Finding Your Inspiration - Creative Scrapbook Ideas
Historically, scrapbooking has been a tradition similar to storytelling, but with a visual and tactile, rather than oral, focus. Scrapbooking is also a method for preserving a legacy or history in the form of photographs, printed media, and memorabillia contained in decorated albums, or scrapbooks. The tremendous growth of the Internet has resulted in more creative scrapbook approaches as well as online scrapbooks. The digital photography revolutions has been accompanied by an explosion in creative scrapbook ideas.
Every scrapbooker has one of those days now and again when it's impossible to create a decent page. As hard as you try, you can't get the pictures to look good on the page. Another situation is finding yourself in a rut. If every page starts looking then same, its time to take a break and get over your scrapbooker's block-find some new inspiration.
Inspiration is all around in the world. Turn on the television to check out your favorite celebrity's latest fashion, and this may lead to a new color scheme for one of your pages. Read a magazine and you may see a cute way of placing photographs and text on the page together. Billboards, advertisements, movie posters, and simply the scenes of your neighborhood can all become sources of inspiration if you look at the world with a scrapbooking eye.
There is no wrong way to scrapbook. Typically, the more creative and resourceful the person, the better the page. The main focus of each page should be the picture(s) or the letter or whatever is the most important to the creator. If you are interested in starting to digital scrapbook, or incorporate digital techniques with traditional scrapbooking, there are a myriad of Web resources available.
Pictures are not the only things that can inspire a new page idea-words have a way of working themselves into your pages as well. A funny or moving quote can be used on a page as an embellishment, or perhaps a catchy phrase can become the theme and title of your layout. In any case, you may just need a break from the visual arts for awhile. Some of my best page ideas come to me when I'm doing something totally unrelated to layout design, such as reading. Take a break and walk away from your scrapbooking space. Perhaps a simple the change of scenery will motivate you to get back into the groove of creating original pages.
Friends can be a good source of inspiration as well. Ask for advice on your layout or, if they scrapbook as well, browse through some of their albums. You don't have to flat out copy their ideas, but perhaps a few of the elements you see on some of their pages can be put together to create a page of your own. You can also achieve this by browsing through scrapbooking publications such as magazines and books. Again, you don't have to create exactly what you see, but the mark of a good designer is the ability to make a technique his or her own.
The best source of inspiration should be your photographs. Pull colors from those in the pictures, and use the number and sizes of the pieces to determine what kinds of layouts are possible. Use your subject matter to inspire you as well. Children and pets work especially well for this, and with a little determination, you'll be back in the cropping chair again in no time.
About the Author: Michael Saunders edits a site on Creative Scrapbook Ideas and is president of Information Organizers, LLC.