Inspiration is a big part of scrapbooking. It drives us to document our stories, emotions and relationships. It increases our enjoyment of scrapbooking products, and allows us to express our creativity. Sometimes, however, our well of inspiration runs dry. The spark that inspired us to begin scrapbooking in the first place seems to have fizzled out. These are the times we need motivation to pick up our supplies and create again.
While inspiration may seem to come from out of the blue, we can take better charge of our creative process if we can understand and harness this energy. We will then be able to sustain our creativity and scrapbooking through the ebbs and flows presented by our limited time and resources.
Here are a few tips that will get you inspired to scrapbook:
Identify What Inspires You
Whether it’s the stories of your life, a stack of brand-new paper, or a favorite photo, there is always something that lights even the tiniest flicker of inspiration in you.
What was it that made you create your first ever scrapbook page? Was it a lovely sheet of patterned paper, a set of cute stickers, a brand-new scrapbooking tool, a quote from one of your children, or an important event in your life?
In the same way, think about what continues to excite you today. Have the sources of your inspiration changed or are they the same as when you first started scrapbooking? Maybe now you are inspired to create after reading your favorite magazine or blog. Jot down some of those ideas.
Next, ask yourself why you are inspired by these things. Is it because you primarily want to celebrate your family and loved ones? Is it because you feel the need for creative expression? Or maybe you want a reason to play with the scrapbooking products that come out regularly?
There are really no right answers to these questions. Each scrapbooker is different. What inspires you may produce a lukewarm reaction in another. What’s important is that you are able to identify what inspires you personally.
Collect Inspiration Pieces
Once you know what inspires you most, you will be able to keep an eye out for these items as you go through your day. Whether it’s from books or magazines, your daily activities and interactions, or things you hear and observe, gathering these bits and pieces intentionally will help you become a more effective scrapbooker.
This does two things: it provides sources of inspiration, and it helps simplify and personalize your creative process.
By focusing on specific categories of inspiration starters (eg., products, colors, stories, or photos), you will be able to essentially keep out the ‘noise’ and distractions that smother your creativity. This is one of the reasons that scrapbookers feel overwhelmed by all the layouts, tips, and inspiration pieces that they encounter. Your brain can get overloaded with information, and this leads to indecision. Sometimes, you may find yourself unable to choose from all the beautiful stuff around you. Remember, though, that not everything that is beautiful is truly inspiring to you. Find out what inspires you, stick to it and let the rest pass you by.
This process also eliminiates clutter by letting you focus on scrapbook supplies that are true to your own style and inspiration. Every few months, new products come out to stretch and sometimes challenge creativity. Not all of these products complement a person’s scrapbooking style. You much pick and choose, according to what inspires you, so that you can maximize your creativity without getting bogged down by the vast array of choices.
Creatively Display Your Inspiration Pieces
What use are inspiration pieces if they are locked away in a box at the top of a closet? Use these items in your life by finding a way to display them. Make sure you have easy access so that they can work their magic on your creativity.
There are many ways to display items in an organized manner. If you are inspired by photos, you can put your favorites in a special album that you can go through as you’re scrapbooking. Mood boards are great for pieces organized according to color. If you’re inspired by supplies, consider storing your favorite products in open or clear containers arranged on a shelf.
The whole idea is to use your inspiration pieces in your surroundings. Place these items strategically in your scrapbook area and around your home, and you’ll never want for inspiration.
Remember, there are specific triggers that jumpstart a scrapbooker’s creativity. Understanding your personal creativity sparks will help you during those times when you are simply not motivated to scrapbook. And often, that’s all it takes. A tiny spark can grow into an idea that will eventually find expression in a scrapbook layout.
Finally, have fun, be creative and surround yourself with what you love.