When I first started scrapbooking, I knew absolutely nothing about scrapbooking design or techniques. My only concern was buying ALL of the stickers and pretty pattern paper. Then one day I stumbled upon YouTube scrapbook videos and scrapbooking magazines and my scrappy world exploded! I began to learn about the likes of Debbie Hodge, Becky Higgins, Ali Edwards, Amy Tangerine, and many others who have inspired what I like to call “modern scrapbooking”. Of course, there are many who paved the way before them.
Through my years of scrapbooking, I have struggled with find my unique style. I spent many years modeling my style after other scrapbookers, only to find myself creatively tortured. If my layouts didn’t look exactly like (insert famous scrapbooker), I would get frustrated. I worked on layouts for days, even weeks, trying to mimic other scrapbookers.
Then one day, I decided that this hobby was too much fun to be stressful! I put away my magazines, I stopped watching YouTube process videos for a while, and I spent time creating scrapbook layouts based on my design esthetic.
It took me a while to figure out what worked – I made a lot of lovely scrapbook pages and I made a lot of really bad scrapbook pages! I also challenged myself to use new products and techniques. I kept what worked and let the rest go.
Ultimately, I found my inner creative peace. I made peace with the fact that I am an eclectic scrapbooker – I love simple layouts, super embellished layouts and everything in between. I tend to lean toward layered designs with lots of texture and dimension. I made peace with the fact that I love color! I made peace with the fact that I will probably always be a true 12×12 scrapbooker. I made peace with the fact that sometimes it will take me 15-30 minutes to complete a scrapbook page and other times it may take me longer.
I made peace with my unique creative style and I stopped comparing myself to others. Talk about creative freedom!
So, how do YOU find your inner creative peace? Try these 5 tips:
- Let go of the comparison trap! You are a unique individual with your own style. Own it! It’s okay to model your designs after a fellow scrapbooker, but spend some time investigating your own creative style and don’t compare your beautiful layouts to others.
- Make time for scrapbooking: The only way you will find inner creative peace is to scrapbook as much as you can. Even if you can only retreat to your creative space on the weekend or early in the morning before starting your day, find time to work your creative muscle as often as you can. You have to be in the consistent practice of scrapbooking in order to hone your creative style and to feel good about it.
- Use products that you love! I cannot stress this enough! I truly believe that scrapbooking products do not go out of style…no matter how old they are! If you are still down with Mrs. Grossman, DO YOU! If you like tons of florals , DO YOU! If you like to grunge it up a bit (i.e., Tim Holtz)…DO YOU! When you are using products that you love, you will be more likely to scrapbook.
- Rely on what works for you: Do you find yourself using the same design or techniques across multiple scrapbook pages? Guess what? It’s okay to have a default design that you use from time to time. If the object is to get layouts done or if you are feeling creatively stuck, your default design comes in handy.
- Draw inspiration from non-scrapbooking resources: Inspiration is truly everywhere – art, billboards, fabric patterns, paint samples, even magazine design! Sometimes our best creative ideas come from things or places that we least expect.
So, there you have it…five tips to help you find your inner creative peace! Please note that this process does not happen overnight. The main thing to remember is to 1) scrapbook often and 2) do what feels good and what truly feeds your creative soul!
Now you go and be creative!