This week I had a BIG realization . . . well, maybe just a reminder. I read a lot of blogs including quite a few scrabooking ones. People like to showcase their work and then, I believe, most are hoping scrapbooking magazines, design teams, publishers, celebrity scrapbookers will see their work by blog hopping, reading message boards, or viewing online forums so just maybe their work will get published or they will get a position on the coveted design teams. Now there's nothing wrong with being published or being on a design team . . . I'm sure both earn you lots of perks like free stuff and you meet tons of other scrappers and for some people it may even lead into a career in the scrapbooking industry. But where my problem comes in is when people aren't being true to themselves in scrapbooking . . . using product you don't like, doing a design that isn't "you", scrapping photos of strangers' children and making up their names and stories to accompany the photo (yes, recently a celebrity scrapbooker admitted to doing this for some design team work and published work), or being limited by the "rules" of scrapbooking. After seeing a lot of scrapbooking pages and reading a lot of people's ideas of scrapbooking, I think I've gotten a little brainwashed of what you can and can't do on a page. Lately, I've been "lifting" a lot of layouts meaning copying somebody else's page. I never meant to get in this rut, looking at scrapbook blogs and forums should be more for inspiration rather than step by step direction.
My aha moment came when I was listening to an interview by one of my favorite scrapbooker's, Stephanie Howell. She was very honest about her mommy life and her scrapbooking hobb. She is a scrapbooker who is very true to her own style . . . her work is very "her". She is not influenced by new product, manufacturers, celebrity scrappers, trends, and all the silly rules of scrapbooking.
What rules am I talking about? Well there are "givens" in scrapbooking like the "rule of threes", focal points, matting your photos, symmetry, using white space, journaling, etc . . . There's probably a million more but I'm brain dead at the moment. I don't know who died and made some people the scrapbooking police and feel the need to promote certain ideas as if were the law of the hobby saying you aren't allowed to do this or that. This is what makes people overwhelmed by scrapbooking. I can't tell you the number of times I hear people say "I could never scrapbook" or "I'm not creative". Everyone is "creative" in their own way: it's what you create. Everyone won't scrap like Ali Edwards, or Stephanie Howell, or me or it wouldn't be your creation, would it? I think there's a place for using other's people work as inspiration but when I think about it and see stuff I really like it's because it's new and innovative -- someone who didn't follow the rule of embellishing in a triangle or mixed "vintage-style" supplies with more modern looking items, or the 3 sheets of patterned pattern that don't necessarily "go together". Aren't people most creative when they don't follow rules? When they use products in a new way and not follow the trends? Isn't this true in most areas of life? Aren't we all told to do our own thing and not follow the crowd? My answer is YES! I think Stephanie has a good grasp on it and she would scrap the same even if she wasn't on 2 design teams. That's how I want to be: to do what I like not what I "should" do.
I'm still keeping up on a load and here's a couple of my recent pages where I didn't follow the rules which was hard since I'm not accustomed to it "doing my own thing". I think it will get easier as I do it more.
So go create something this weekend and don't follow the rules, don't worry those scrapbooking police won't get you: they have too many deadlines to meet.