Improving Digital Scrapbooking Skills
Yesterday I was browsing through folders of my old work when I realized that I have a whole year's worth of work that I've been ignoring and that needs to be updated and uploaded to the site (a lot of it is here, but you can't easily tell that it's related). So you can except a lot of mini kits and their assets to be appearing here.
This discovery made me reevaluate my old work (not as terrible as I thought) and also made me ponder my own growth as a digital scrapbooker and designer. Which led me to this one tip for improving that I'm going to share. You might think there would be several tips for improving, as digital scrapbooking is seemingly unlimited in the things you need to know to do well. It is this overwhelming fact that makes this one tip so useful. There are so many tips and tricks and methods to learn, that it's more or less impossible to create a systematic approach to learning. Focusing in on what you're missing is impossible when in reality everyone is missing a lot.
The main key to my success and improvement was simply scraplifting. In the beginning I only scraplifted. I would find a layout I liked and copy it exactly. And then find other, and then other...This may seem boring, and like a squashing of your creative juices, but the simple fact is that in the beginning your creative juices don't know much. They know they want to make something, but they don't have the technical skill to do it. By copying the layouts of people more skilled than you, you are freeing up your brain to focus on the technical aspects, not just where to place things on the layout, but also how to use your software. By removing the creative element, you are giving your brain a break and allowing it to focus in on the technical and internalize it. So eventually, those basic ideas of using the software and placing items on the layout will be second nature. You'll be able to do them without thinking, freeing up space to actually use that creative juice.
I did the exact same thing with designing. I started designing more or less at the same time I discovered digital scrapbooking. I would take a layout I liked and reproduce everything in the layout as close as I could (elements, papers, etc). In this way you are focused on what skills to Google (how do I make something look metal, how do I make a polka dot pattern, how do I add texture), limiting the enormous pool of designer skills to just the ones necessary to duplicate a particular layout. Eventually, through trial and error and Google, you will have a whole host of skills that you can use to once again follow that creative juice.
You should never feel guilty or lazy when you are copying something. Throughout history painters have increased their skills by copying famous works of art. A scraplift is just like using training wheels, you need them until you don't. And even then, remember we are all inspired by each other, there are no new ideas, but only a continuous flow of creativity from one person to the next.
Hi There! I’m Marisa Lerin and you’ll see me around at Pixel Scrapper a lot. I started this site in 2010 soon after I discovered a new love in digital scrapbooking. Pixel Scrapper has gone through some significant changes since that time and it’s grown into this lovely community site you are seeing now. I am daily surprised by the turn of life’s events that has led me down this path. If you're new to the site, welcome! Here are a few tidbits about me that I hope will help you get to know me better!
I’m originally from Minnesota, USA, but spent a good chunk of my childhood living abroad (in Bolivia and Hong Kong). I returned to Minnesota to attend university, got married and then moved overseas again (Korea, then Jordan and 1 year of traveling). My designs are heavily influenced by these many nomadic years. I am currently back in the USA, now living in the great state of Oregon!
I have no official training for what I’m doing, since I decided very wisely (haha) to study physics in university. I am always learning new things about digital scrapbooking, and this community has been immensely helpful for that!
If I manage to stop digital scrapbooking you will probably find me watching TV, reading or baking. I also enjoy writing for the blog here at Pixel Scrapper where I talk about whatever happens to be catching my fancy at the moment.
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