You know when you familiarize yourself with an artist’s work and over time their style becomes immediately recognizable? Even if you’ve never seen that piece of art before? It happens in every type of art: painting, film, sculpture, crafting, sport, and every other type of art we make. Who are these artists for you? Here are a few of mine, just off the top of my head:
- Wes Anderson
- Georgia O’Keeffe
- Ali Edwards
Each of these artists has a very distinct style. Most of their art looks similar to their other art. Maybe that appeals to you and maybe it doesn’t. Maybe your style is a little more laid back or maybe you haven’t even really thought about what your style is. When it comes to scrapbooking, or any other creative self-storytelling project, there are are a few ways in which you can work on developing your own scrapbook style.
- Make a lot.
- Try new things
- Create as routine
One of the biggest points I want to continue to make is that a scrapbook style will develop over time. The three things I mentioned above will definitely help the process along, but please don’t give yourself comparison-itis over your style. Most artists/crafters/makers whose style you love or recognize have been working on their craft for years, possibly even decades. This is your style and you are the one who needs to take the journey to find it.
Make a lot
Yes, a style definitely develops over time, but the best way to speed up that time is by creating more. There’s no replacing quantity for quality, but I do think that there are certain things that you learn about yourself when you create in abundance. You learn what you’re good at doing quickly. You learn what type of tools you reach for most often. Mine are paper trimmer, black pen, clear stamp block, black ink, and whatever kit I happen to have next to me (homemade or store bought). You learn what parts of the project slow you down.
No matter what your stopgaps are, creating a lot of art will also help you to discover what parts of your style you like and which parts of your style you might want to work on more. No matter how skilled you are, there’s always going to be something that gives you more trouble than the rest. Don’t focus on those things, push past them and think about the parts that you enjoy.
Try new things
An excellent way to develop and evolve your scrapbook style is through new things. The most important things you’ll learn on your style journey is what works for you and what doesn’t work for you. There is no one supply, product, technique, etc that is perfect for everyone.
If you want to take your style to the next step, you need to be willing to step out of your comfort zone and try new ideas. You need to try new products and new techniques. Most of all you need to not be afraid of creating something you hate. It’s totally okay to create shitty art while trying to find your creative style. Believe in yourself enough to know what you like and what you don’t.
Create as routine
The final step to developing your own scrapbook style is to make creating part of your routine. We’ve covered making a lot, we’ve covered trying new things, but the one thing that brings it all together is routine. It’s important to develop a routine with your art and return to it at regular intervals. We are our best creative selves when we make sure to regularly practice our craft.
A routine is whatever you make it. Maybe you create every day. Maybe that’s totally impossible and you can only set aside an hour a week, or even an hour a month. That’s totally okay. As long as you come back to creating at regular intervals, you will continue to develop your personal scrapbook style. You will get better at things without even trying. You will see your style develop over time.
Accountability is key when trying to develop your personal scrapbook style. You need to be accountable to yourself and you need to be accountable to the art that you’re creating. Scrapbooking is important. It’s not just crafting for feel-good sake. It’s documenting the stories of our lives. For ourselves, for our friends, for future generations, for the important people in our lives.
One of the best ways that I’ve found of keeping myself accountable is through other scrapbooking friends. I feel a hundred times better when I text a photo to one of my lady friends and she can tell me if I need to add some journaling or just leave it as is. It feels even better when I can provide them with the same support. Because of this, I developed the free Awesome Ladies Community website so that ladies who love to scrapbook and tell the stories of their lives would have a place to come together and support each other.
At the Awesome Ladies Community we believe in being brave with our stories, creating art to represent those stories, and putting them out there into the world (even if it’s only in our private share space). We know it’s not easy to dig deep into who we are and write/photo/art about the meaningful things in our lives. But, things that are worth doing are rarely easy. We would love to help support you on your own scrapbook style journey through creative challenges, storytelling workshops, community forums, and a whole bunch more.
Click here to sign up for your free Awesome Ladies membership & get the free Awesome Ladies Project Workbook sent right to your inbox.