By Christina VanGinkel
Scrapbooking, like everything else in life, seems to go through constant changes, often ending up back at its roots. Where scrapbooking was once accomplished with a few snapshots, maybe a few snippets of memorabilia, and some notes in the margins, it then progressed to fancy pages full of store bought embellishments enhancing the snapshots. Many people still rely on the store bought embellishments, and will for all of their scrapbooks, but just as many individuals are returning to the simpler form of creating a scrapbook, relying on memorabilia and journaling in their own handwriting, at least for some of their pages.
Some artistically inclined individuals, and even some that are not all that good at art, are also including drawings and doodles in their own hand to decorate their scrapbook pages with, and it is this doodling, that I find the most impressive actually. I am just so blown away by the idea that sometime in the future, an ancestor of my very own, might open up a book that I made, and not only be able to page through the pictures I snapped with my camera and documented in the pages of the book, and read my journaling and notes, but that they will also be able to instantly know that I was a creative person. That through my drawings and doodling, they will also be able to learn of my love of art itself.
For starters, I was just glad to see this back to the roots trend developing. I have always been a doodler myself, but not what anyone would mistake for an artist. So, when I saw several layouts in online scrapbook blogs that showcased other's form of doodling, in some very fun ways, it provided me with the inspiration to go ahead and doodle on some of my own layouts. Scrapbooking is suppose to be an expression of our own memories, and what a better way to recall those memories in the future than through our own creative expressions.
Doodling with letters is actually one of my favorite forms of adding my own handiwork to a layout. I love drawing lettering with swirls and swoops, and making my words, form shapes. I also love taking letters and turning them into something else. For example, my son's name is Cody. I have always had a unique way of using the letters in his name to create a design. I had always wanted to include this design in a layout, and was going to scan the image into my computer and print it out, but at about this time, was when I saw the other layouts with the handwork done directly on the pages. So when I used my favorite black sharpie to create the design on a layout I made documenting this same son's recent snowboarding injury, the design ended up looking just like a logo, and it blended in well with the snapshots of his snowboard and the metal pipe he hit. So impressed was he with the way the layout turned out, and with how his name looked when sketched out in this manner, he asked me if there was some way we could make it into a sticker to put on his snowboard for real! For anyone with a teenager, you know how a request such as this is about the highest form of respect for our art that we could ever hope to receive!
I know I will continue to buy scrapbook supplies, everything from paper to stickers, to every other embellishment imaginable, but at the same time, I will just as comfortably reach for my sharpies and assorted pens and markers, to do a little doodle here and there. I will also mix the two more freely also. Just because I use a purchased mat, frame, and title, does not mean that I cannot take pen in hand and create personalized corners on the matting. Edges, and corners, even titles can all turn out impressive when done by hand. If I have a few words that I want to use on a layout, and I cannot find it as a sticker or a rub on, then I will not hesitate to pen them directly onto the layout in my own hand. If you are looking for new techniques to make your layouts as impressive as can be, then let your artistic nature really come to the surface and doodle away!