...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 :)