Tuesday, June 07, 2005


The voice in my head said something really cruel to me last night as I was surfing through the What’s New? section at GoneScrappin.

“Janelle,” it said, “Take your hand off the mouse. Your credit card is melting. Your scraproom walls are bulging. You are trying to substitute buying for creating. Quit it now and wheel that chair over to your scrap table.”

Dang, that voice is so mean. Okay, so I keep seeing papers and ribbons and embellies that would look great on all the cards and layouts in my head. And I keep buying those papers and ribbons and embellies. That doesn’t mean I’m not creating!

Well, okay, actually it does. It’s such a sneaky form of avoidance, too, because it IS related. I mean, you’re stocking up, right?--you’re getting more creative fodder for yourself, via nice big Priority boxes and pretty bags from the LSS. How can that be wrong? Especially when you’re in a field that requires the newest and hottest all the time, and the newest and hottest keeps changing in the blink of an eye.

Scrapbooking and paper crafts are tricky professional fields to navigate, particularly if you want to think of yourself as an artist, as opposed to a designer. Because I believe that art and consumption are pretty incompatible. Yet scrapbooking is about consumption. It’s about the scrapbookers buying stuff, more stuff, newer stuff, all the time…and for designers, it’s about selling them that new stuff with the projects you create. Don’t kid yourself, that really is what it’s all about.

So anyway, here I am buying product to use for projects, thinking that I am giving myself more to work with, more to catch the eye of an editor…and I have a sneaking suspicion that what I am really doing is stifling myself creatively. At least at the point I’m at right now, where it’s borderline obsessive.

Hmm, that felt epiphanic. Maybe I should pull out some Sark books and meditate on this creativity thing a little more.

Big Giant Heads

Originally uploaded by JScrappy.
Here we are at the beach, not that you can tell from this arm's-length camera-phone shot. But trust me, there's water and sand all around us!