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I made this fun 8" x 8" scrapbook in 2011 (photos 2006) and still enjoy looking at it.
No one took my work seriously when I introduced myself as scrapbook artist. No one takes scrapbooking seriously except those who partake in the art of scrapbooking. I have been on the receiving end of snickers and sneers, chuckles and noses up-turned behind my back and to my face. A thick skin is necessary when announcing to the world I am a scrapbook artist, first and foremost.
My journey into art began with photos, paper and glue. This is where the misunderstanding begins. Safe photo archiving is not child’s play. A scrapbooker does not use just "any" glue or "any" paper. All materials are archival quality. The embellishments added to a scrapbook page or layout (for those in the inner circle) are all archival quality. It is not necessary that everything included in a layout have this emphasis but, for certain, anything touching a photo should be archival. There is so much to know about safe photo archiving. For example, it is vital to be aware if printed photos are produced with archival ink and the glue and paper must also be acid-free and photo safe. Did you know that the size of paper scrapbookers associate with their craft (12"x12" cardstock) revolutionized the art world on many levels and not just in scrapbooking. Scrapbook paper brought with it not only new dimensions but limitless creative possibilities in design work, sustaining its visibility for more than twenty years to date.
Everyone secretly wants a scrapbook of their life story, or parts of it at least, they just won’t want to admit to it because of the stigma attached to cutting and pasting. Everyone thinks they can do this art because they created something similar in grade school. The truth is, yes you can create a scrapbook on your own, but it takes years of practise at acquiring knowledge along with a very specific skill-set that comes with the crafting tool territory. Cutting a straight line can be daunting at first.
With any art there is composition to consider, design, colour choice and coordination, along with underlying themes throughout. Shopping for scrapbook product can be so overwhelming that a novice to this art form will purchase a majority of items that will only confuse the process further and block them from even starting to tell their story. Oh yes, and telling the story is tough to do unless you know where to begin and can break through emotions that inevitably surface when working with photos and the past.
I have heard so many people say they will get around to making a scrapbook and organizing their photos when they retire. Some really do embrace the art then, but most will continue to be overwhelmed with the idea of how to even begin to organize a photo collection.
With the way technology has changed everything about how we take pictures today scrapbooking is definitely taking a back seat to other leisure time spent in creativity. We just aren’t printing photos like we used to. Because we use our phones most of the time when documenting our lives it is so easy to delete that one precious photo, worth a thousand words, because we can get another one. Sometimes, unintentionally deleting a photo can erase the memory for good.
I predict that scrapbooking will come around again, in a very big way, once we realize the mistakes we are making because technology makes everything so easy. Yes, technology helps us to create memories effortlessly but the now out-dated CD drive, on most computers, has us losing parts of our pasts we cannot regain. What is next?
In twenty or thirty years from now I will take out my scrapbook to show friends and family and I bet everyone will take me very seriously then. Are your photos archived safely with a story well told?