more informed at the end of the process than we were at the beginning.

THIS is why trial and error matters.

The next time you are working through a tough creative challenge, remember that the process is just as important as the outcome. It is through the creative process that we learn, grow, and develop our skills. If you don’t know how to do something, find a resource and get crackin’!

Don’t be afraid of the journey. Embrace trial and error…you’ll be glad that you did.

5 Awesome Kits Using 1 Scrapbook Paper Pad!

If you are like me, then you probably have a few scrapbook paper pads in your scrappy stash. I love using paper pads but have found that in the midst of my other supplies, they are rarely used. I firmly believe that ALL of my craft supplies are meant to be consumed…paper pads are no exception!

Last week, I hosted a live session on the Victoria Marie Facebook Group where I deconstructed an entire paper pad (Memorandum by Pink Paislee) with the goal of making scrapbook kits.

My process is simple:

1) I removed ALL of the papers from the pad. Yep, you read that right…I removed every single page from the paper pad!

2) Next, I separated the papers into groups that can be used to create scrapbooking kits. The Memorandum paper pack features a variety of pattern paper designs, pages with pocket cards and labels, and several with bold and muted patterns. Each grouping contains 3-5 papers in varying styles.

3) After coordinating the pattern paper groupings, I reached into my stash to select supplies for each kit – die cuts, stickers, stamps, textured embellishments, etc. Each kit has enough materials to make 2-3 scrapbook layouts. Of course, larger kits can be created by adding more paper and embellishments.

4) Each kit was then stored in a Memory Keeper paper holder.

Here are the 5 kits I created using the remaining papers from the Memorandum paper pack!

Kit #1
Kit #2
Kit #3
Kit #4
Kit #5

It feels so good to finally put my paper pads and older supplies to use! All of the kits I created contain products from different manufacturers. Of course, you can use products from scrapbook collections or pre-made kits as well.

Over the next few weeks, I will be using these kits to make several scrapbook projects and sharing this process during the weekly Victoria Marie Facebook Live session, hosted on Fridays at 2:00 pm CST!

To join the group, click HERE! To use a time converter, click HERE!

NOTE: All replay versions of the Victoria Marie Facebook Live sessions are located under VIDEOS in the Victoria Marie Facebook Group!

Stay tuned for more paper pad kits to come! Thanks for stopping by!

Why You Should Stay in Your Own Lane – The Comparison Trap

In 2019, I experienced a series of creative slumps. I felt that everything that I made was 100% crap! I struggled with creative ideas and I began to produce a lot of lack luster projects. Unfortunately, I started comparing my creative work to that of my colleagues. It seemed like they were making highly innovative scrapbook layouts, traveler’s notebook spreads, mini albums, and pocket pages. Meanwhile, my brain grasped at any creative idea I could drum up.

I took a seat at the front of the struggle bus.

I also felt that I wasn’t producing content as fast as other YouTube content creators. I wondered how they were able to post high quality content on their YouTube channels everyday (or every other day) and why I struggled to only produce 1 video per week.

Sadly, I fell into the comparison trap.

It happens to the best of us. We are cruising along, doing our thing, then BAM! We begin to doubt our abilities and judge our talents against the talents of others. The comparison trap is vicious, leaving many people feeling as if they can’t cut the mustard. And sadly, some folks quit or give up something that they truly enjoy out of frustration and/or jealously of others.

You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.” Sage words from my good friend Dr. Phil!

(Okay, technically, he went to the University of North Texas, the same college I attended for my bachelors and masters degrees, so naturally we are good friends. I digress…)

After months of laboring in the comparison trap, I finally had to face reality. There was nothing wrong with me or my creative work. The truth is…my expectations were out of whack. I was comparing apples to oranges.

Interestingly, we all do this at some point. I have talked to dozens of scrapbookers over the years who have stopped making layouts because they began to compare their talents against the talents of other scrapbookers.

We all have an idea or expectation of what we want our projects to look like. We get frustrated when it takes us longer to master a specific scrapbooking technique when it seems so easy for Suzy Q!

Darn you Suzy Q!

So, what do we do? How do we begin to stay in our own lane and confront the comparision trap head on?

First, acknowledge when you are starting to compare yourself to other artists. Do you feel jealous, envious, angry, or sad when you are looking at the work of a fellow artist? Do your behaviors change as a result? Do you become stressed, experience a creative block, or simply want to give up? Address how you are feeling head on and be honest with yourself.

Second, do something about it. You may chose to simply let go of those feelings and direct your energy into making projects that you love and enjoy, appreciating your individual talents, and accepting your limitations.

Or, in some cases, maybe you stopped following a specific designer on social media if you cannot seem to shake your feelings. It’s okay to let go until you are able to consume their content without falling victim to the comparison trap.

Lastly, recognize that we are all different. We have different talents, interests, expectations, work flow processes, and circumstances that impact what we create. You are doing yourself a disservice by comparing your talents and output to that of someone who’s circumstances, talents, years of experience, and bandwidth are different than yours.

At the end of 2019, I resolved to focus on my creative goals and projects, absent from comparing my work to that of my colleagues. I learned to appreciate what I bring to the creative arts industry and to support this community the best way I know how. I took ownership of my insecurities and came through the comparison trap storm a little be wiser and a lot more confident.

I learned to stay in my own lane.

From Paper Pad to Kit – LIVE on the Victoria Marie Facebook Group!

