Creative Process | Part 1 [beginning]

I have received quite a few requests to share my creative process, to explain myself in a way. Well, a big part of my process is quite simply from having spent hundreds, no, thousands of hours creating. They say practice makes perfect… and while I believe that creatively speaking I do believe practice leads to better creative process, faster results, and a streamlined way of doing things.

What used to take me an entire day I now accomplish (and have 100000000x better results) in somewhere from 30min – 2hrs generally. It’s not that I’m being “random” with my choices or sloppy – it’s that I have simply put in the hours to the point that I can make much faster decisions. There is no shortcut my friends, if you want to improve your skills, you must put in the hours.

All that said, I am breaking down my process and outlook and will be sharing here on my blog over the next 4-6 weeks. Let’s start at the beginning. My basic favorites are simple. Here are things I rarely create without:

note: I put the distress cardstock in here for an image, but really Core’dinations cardstock in general is what I mean. I use their cardstock. A LOT of cardstock. I have had people tell me that switching to cardstock base for the bulk of their layouts (as I do) has saved them so much time, energy, not to mention money – so it is worth noting!

Now my “basics” are the items that I always have here, in stock, and I use many of them on every project I do. They are frequently at the base of my creating. But what is the mental process behind starting a project for me?

That’s simple: if it’s a scrapbook page, then it’s a story.

There has to be a purpose to my scrapbook layout. I do not believe all layouts need loads of journaling or a meaningful story. I do start every layout by knowing my subject. Having a purpose. Even “Oh these are random cute photos” have some point. A mood, feeling, message I want to get across.

This is the only part that matters.

Yes, that’s right. I will say it again:

My story is the only part that actually matters.

I sit down and figure out what I want from the page, how much journaling, how many photos, what kind of words I want for a title, and the overall feel/mood I want. Usually this is done inside my own head, often it’s fast. I do find that the more meaningful the story, the more important my message, the longer/harder/more energy I put into it and the harder it can be.

This makes sense to me. Because it matters, because I care more, it makes sense that a layout about something very special would make me pause, take a longer look and think more.

and now I get out a piece of cardstock…

It might not be what ends up being my layout base, but I pull out a sheet of cardstock (or two) and arrange my photos. Continue thinking about my story and how much room I want for words, or if I’ll be using more embellishments… and I move those photos (4×6 – always printed from in advance and NO I don’t plan. I print photos I love. on a regular basis.period.) all around until I’ve got a design in my head. I crop the photos if needed, and get the base of the layout planned out (meaning photos + journaling)

Then I make a base of layout decision and either keep the initial cardstock, or swap it out for something else (patterned paper, another color cardstock, etc).

Note that I decide the design BEFORE I decide the paper. Because again: it’s those photos + words that determine everything else…

to be continued…

12 thoughts on “Creative Process | Part 1 [beginning]”

  1. Thanks for sharing–I always enjoy someone else’s process.
    ? When you say others have switched to a cardstock base–as opposed to what?

  2. Thank you so much for taking the time to let us in on your process. You have already helped me. I think if I laid out my photos and plans for journaling, etc. on plainish card stock first, it would be extremely beneficial. Thank you. I feel like it has been a light bulb moment.

  3. So excited for the rest of the series. . .thanks! My second huge project was a difficult one because it was an album of DD’s trip that I knew nothing about. I determined in advance that becuase of the location and some thoughts about patterned papers I would use, the entire album would be on kraft cardstock. This was a HUGE thought and time saver for me. (Because I was relatively new and had not paid my time yet 🙂

  4. I recently discovered Core’dinations cardstock when making cards. Works great with sanding embossed images. This is awesome, very much what I need. Thanks for taking the time to do this. Looking forward to the rest of the series!

  5. Thanx for taking the time to post this. It is great to hear about others ‘creative’ process. I also love core’dinations for the look of it but have not created anything in a while. It is great to get some other feedback on it. I love the new kraft core and cannot wait to get my hands on it!


  6. Thank you so much for saying that jounaling is not always needed.So many” Famous” gals put such emphasis on it. I always struggle with this and think that I am not doing enough of it. I just love the pictures that I scrap and make sure that I label and date them for future generations. Maybe this is why I tend to do more one event mini albums. I look forward to see your continued process!

  7. The story, in my mind, is sometimes in the photos and words aren’t needed. I’ve only done a single “NO” journaling page in the last year or more. But a sentence or two often is all I need… it truly depends!!

    Are telling lengthy stories admirable? Yes of course! Is it awesome? Yes!

    I just don’t ever think a person should feel pressure to ALWAYS have a big story to tell. Or to think that scrapbooking a set of photos ‘just for fun’ should be any less important.

    Have fun. Play. Enjoy.

  8. So excited to see this series from you!!! I’ve learned so much from taking your classes that this is just the frosting on the cupcake for me. Can’t wait to learn more!!!

  9. Thanks for such a detailed list of how you start your LOs. It all makes perfect sense and I agree that the more time I have spent being creative, the easier it comes to me.

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