A common discussion and often debate in the scrapbooking community is what constitutes “real scrapbooking”. This has been going on for as long as I have been a part of this when paper and glue scrapbookers argued that those of us creating layouts using our computer were not real scrapbookers. I’m not sure I understand the need of human beings to label, divide and separate everything into groups and categories, but that seems to be the basis of this ongoing discussion. I think people simply have a difficult time understanding things that are different than what they are used to and instead of trying to see where the similarities are, it perhaps seems safer to compartmentalize things.
For me, scrapbooking is simply a way to tell my story in a creative way using words, or images, or both. The earliest scrapbooks were collections of paper, trading cards, found pictures, letters, memorabilia etc and probably resembled more of an art journal page or collage piece than the fancy embellished photograph focused pages that are common now. However, cave drawings show us that the need for humans to tell their story and share their history has been prevalent since the dawn of human existence and we have been changing the style, techniques and mediums used through out the ages and will always continue to do so.
The designers at Scrapbookgraphics represent a wide variety of styles because I am an eclectic designer myself and I really enjoy having many flavors to choose from. I find that there are certain styles that I prefer when it comes to expressing certain moods, or feelings. Then there are other styles I would choose to document a special event. What kit I might choose will depend on what kind of story I am telling, or who it is about, or what it may be used for.
In a recent discussion with the designers we were talking about the fantasy section of the store and noting that even though there is a huge community of scrapbook artists who create in this style, there are people who express a fascination or interest but are either intimidated by what all is involved in creating this style, or do not understand how it fits within their own definition of scrapbooking. Worse than that, there are others who are critical of the style saying that it doesn’t fit into what they determine to be “real scrapbooking.”
“Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one.”
― Terry Pratchett
To me the fit seems natural, since my imagination, my dreams, my inner thoughts and my fantasy life are as important to me as the facts, the events, or the history. There is much, much more to life than what we can experience through the senses and fantasy helps us to connect with that.
“Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.”
― Lloyd Alexander
Then, when I am scrapping photos of my son at 5 in a fantasy style I am expressing the beauty of childhood that I see and am inspired by within him. For me, it is an excellent way to capture the magic of his childhood. This doesn’t mean that I don’t also take a photo of his missing front tooth, and write about his excitement or trepidation of the first one coming out. I do that as well and I may do it with a more “traditional” scrapbooking paper style kit that replicates a paper page. However, to think that a fantasy kit can not tell the same tale would be a mistake. A scrapbook page does not have to replicate the paper world to tell a story or capture a memory. In fact, I would be excited at the possibility of using a fantasy kit to tell the tale of the first tooth fairy visit.
However, besides using fantasy kits to capture those magical moments of childhood memories, there are many fantasy styled scrapbookers who use this style to put their own children in the middle of a fairy tale adventure. After all, who is it that we are creating these layouts of our children for? I do it for him and I can’t tell you how tickled he has been see himself within the pages of the story book that we are reading at bedtime. We document the memories while scrapbooking and in this case, we make more memories reading and enjoying the personalized story books that were created. Besides just being amused with his own little storybook character, creating these books for him teaches the importance of imagination.
Fantasy is a beautiful style that invites us to explore worlds that go beyond the visible. If you don’t already know what your children dream about or wish for or imagine, then find out. This is such an important part of who are children are, and how their story will unfold. There is nothing frivolous or nonsensical about this and years from now you will never regret looking back on these kinds of pages to see what they revealed.
I think it is understandable how many scrapbookers would feel intimidated about trying this style. As it is often presented 3 dimensionally it takes a great deal more understanding of light and shadows than most of us have experience with. The fantasy artists who do this best are masters in that area. I myself struggle with it, but it doesn’t stop me from trying and regardless of whether there are imperfections, my fantasy pages are beautiful because they were created with love as a gift for my son, and he has loved them back.
So if you are one of those people that has kept a distance from this style because you don’t understand how it fits into your idea of what scrapbooking is, I hope you might consider this perspective and don’t be afraid of the challenge to try something new.
Lorie Davison is the Queen of Fantasy in my books. There are a lot of great fantasy artists, but if you no Lorie at all you will know that she is not simply the kind of artist that escapes to other worlds with her art. She lives and loves her life in the most magical of ways and most of us are convinced that she is a genuine Fairy. 🙂 To spend just a little bit of time inside of Lorie’s head would be the most amazing adventure I am sure and it is an honour and a privilege to have her as a designer at Scrapbookgraphics. I’ve seen previews of her newest kit which is soon to be released and it is to die for!
“Fantasy scrapbooking is a way to express the reality in our hearts.”
– Lorie Davison