Saturday, 28 June 2008

I'm going back to the start...

...I have been trying to work out why I have been off my scrapping for a while now. Partly its been that I've had WAY too much on at work recently, partly its been natural burnout after a period of quite intense productivity scrapwise.

But its also dawned on me that I've been way too concerned about scrapping for other people. When I got into this hobby, I purely wanted to create pieces of artwork that spoke to me, that made me smile, and that recorded the memories I had of different times in my life. As well as letting me get messy with paper and glue! And these are some of my earliest attempts, which I don't think I've ever shared on here before...

And then I got into UKScrappers and found a wealth of ideas and fellow scrappers and enjoyed the challenges and the inspiration I found there. I shared my own work. My style developed rapidly as I was given access to new techniques and ideas. And by uploading my work to the gallery and being spotted, I was offered my spots on two DTs by people who liked what I did. All this happened within the space of about 6 months. I was thrilled that I was able to produce layouts for myself but that others were able to appreciate them even though the words and photos didn't have the same meaning to them that they do to me.

Then at the class I attended, my teacher Jacqui told me to enter my layouts for BOB New Talent. So I thought I'd give it a go, and chose some of my favourite layouts. And then I won. And I was really happy of course. And when SI asked me to do the odd layout for the magazine, I happily obliged - this was all new to me, as up to winning the competition I had never even got a layout into the reader's gallery, and it was fun seeing my layouts in print and showing my family.

But thats when it all starts getting a bit less fun. Because people decide that you shouldn't have won. Because suddenly you feel the need to change your style and do something different, when all you want to do is create layouts that you love and that record your memories in the best way possible. After several anonymous accusations of sameyness I trawled through my gallery, trying to spot the similarities between layouts and wondering what they were talking about. I didn't predominantly use one colour, the same embellishments, the same number of photos. I started trying to use different techniques, stopped handcutting and using journalling strips and other things I liked doing. I was worried I wasn't good enough to be on my DTs.

And so I got turned off by creating. And stepped back for a few weeks. And was reminded how when I was at school everyone was so desperate to please, to be liked, and I had never fallen into that trap despite sometimes feeling alienated. So why on earth was I worried now??? If people appreciate my work and want me to design for them occassionally, thats great! If they don't like it, c'est la vie! There are lots of styles and designs that I don't like too, but it doesn't mean I can't see something of value in them. I don't like scrapping clean and simple, but I like to look at Gertie's blog for example to see the style done well.

And so, I'm going to go back to scrapping what I like. Its the only way to go! Because there is nothing more intimidating than sitting down in front of your supplies and trying to scrap what somebody else likes. After all, this is not my day job, this is my hobby. Its supposed to be relaxing! And from now on, its gonna be :)


  1. I wholeheartedly agree. Scrapping should never ever be about pleasing other people. So long as you are happy with whatever you have made, be it a layout, card or altered item, then that is the most important thing.

    Hope you will be back creating soon xxx

  2. I'd just like to say that I regularly visit your blog for inspiration (hope you don't mind) and I don't think your LO's are too samey at all. I totally agree with what you say about scrapping yourself rather than for other people and you should just ignore what people say, and scrap what you like to scrap!

  3. Hi Chloe,

    I too am a regular watcher of your blog and after reading your post I thought I would leave you a comment to let you know how much I love your style and I don't agree that your LO's are samey. I think some people are just jealous of your success.

    Don't let people put you off a hobby you love. Looking forward to seeing more beautiful LO's soon.

    Karen xxx

  4. Great words Clo - and this is why I had enough of design teams and being published etc. I just want want to scrap for me and my family - that's why I started and what I enjoy doing; retelling the stories for the future. I found that once I started thinking about creating for an 'audience', I lost the fun from my hobby.

    Whatever anyone has said or says, your work is amazing and influential. You deserve the recognition that you have.

    Keep up the good work and don't stop sharing...I look forward to seeing what you've been up to :)


  5. Keep your sparkle, girl. Create what YOU love. That is what I am trying to do for myself. There is no right or wrong in my book. It ALL good. I love your style and always check in to see what you've been up to. Take care! Beth D

  6. Hi Chole I also love your blog - I think your work is wonderful - very inspiring and I am a clean and simple scrapper :)

    The only thing 'samey' is the same high standard - keep doing what you love because it would be a real shame to the scrapping world c x

  7. Hi Cloe

    I dont think you know quite how inspirational you are!

    I find your layouts amazing - nothing like anything I create but all together fantastic. I think it is the way you do your own thing - please do keep following your heart - the honnesty and the enjoyment shine through.

    And thank you for reminding me to think about who I create for and why.

    Thank you

  8. This is the first time I have visited your blog, I have seen your work in SI and I love it! Looking at your Layouts they definately aren't samey at all!

    I particularly love the cats in bed one, you have inspired me to do something similar as my cat always seems to take up the whole bed!

    Anyway you definately need to scrap for yourself, and that's the work that you have been recognised for, and that people love!

    Good luck
    Trina xx

  9. I was delighted you won BoB (I'm never going to think of that comp the same way now that I am calling it 'Bob') and what one person calls "sameyness" another person might call "style". I am so happy to see you on "My Freedom". I know what you mean about getting away from the reasons you started scrapping in the first place.