Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Gabrielle's Creative Process

My Photo
"I was thrilled when Bethany asked me to join in for December at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge! I enjoyed working with the team in the past, and was excited to create two posts this month.

For today's post, I was asked to share my creative process with you. At first, I shook my head and wondered "what on earth I could possibly share about that?". It's not something I've thought seriously about. I usually play it by ear when creating a layout, and that seems to work for me. I had to think about how I go about each step of my creative process. I came to the conclusion that it really depends on whether I am starting with a photo, story, or other starting point. I've given some examples of places I might begin.

Photos: I truly believe that my real purpose in scrapbooking is to showcase my family photos. Since converting to digital photography, I no longer print out every single photo I take. I pick and choose the best photos, and photos I especially hope to scrapbook someday. There is no way I will ever scrap every photo I print out, but I like having the option. So, often I start with a photo or series of photos that are important to me, or inspire me in some way. I tend to gravitate towards photos that capture a person's personality or a special moment in time. Or, there might be a great story behind the photo that I want to relate on my page.

This layout features a favorite photo of my son, Joey. He was so adorable at that age, and the photo reflected his love of hats. The rest of the page was created around the photo.

Story: Journaling is very important in scrapbooking. I have done pages that don't have much journaling, but I almost always include at least a date. Sometimes a story is so significant, that I may want to create a page using that story as my starting point. I have even done a page that did not have a photo, but featured only the journaling. This is fairly rare, however. Usually, I start with the photos, and the journaling comes later in my process.

Here is a page I created using my story as the focal point, and a vintage photo to support the journaling, since I had no photo of the actual event.

Product: I love buying beautiful scrapbook papers and embellishments!! It's a weakness, which I'm pretty sure I share with many other scrapbookers out there. Sometimes the product is so amazing, I might start with that. I then go through my photos, or may even have some in mind that will work perfectly with the product I have chosen.

This layout was created using product from My Mind's Eye Follow your Heart "Be Amazing" paper line. Although other product items were used, the MME was the basis of the layout. The photo and embellishment choices were made after the paper was chosen.

Kits: I have always loved scrapbook kits! I no longer subscribe to any clubs, but I love the idea of putting kits together. That's one reason I love the Counterfeit Kit Challenge! Kits are awesome because they be specific to a theme, or can be very versatile. When I'm working with a kit, I usually start with the papers and embellishments included in the kit, and find photos that will go well with it. This is a similar process to how I would use a product line to make a scrapbook page, although there can be multiple paper lines included in a kit.

Here is my very first Counterfeit Kit from February, 2011, and a page I created from that kit.

Sketches: Sketches are a great starting point for a layout, especially if you are having trouble coming up with ideas. Looking at the sketch, I usually choose photos that fit the basic orientation of the sketch, and go from there. This can be fun, because you may end up with something that looks similar to the starting sketch, or resembles it very little. You can find an endless number of free sites which have sketches of every sort. You can often narrow your search by size or number of photos, to find the sketch that will work best with your photos and album size.

This layout was made following the sketch shown. In this instance, I followed the sketch fairly closely.

Challenges: This is another great great place to start. There are hundreds of challenge blogs and websites available on the internet. Many scrapbook forums regularly post challenges for their members to take part in, as well. I would highly recommend trying one of these resources, especially if you are struggling with motivation. Using the guidelines for the challenge, it's easy to come up with product/photos that would work. You never know where this may lead, often with unexpected results. I enjoy challenges because they often encourage you to try something outside of your comfort zone.

The inspiration for this layout came from a challenge to use only cardstock as a background for a page.

Putting it all together: After deciding on photos and product, I typically spread everything out on my table and look at it. I hold the photos up against various sheets of paper, to see how it looks together. I don't have any set rules for combining papers and photos, I usually goes with what pleases my eye the most. I usually compose my background layers first, then place my photos. I usually will wait to glue everything down I'm sure of the placement. After photos, I decide on embellishment, title, and journaling placement. As for the journaling, in most cases I've been thinking about the story the entire time I put the other elements together. By this stage, I should have a pretty good idea about what I want to say, which is only limited by the space I have to write it. After embellishments, title, and journaling are done, I look at the layout again to see if I want to add/change anything. I may even leave for awhile, and come back later. If I'm happy with the result, then I call it done. I used to be very critical of my layouts, and stress out about every little detail. Unless the page is for a special project, I can usually be happy with the page however it turns out. Not every page is awesome, but I have gotten the important things down, which really are the photos and journaling.

Take some time to think about your process. Is it similar to what others have shared, or is it very unique? I'd love to hear about it!"


  1. So interesting to see your different staring points. It very much reflects what I do too. Love it!!

  2. Thanks for showing some great pages - You reminded me of something I want to do more of in 2013 - challenges! They really do get the creativity flowing, I just need to get into a routine of looking for them (outside of our counterfeiting stuff). Thanks for the reminder!

  3. Wowza! What beautiful pages!!! Love your style and what you've shared with us!

  4. Your approaches are so interesting, and your writing style came across like a article in a glossy magazine. Complete with pictures!

  5. what a fantastic read!
    Love all your ideas and the LO's are fabby..
    My fave is 'Leaf Fun'...
    thanks for the inspiration!


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