There was a time in my life where I worked solely from sketches because I felt like I wasn’t creative enough. Ever felt that way? Did it all seem so overwhelming to you that you either quit crafting, or swore over your dead body you’d never show anyone your work because everyone elses’ work was so much better than yours? I’ve been there, too.
I even scaled back from scrapbooking 12×12 layouts to 8.5×11 so I didn’t feel so overwhelmed by the big blank canvas in front of me. Eventually, I became more comfortable with the smaller page size- and some time after that, I began to feel like 8.5×11 was too cramped, so I expanded to 12×12. And, here I am! Eventually was a few years, by the way. It didn’t happen overnight. It took a lot of pride swallowing and starting my own handmade business to bring me to the place I’m at now. I’ll be the first to tell you that you dont need to start a handmade business to build up your confidence and creative self esteem. Take a leap of faith- start creating and sharing, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. You never know who you’ll inspire. I still feel self conscious- a lot– about my work, but I enjoy sharing it with you, so I continue to ignore the urge to keep it hidden.
Why did I feel like I wasn’t creative enough?
Sometimes, we get hung up on various parts of the creative process. Maybe it’s the size of the project we’re working on; other times it’s paper and embellishment placement or maybe it’s knowing what products to use and what would look good together. Sometimes its a mixture of everything I just mentioned. Each of these has stumped me. Sometimes it still does. Its important to remember that no matter how you place your embellishments or what papers you use, every piece of art you create is a masterpiece, whether you think so or not. What you’ve created is a masterpiece, and the audience you’ve created it for (your children, husband, aunt or uncle or your children’s children) will be blown away by your thoughtfulness and creativity. The time you took to preserve a memory or a book full of memories won’t be lost on them. Because of you, they’ll treasure it. So, try not to judge yourself too harshly on your level of expertise, because it doesnt matter. I know, it’s easier to say than to do. Been there, done that. It’s even harder when your own children tell you that your artwork isn’t pretty enough or glittery enough compared to their 4-almost-5-year-old-standards. I try to remember to take what they say with a grain of salt, even though I feel a bit deflated. One day, they’ll say “mom made this?!! She did an incredible job!” and “OMG she was obsessed with our baby feet?! That’s where I get that from. ..” When I’m old and can’t really remember what it was like having littles running around, all I’ll have to do is flip through a scrapbook album to jump start the memories. Is what kind of job my creating looks like now going to matter in another 30 years? I hardly think so.
So, let go and enjoy the creative process! Once you’ve embraced it and tried it, you’ll enjoy creating so much more!
So, I’m stumped and decided I’d use a sketch. What do I do now?
Great question! The sky’s the limit- anything goes! Start by finding a sketch that inspires you. Your inspiration could be anything- only you know what that is. It could be looking for a layout that uses only one picture, a certain size picture, certain colors, scallops or that adorable rosette. The possibilities are endless.
Next, start creating! Throw your uncertainties to the wind and do what feels good and right to you. Have a glass of wine while you create and play some music. Go for a bath and decompress before creating. Do whatever you need to get yourself into a creative frame of mind. I like getting my chores and responsibilities out of the way first, so I have nothing pressing on my mind while I scrap. I want to focus wholly on my creating.
Lastly, if you share any of your work in online forums or in a blog like I do, make sure you leave a note or link to whoever or wherever your inspiration came from. As in writing, plagiarism applies to the creative process as well! I promise the author of the original piece of art won’t mind that you scraplifted their work; they’ll be honored and ecstatic that they inspired you!
What is ‘scraplifted’?
It’s a fancy term for copying someone’s work. Also, it’s completely ok to copy someone’s work, you just need to say so! So, if you plan to submit your art work for publication or plan to blog about it, make sure you document where it came from! If you don’t know who the original source or author is, document it as well as you can! Most of my scraplifting will come from Pinterest, so I include the link to my Pinterest. I don’t worry about including the original source, because you’re almost always able to follow the links from Pinterest back to the original. If not, Pinterest is sufficient.
Having said all that, here’s another sketch that inspired me. You’ll find it here on my Pinterest. Here’s how this sketch inspired me:
Instead of including one large (5×7 inch) horizontal photo, I broke it into two 4×6 inch pictures and placed them a little askew. Life with toddlers is never clean cut- why should my pictures of them be?! Also, I actually cropped the two pictures on the bottom to a 4×4 inch size. Both pictures had images in them that didn’t add to the overall story, so I cropped them out. There’s nothing wrong with doing that, as long as you don’t lose the main reason you’re scrapbooking them in the first place. If you’re scrapbooking a picture of your daughter and there’s a potted plant off to one edge of your photo (like mine), trim off the potted plant- it has nothing to do with your subject. Unless of course, your subject is playing with said potted plant.
I stayed fairly true to the sketchs’ design, but instead of layering a couple scalloped borders over the pennant, I enlarged the pennant so it matted the two 4×4 pictures. There’s a few other minor changes, but I just made it work around the pictures I’d wanted to use. Interpret your sketch or scraplift any way you like- there’s no right or wrong way to create. Just go with the flow!
– CTMH Heartstrings patterned papers
– CTMH basics patterned paper
– CTMH chocolate card stock
– CTMH Exclusive Inks in Pear
– CTMH My Acrylix Family is Forever
– Recollections black, grey and white card stock
– Momenta patterned paper
– Cricut M44A93
– Cricut MC2191
– Cricut M3D307