Monday, September 10, 2012

Scrapbooking ... Art? Storytelling? Preservation?

For some reason today I have been thinking about why I scrapbook. What is the purpose for me?

I think back in the day when Scrapbooking hit the popular "thing to do" section of the crafting world it was all about preserving your precious photographs for generations to come. That was back in the good ol' days when we had cameras with negatives and there was no such thing as printing photos at home.

Now days, in the world of digital photography,  it seems to have become much more a form of art. Where pages have become amazingly detailed with an amazing amount of product and embellishments attached. With very little if any focus on the photograph or story behind it.

I came to the conclusion that scrapbooking has become for me, all about storytelling. It has never been about preserving my photos for my Great great great great Grandchildren.  It is something that me and my children can look back on and remember the good times we had as a family. Journaling on my pages is very important for me. It says the things the photos don't say. How we were feeling, what the weather was like, any background story. I have always been a diary/journal writer for as long as I can remember, so for me that part is very important.  And of course it is a form of art. Because of course we want the page to look pretty!! (Or cool, depending on gender hehehe) And there is a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment in creating things. Call it therapy, or time out. I use my scrapbooking time as a time to reflect too.

Of course Scrapbooking is a personal thing, so I am going to appoligise in advance if I upset or offend anyone with this post. That is definitely NOT my intention. I am expressing MY opinion on MY thoughts. You are welcome to comment with your thoughts too.

Now for me Scrapbooking focuses on the photos. But have we gone too far into Art with our scrapbooking and are we beginning to lose the focus?  I see scrapbook pages where you have to search for the photo. I see pages where the photo is covered up with so much product you can hardly see it. And I see page after page with no journaling at all.

I am beginning to think, should these people be calling themselves scrapbookers any more? Should they instead be calling themselves artists?

Don't get me wrong the pages I see are stunningly beautiful (most of the time!) but is it really scrapbooking any more, or is it just beautiful artworks? Or has the focus of scrapbooking changed so dramatically that so long as it has a photograph on it you can call it scrapping?

I'm certainly not saying this is a bad thing. But lately, especially since opening my shop, I have been thinking about what is popular in the world of scrapping. Do I need to stock this if it is popular even if I don't like it? Can I sell a product I wouldn't use myself, or can't stand the sight of?  When I do classes can I make things that are the 'in' thing to do but isn't my style? So many things to consider and wonder about.

So what are your thoughts? What is the reason YOU scrapbook? What does it mean to YOU?
I would love to hear what you think.


mandyb said...

GREAT great GREAT post!!!!
love it
love it
love it all

here is what i wrote on your facebook page... for me it is....

for me it is art....i am visual in ALL my ways....learning, teaching and art.....i love hands on....and cannot help but be linear!!! i love documenting a photo/memory within art and colour....for me it is personal exploration as well as documentation !!!! (great Q btw) such a fun way to tell a story!!!!!!!!!!

thanks for reminding us to remember why we are scrapbookers...or artists!!!

Nic said...

for me it is getting down the stories that make up the fabric of our lives - sometimes it is hard to tell someone what they mean to you in person, but you can put it in to your journalling and then perhaps from that move to telling them. I love the very arty stuff I see but I can not see it being "my style" because I need the story told and that for me means more clean lines, focus on the photo and of course, the journalling!

Jennie Coull said...

Well you know I’m not a big fan of journaling, but that has more to do with my spelling and I hate my writing than lack of things to say, but I have been trying lately.

As for why I scrap, I would like to say I am making heirlooms for my great grandchildren but really it’s not, I do it cos I enjoy it. I like making things and if I’m not scraping I’m doing something else crafty…I think a lot of the over whelming pages you see now are in response to posting Los online, everyone is busy trying to outdo each other now days to see who can get the most comments on a project. Like don’t get me wrong comments are nice and all but not everything.

Anonymous said...

I scrap because in the begining I used it as a healing tool, it has developed into a love of sharing. Ilove sharing my pages with family and especially the kids. At this age its sooo cute to see their faces when they see themselves as babys, I cant wait to watch the expression change...maybe even to scrap it.

I look at all the busy pages full of product and I just loose interest, it all looks way to hard and expensive and I end up with scrappers block. I like to step back and revisit some beginner tuts.

your pages have always held huge motivation for me, I think you have agreat balance of photo, paper, story, technique and embellishment in and easy affordable way, Always been a huge fan of your pages Tracy x