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Digital Scrapbooking: Is It Right for You?

April Anderton is the Creative Editor of Digital Scrapbooking Magazine. She offers a personality profile to help determine if you should “go digital.”


Ever dreaded dragging out your scrapbooking supplies only to have to pack them back up again when you’ve finished? Don’t have the most steady hand for journaling or cutting? Have a stick handed, sticker crazed toddler? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you may want to give digital scrapbooking a try.

Among its perks…space is not an issue, clean up is a snap and pages can easily be put on hold by clicking ‘save’. Check out the following reasons to consider booting up instead of cutting up.

Digital Scrapbooking may be a perfect fit for you if….

1. You can’t seem to cut a straight line and the grand page plans you see in your head never seem to look right on paper.

Robyn’s first scrapbooking experience was after her oldest son was born in 1997, when her sister-in-law gave her a Creative Memories baby album. Although she was scrapbooking in paper, she often printed her journaling out from the computer and never really felt proficient or happy with the results of her paper and scissors type of scrapbooking.

On August 15, 2004, while searching online for heritage album ideas, her obsession began. She found scrapbook-bytes.com, read about digital scrapbooking and was incredulous. She just couldn’t believe there was an activity that incorporated all of her favorite hobbies: photo restoration, scrapbooking, genealogy and web design. She had already been dabbling in Photoshop because of her interest in web design, so digital scrapbooking truly seemed like a perfect fit.

It remains a perfect fit for Robyn. She feels that when she creates digitally, she is truly an artist – a word she says she would never use to describe herself otherwise. She loves being able to do things that can’t be done with paper scrapping like blending or matching her papers to her photos. Her favorite online shops are scrapartist.com and scrapbookgraphics.com. Robyn also makes many of her own papers and elements.

2. You don’t have a lot of time to create your own paper pages, not to mention multiple copies for the grandparents.

Many digital scrapbookers find that using pre-made templates saves them the time and hassle of recreating multiple copies of photos and pages.

Anna could seldom find the time to put pages together for family and friends until she began using digital scrapbooking templates and quick pages. Now she opens up her template, drops in her photos, adds a bit of journaling and uploads the page to be printed…several times. She likes that it no longer takes her weeks or months to complete entire albums that she just gives away. Now she gets to give them as gifts and keep one for herself with no extra effort.

3. You can’t seem to get your husband to support your expensive hobby wholeheartedly.

Many digital scrapbookers find common ground with the ‘computer geeks’ in their lives when they get deeper into designing their pages on the computer.

For Jessica, digital scrapbooking changed not only the how and what of preserving her memories, it changed her life. Jessica explains, ‘My husband is a bit of a computer geek – OK, maybe it’s more than a bit – so he was thrilled when I became passionate about digital and started asking questions about things like external hard drives! While we’re doing different things on our respective computers, he’s happy that I have a new-found respect for and interest in technology.’

4. You don’t have a lot of space, let alone a whole room to create pages and store scrapbooking supplies.

Lynn has been scrapbooking since 2003, when her family moved to Singapore, and for the first time in years she had both the time and the money for a hobby. But it wasn’t until 2004, after another move to New Zealand that she found her true passion. Stuck in a small apartment with a toddler and no scrapbooking supplies, Lynn taught herself to digiscrap. She’s not scrapped a paper page since.
It’s important to Lynn to save memories for her two daughters, including her youngest Maddie (who has a form of autism and loves her “photo books”). But, says Lynn, ‘I really scrap as much for myself. It’s my creative outlet.’ Lynn also likes that she can come and go without having to clean off a work space or clean up afterwards.

5. You want to save money or appeal to your artistic side by creating your own papers and embellishments.

Tonya started scrapbooking in 2003. Several scrapbooking friends and co-workers kept asking her to join them, but she’d always resisted. She felt she already had too many ‘expensive’ hobbies. As a working graphic artist, it had also occurred to her that it would be possible, fun and cheaper to duplicate the paper scrapbook look digitally. It wasn’t until she saw the first Digital Scrapbooking special issue in a store that she realized that it was ‘legitimate’ and not ‘cheating’ to design scrapbook pages on the computer. Finding out that others already scrapbooked this way encouraged her to get started and she’s never looked back.

Many people come to digital scrapbooking after spending years with their paper supplies. Tonya did exactly the opposite. Although she began as an exclusively digital scrapbooker, she now scraps three ways: digitally, with paper and a hybrid of the two. She goes in spurts, all paper for a while and then all digital. She also likes knowing that if she can imagine it, she can generally do it.

6. You want to turn your hobby into a business.

Although trained as a fine artist, Thao was working in corporate design and communications in July 2005 when she made her first scrapbooking project. It was a mini-album, made as a gift for a friend. Speaking about it, Thao says, ‘I instantly fell in love with scrapbooking because it combined many of my loves: storytelling, paper, and celebrating life.’

In a soul searching conversation with her husband, later in 2005, Thao told him that she was considering a career change and that she wanted it to involve her new found love of scrapbooking. That same day, while waiting to meet a client, she browsed a bookstore magazine rack and found the Simple Scrapbooks special issue Digital Scrapbooking 4. After purchasing and reading the issue, Thao could see that digital scrapbooking would give her the ability to incorporate multiple elements of fine art and hand-drawn techniques into her pages. Thao decided this was the answer to her career dilemma.

By January 2006, she’d applied for a position at one of the sites she’d found listed in Digital Scrapbooking 4magazine. She now makes her art available to others as a product designer at scrapgirls.com.

As you can see, the reasons to try digital scrapbooking are countless. If you think digital may be a good fit for you, check out digitalscrapbooking.com and see how easy it is to become a modern memory keeper.

by Lynda Angelastro


For more information about digital scrapbooking, pick up the current issue of “Digital Scrapbooking Magazine,” or visit www.digitalscrapbooking.com.

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