Saturday, February 2, 2008

stop! don’t leave because you caught a glimpse of the word scrapbooking. read on.

I’ll say it again… this is not your grandmother’s scrapbook!

My friend
Buzz just posted a question about scrapbooking that I thought I should answer in another post. It’s a valid question, so I wanted to address it further.

Buzz wrote:

“Your layouts are GREAT, but can i be honest? I don’t get scrapbooking. In 2008, with all the web tools in the world, I don’t get why it’s still so popular when you could do these things online and share them with so many more people?”

Fair enough Buzz (and very diplomatically put)!

Tangent 1:
Before all you scrapbooking people start spamming Buzz for not understanding our beloved hobby, I should say a little something about him:

I actually remember exactly where I was the first time I met Buzz. My girlfriend Caralyn had won a contest through the radio station Z95.3 where Buzz worked as a DJ / aka radio host / aka on-air personality / aka radio broadcaster.

Tangent 2:
After years of working in radio, I still don’t know what the preferred or politically correct term for a DJ is. In the promotions department we always called them jocks.

Tangent 3:
Z95.3 is now 95Crave where Buzz is still an awesome jock.

Tangent 1 continued:
My friend Caralyn won a trip to the Dominican Republic and was wonderful enough to choose me as her guest. We went to this Mexican resturant in Kits to meet the other winners who would be travelling with us and to get all the information about our prize. Aside from collecting the prize, Caralyn and I were most excited about meeting Buzz. He was a celebrity to us. We were both fans of the radio station and thought it would be extremely cool to see what he looked like (since we’d only ever heard his voice).

Buzz did not disappoint. Not only is he cute, but he’s also an incredibly nice guy. Funnily enough, the trip to Dominican Republic is what led to me eventually working at Z95.3 and then eventually becoming friends with Buzz. (Although now that I’m a mom I don’t work in radio anymore, which is a shame because I miss seeing people like Buzz everyday. Currently Buzz and I are only just cyber friends - sigh - and I still listen to him on Crave.)


Back to the scrapbooking question.

Here’s the answer I posted in my comments to Buzz. Like I said, I thought it warranted further discussion, so I’m re-posting it here:

“Hey Buzz. You're climbing up my fan club (see on the right)! Thanks for your comment. I totally get where you're coming from. In fact, I was you two years ago.

How do I explain my passion for scrapbooking simply?

I can only speak for myself and not other scrapbookers. We all do it for different reasons. My reasons are:

1. I love paper and stationery and scissors and glue and all things crafty. I was the kid who couldn't wait for back-to-school shopping so I could buy more pencil crayons. I scrapbook because I love the products. My enjoyment of playing with paper can't be duplicated with a computer.

2. I love graphic design. There are many people who do 'digital' scrapbooking (exclusively computer designed pages) or 'hybrid' scrapbooking (computer and paper, scissors, glue). Scrapbooking gives us an outlet for our artistic desires. If we're going to spend hours playing around with fonts and layouts and photoshop brushes, why not do it while exploring our memories, our families or ourselves?

Some other points:

Most scrapbookers are avid photographers. Scrapbooking is a way to display their work. Most keep blogs or have web pages or flickr to feature and record their passion for scrapbooking. There is a huge online community of scrapbookers and we all share our work with friends, relatives and other scrapbookers online. It's a really supportive artist group that is fully dialled into the cyber world.

I guess my point in response to your question is that scrapbooking and 'web tools' are not mutually exclusive. They go hand in hand. The only difference is that we also keep all of our work in pretty little books on a shelf in our home so we can enjoy it when the computer is off or in fifty years when computers are obsolete. [wink]

Scrapbooking is the new knitting. Want to interview me on your show??

I heart you!!”

That was my reply to Buzz. But there are a couple of other things I’d like to add:

There’s this amazing and successful scrapbooker named Ali Edwards.

Tangent 4:
It makes me laugh that Ali is totally famous in the scrapbooking world; a huge celebrity to myself and other scrapbookers, but most of the rest of the world probably doesn’t have the slightest idea who she is. I guess every niche is like that; they all have their own celebrities. Although I shouldn’t minimize Ali. Her husband is an Oregon State House Representative and their son is an adorable little boy who also happens to have autism. Ali has done an amazing job of using her scrapbooking celebrity to further awareness and fundraising for Autism.

Wow! So many tangents in one post.

My point is this. Ali uses a motto for her work in scrapbooking that really says it all.

She calls herself a “Life Artist.”

I think this is a perfect explanation of what scrapbooking is about. Scrapbookers create art from life, about life, for life. Ali's logo on her blog says: "Capture. Create."

Exactly Ali.

I’ve posted this quote by another awesome scrapbooker - Cathy Zielske - before, but it’s worth repeating:

"I'm always surprised at the reactions I get from people when I tell them what I do with so much of my spare time. But I can never just say, "scrapbooking," and leave it at that. I feel this moral obligation to elaborate - to help vaporize the stereotype of ladies wearing applique sweaters, running amok with decorative scissors and teddy bear stickers.

See, scrapbooking of today is really an exploration of life through words and images. It gives people the chance to celebrate that which matters, that which enlightens, that which makes up the very fabric of life. It's really cool. No, I'm serious. I see you smirking, but I'm telling you: don't knock it until you try it, and then, don't come crying to me when you've maxed out your credit cards on scrapbook stuff."

Once again, amen Cathy!

So. If you came to my blog by accident and thought about doing an about-face once you saw the word scrapbooking, perhaps this post enlightened you a little to the hobby.

It’s not about lace and doilies anymore.

It’s about art.

And what would the world be without art?

Take my poll on the right and let me know what you think. [The poll ended.]


buzz bishop said...

Hey Sweet Pea, I get the whole artistic impression thing and the love of graphics etc. That's why I spend HOURS messing with my site, my dad's site, my friend's site, my son's site ...

Scrapbooking is really just Old Skool web design. So crank up some Earth Wind and Fire, grab your glue stick and go, girl!

I'm gonna go and hack some php and css with some new jams on my stereo.

Kimberly said...

Wow, what a fascinating post. Really thought-provoking. I don't think I'd seen scrapbooking as a form of artistic expression before. Which, admittedly, makes me feel like a bit of a moron.

Brilliantly put.

Kimberly said...

p.s. I listened to Buzz all through highschool - what a great flashback that was!

Julie Ann Shahin said...

Excellent post!