Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Let's Talk Process!

Happy hump day! Sorry I wasn't around last week, but the vacation was much enjoyed and desperately needed. I promise to post pictures soon.

Today I'm going to talk about process. You've heard this before, "What is your scrapbooking process...." and such like that. This question has always made me laugh because my answer depends on my mood, what I have available (both in terms of pictures and product), how much time I have, the phase of the moon, the relative humidity, whether my pinky toe hurts, etc. You get the idea....I don't think I've ever used the same scrapbooking process twice.

Instead, I'm going to discuss my technique process. I just recently realized I had one.

First, let's discuss what qualifies as a technique. A lot of people seem to be think this word entails a long drawn out process that results in an artist effect only belonging on "fancy" scrapbook pages. I'm here to tell you that a technique can be as simple as matting a photo.

To explain. Matting a photo is just one way of providing visual separation between your photo and your background elements. There are other ways to accomplish this visual separation, such as printing your photo with a white border, painting a mat, using ribbon to create a frame, inking or sanding the edge of your photo, leaving empty or "white" space around the subject of your photo, etc. All of these are considered techniques. The outstanding question is not whether you want to use a technique on your layout. The outstanding question is what "look" do you want to accomplish on your layout. The ultimate "look" will determine which technique you want to use.

Let's use an ATC I recently created as an example:

I created this ATC by stamping the dinosaur with clear ink on white cardstock and heat embossing clear powder. I then inked and stamped over the embossed dinosaur to create the background and the title. The ink wiped right off the embossed dinosaur giving me a clean image.

There are several other techniques I could have used to create this ATC. I could have created the the inked and stamped background and then stamped the dinosaur on top with white paint. I could have stamped the dinosaur on the back of white cardstock and then cut it out and adhered it to the inked and stamped background. I could have created the background using textured paint and then created a "debossed" dinosaur using the dinosaur stamp. Each of these techniques would have resulted in different final "looks".

I had a certain "look" in mind when I started to create this ATC. I wanted the dinosaur bones to be really white and look like bones stuck in the mud. If I had created the stamped and inked background and then stamped the dinosaur on top with white paint, I would not have gotten as "white" or "crisp" a dinosaur image as I did with the embossing method. If I had trimmed the dinosaur out of white cardstock and adhered it on top of the background, the dinosaur bones would not look like they were stuck in the mud, they would look like they were lying on top of the mud. The textured paint and "debossed" dinosaur technique could have worked really well and given me the look I wanted, but it seemed a little "over the top" for an ATC.

And that's a peak into my "technique process". It all hinges on the final "look" I am going for, whether that look is distressed, aged, modern, artsy, whimsical, urban, etc. or very specific and focused.

Just remember, there's no reason to think that "techniques" are beyond you and your pages, we all use techniques, whether simple or complicated, to get that final "look".

Have a happy hump day!