Friday, August 3, 2012

Who do you scrap for?

I have been trying to complete the mini album I started using the "Enjoy the Seasons" Cricut Imagine cartridge but it has been challenging with the family summer schedule.  Yesterday I had an hour to do some inking and gluing and I noticed that I was feeling anxious.  Some of the die cut edges didn't match up perfectly and I was having second thoughts about a paper choice that was already glued down and I felt stressed.  I thought to myself "Just who are you scrapbooking for?" and realized that my scrapbook page "audience" has a huge impact on my enjoyment factor and here is why:
  • I scrapbook for clients as a job which means I don't explore the eclectic nor do I allow my creativity to land where it may. Most clients like clean, logical pages with that special something like a custom die cut to match the photo or an interactive element. It is risky to get too artistic because my own voice may show through. I work hard to know and express the client's voice so that the album is truly their memories. It isn't easy.  It beats working in an office everyday but sometimes it can be suffocating.

  • I also do some scrapbooking projects for an internet audience -  I design scrapbook layouts and mini albums to post on my blog or for submission or to post in a gallery. When I do this kind of scrapbooking, I pick the photos that will work best with current products and I focus on the esthetic rather than the story. I hadn't realized it before, but it is stressful.
  •  ...and then I scrapbook for my family. These pages are playful and silly and busy and full of my family's personality. They aren't meticulous like my client or web post work - the designs are carefree. I try to incorporate as many pictures as possible and to generate more pages rather than spending my time getting one layout just so. This is "fun" scrapbooking yet I don't spend much time doing it and when I do, I often put the journalling off for later.
I posted about my audience identity issue on 2Peas today and posed the question "Who do you scrap for?"  I was hoping someone would reply that they have been there, done that, and have found a way to create beautiful pages with all audiences in mind.  Instead, what I read was scrapper after scrcapper saying "I scrap for myself." 

At first I wondered if they really understood the question and then I realized it was me who wasn't getting the answer.  Keddypea wrote:
I scrap for me only. As I journal I do it like I'm talking to the people in the photos or I talk about my feelings of a place/event/object, but it's totally for me. I don't think I could scrap as a job because it would be too stifling for me.
That statement was like an epiphany.  I had been approaching scrapbooking as a product for so long that I had forgotten how to scrapbook like a journal.  By over thinking my audience, I lost sight of using the actual memory, the intimacy in recording it and the joy in translating it into a visual chronicle.   This (re)-discovery will undoubtedly ease my stress with all of my scrapbooking projects because I now have a corrected paradigm to work with.  The tricky part is applying it.  I let you know how it goes.

Over the next few days I will be adding more Cricut cartridge overviews starting with "My Community."  This will also include a fun challenge and a project.