Hey friends! Do you have 12 x 12 paper pads (or any size paper pad) that you DO NOT use? Are your paper pads collecting dust? Well, now is the time to show your paper pads some love!

Join me this Friday for a fun 1-hour LIVE session on the Victoria Marie Facebook Group! During this live session, I am going to show you how to make scrapbooking kits using 1 paper pad!

When: Friday, May 15, 2020

Time: 2:00 pm CST (Click here for a Time Converter)

Where: Victoria Marie Facebook Group – Click HERE to join!

For this live session, I am using the Memorandum 12×12 Paper Pad by Pink Paislee. In the following weeks, I am going to use the kits that I make from this paper pad to create stunning scrapbook pages. You don’t want to miss out!

The Victoria Marie Facebook Live Sessions are held every Friday at 2:00 pm CST! Be sure to join the group and subscribe to the Victoria Marie Blog and eNewsletter to receive information about future live sessions!

I hope to see you there!

Now Available! Elle’s Studio from Sketch to Finish Vol. 5 Digital Class!

I am excited to announce the launch of From Sketch to Finish Vol. 5, presented by Elle’s Studio!

Ten amazing class contributors have come together to inspire you with two layouts each for the first ten sketches, for a total of 20 projects, in addition to 40 sketches, all designed to help you document your summer memories! This digital course is jammed packed with creative inspiration and design tips!

From Sketch to Finish Vol. 5 is now available for a special introductory price starting TODAY! You will also have the option of purchasing it with a 6 x 8 inch stamp that was designed just for this class! (Quantities are limited.)

Click HERE to purchase the From Sketch to Finish Vol. 5 Class w/ the Course Stamp Set!

Click HERE to purchase the From Sketch to Finish Vol. 5 COURSE ONLY! (Without the stamp set)

Also included are all of the past sketch classes on sale for a limited time. Collect them all and stay inspired all summer long!

To learn more and to purchase this class, click HERE!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Disclosure: Affiliate links are provided in this post.  As an affiliate for Elle’s Studio, Victoria Marie Designs receives a small commission whenever these links are used.  Note: These links are FREE for you to use.  All opinions and reviews are that of my own.  I only recommend products that I use for both business and personal reasons, and from reputable companies that I trust.  Thanks for your support!

International Scrapbooking Day Sale! Save 20% off Selected Victoria Marie Online Classes (TWO DAYS ONLY!)

Happy International Scrapbooking Day!

I hope you are taking today, maybe the entire weekend, to scrapbook to your hearts content!

If you are looking for a project to dig into, consider taking a Victoria Marie Online Class! This is a great opportunity to learn a new scrappy technique, brush up on your scrapbooking skills, or get creative inspiration!

Starting TODAY, save 20% off selected Victoria Marie Online Classes! To learn more and to purchase, click HERE!

Be sure to use code INSD20 during checkout! Sale ends on Monday, May 4th!

Happy Scrappin!!!!


NOTE: Sale excludes the YouTube Master Class for Online Creatives. Discount cannot be combined with other offers or discounts.

International Scrapbook Day – May 2nd! Challenges, Prizes, and Fun!

It’s that time yet again…International Scrapbook Day starts on May 2nd! And let me tell you…the party has already started! There are so many awesome scrapbook designers and shops that are hosting virtual crops, Zoom events, and more!

If you are looking for a place to hang and to play along with creative challenges, no worries! Come join me for the Victoria Marie iNSD 2020 Party, hosted on the Victoria Marie Facebook Group! To join the group, click HERE.

Here are the party details!

When: Saturday, May 2, 2020

Time: The first challenge will be posted at 10:00 am CST.

Where: Victoria Marie Facebook Group – Click HERE to join!


SCHEDULE and CHALLENGES

Here is the lineup for the Victoria Marie iNSD 2020 Party!

10:00 am | The Color Challenge: For this challenge, select a color palate that is completely different from the colors you typically use on a scrapbook layout. Example: If you use pastel colors for most of your projects, trying using neutral or bold colors! This is a great way to stretch your creative skills! Prize: Elle’s Studio Prize Pack

2:00 pm | Victoria Marie LIVE Bonus Challenge – Mixed Media Play: Calling all mixed media lovers! For this bonus challenge, I will create a layout using mixed media products LIVE on the Victoria Marie Facebook Group. Participants will be challenged to create a layout using mixed products (use what you have on hand). Prize: Mixed Media Mini Pack

5:00 PM | Shape It Up Challenge – If you enjoy using shapes on your scrapbook projects, this challenge is for you! For this project, participants will create a layout that features shapes as design feature. Circles, squares, triangles, hexagons…any shape is fair game! Prize: Echo Park Prize Pack

Deadline: All challenge submissions are due by Friday, May 8th by 11:59 pm CST. Winners will be announced on Monday, May 11th on the Victoria Marie Facebook Group.

How to Submit Projects: All projects will need to be uploaded to the designated “album” on the Victoria Marie Facebook Group. The individual project albums will be located under PHOTOS on the group page and will be featured as a post in the group discussion feed.

You must play along with the challenges (1 or all 3) in order to be entered to win a challenge prize! Also, you can enter more than 1 project per challenge!

The format of your project is completely up to you – scrapbook layout, traveler’s notebook spread, planner spread, mini album, pocket layout…DO YOU BOO!

Let’s have fun and celebrate iNSD 2020! I look forward to hanging with you!