The Pixel Scrapper Manifesto

A call to generosity and creativity for the digital scrapbooking community

We believe in the value of creative work.

Our real illiteracy is our inability to create.—Hundertwasser

We are scrapbookers, digital designers, and artists, and we believe in the inherent value of creative work. We believe that art inspires, challenges, and changes us. We believe that creative ability is a large part of what makes us human, and we believe that there is more to life than meets the eye. We believe that creative works should be valued and protected, built upon, archived, and made accessible to as many as possible.

We believe in fostering a spirit of abundance, and generous creativity.

If we begin our day with any notion of scarcity, not-enoughness, victimhood, or "I deserve," I promise you the day will not be good—for you or for those around you.—Richard Rohr

We believe that creativity wants to breathe, and spread, and stretch its wings. We believe that inspiration is a gift to be shared. We believe that we do our best work together, and that a legacy is something for others to build on, not something to be fenced off and protected in a miserly way.

We choose to believe that there is enough to go around. That generosity breeds generosity, that a helping hand is better than a slap in the face, and that people will treat you better if you treat them better.

We choose to believe that people are basically good, and that everyone should be given the benefit of the doubt, regardless. We choose to believe that an atmosphere of abundance, optimism and generosity is always better than an atmosphere of scarcity, defensiveness, and suspicion, no matter how much or how little we have in hand.

We believe in straightforward and generous licensing for digital products.

ln a sense, nothing the artist produces is his in any exclusive way. An inventor takes inventory of that which is already there. A discoverer uncovers that which is.—Madeleine L'Engle

We believe in straightforward licensing that is easy to access, easy to understand, and generous in intent.

We rebel against the tradition of making people feel like criminals for wanting to download and build upon our creations. The internet is filled with terms of use which are too negative, too restrictive, too eclectic, and ultimately impossible to enforce. We don't want our creations to go to waste in an unused corner of someone's hard drive because that person can't remember exactly how they are allowed to use our designs.

We rebel against the tradition of requiring attribution for every paper and ribbon before we will give our blessing to someone's digital scrapbooking layout. Everything we do in life requires us to build upon the work of others, and some of it will always go unattributed. There is a place to talk about inspiration, a place to thank mentors and credit designers, but we do not want a world of scrapbook layouts filled with attribution citations any more than we want a world of paintings covered over by small text detailing where each artist got their paints, or who's work they were most inspired by. Ultimately, we are honored when people use and build upon our creations, and we believe that grateful attribution should not be required, but rather encouraged, and given freely where appropriate.

We believe in supporting creators.

As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has—or ever will have—something inside that is unique to all time. lt's our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.—Fred Rogers

Because we believe in the inherent value of creative work, we care passionately about supporting ourselves and other creators in what we do. We believe in helping each other wherever we can, and reject negative competition in all its forms, along with any spirit of scarcity that says we can't coexist and thrive together as generous creators. We believe that we are always better off together than we are alone.

We know the demanding nature of creative work, and we know the struggle of working long hours to try and achieve elusive financial independence. We believe in the right of full-time artists to make a living at what they do; as such, we respect other digital artists and their terms of use (whatever those terms of use may be), and realize that none of us wants our work to be stolen, or abused.

We reject consumer entitlement, and consumer mentality.

I look forward to the day when artists no longer need to maintain, through intellectual property laws, an artificial scarcity of their work, yet still receive abundant returns borne of the gratitude of those who receive it.—Charles Eisenstein

While we rebel against the tradition of making people feel like criminals for wanting to download and build upon our creations, we also rebel against the tradition of consumer entitlement that has been propagated by the internet: the idea that we deserve to have everything, now, and for free. As creators we work long and hard, and we choose to give generously—but that generosity is not without expectation: we expect others to value our labor and our work, to respect our right to make a living at what we do, and to be grateful and generous in turn. We give much freely, but we also look for (and need) financial support; we don't demand attribution, but we do look to be credited where appropriate for the art that we create.

No one is entitled to receive without ever giving back, and the fact that we sometimes look to take, take, take, without ever returning a gift, is a sign of disease. We believe that we can overcome this disease by realizing that all of us are creative at heart, all of us are meant to be active members of the communities we inhabit, and all of us should look to give back. Giving back doesn't have to involve money: we can also give time, talent, knowledge, energy, and a myriad of other gifts.

We challenge ourselves and everyone else within the digital scrapbooking community to stop viewing ourselves as consumers, and start recognizing ourselves as actors and creators; to stop indiscriminately downloading and hoarding products that we don't use, and start creating more layouts and designs of our own; to stop expecting everything to be free, and start thinking about how we can give back to those who have given something to us (or how we can pay the gift forward to somebody else); to stop complaining that the world isn't the way we want it to be, and start actively participating in ways that help us make it better.

We are optimistic about the future.

No one can possibly do more than decide what to believe.—Charles Williams

Throughout history we've seen that life is not a zero-sum game: working together, we can actually do better for everyone—or we can do worse. More people are being more creative right now than ever before, and while the internet has brought challenges for the digital artist, it has also brought amazing opportunities.

Unlike physical goods, digital goods can be distributed relatively cheaply and easily to a great many people. As such, we want to distribute our creations to as many people as possible—to inspire as many as possible. If we can reach more people we can give more generously to everyone, while still feeding ourselves and our families. Thus the cost of access can go down even while the amount of creative energy goes up. This is not a zero sum game, and we refuse to fear the future. To be healthy, creativity doesn't just want to be generous: it needs to be generous.

So whether you are a designer or a scrapper, a long-time veteran, or are just getting started, we invite you to join us in this revolution—not as a passive onlooker, but as an active co-partner: help us transform and enliven the digital scrapbooking community by finding ways to be generous, creative, optimistic, and caring—right now, right where you are. Each of us can make a difference.

Do you support our vision?

If you support Pixel Scrapper's vision for generous creativity, let us know by clicking this button:

Click Here to "Sign" This Manifesto
(This doesn't require an actual signature. It just lets us know that you're on board with what we're doing, and that means a lot to us!)
Version 1.6, October 28, 2015
If you affirm this manifesto, feel free to post it, copy it, or link to it as you like under this Creative Commons license. It is permanently available here, as well as in the following forms: If you would like to give back to Pixel Scrapper, you can support us by becoming a subscriber.

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