Friday, June 20, 2008

Bethy's Tutorial: Journaling as an Artistic Element (Part 1)

Let's talk a little about journaling. And journaling NOT as an after thought and not put on a layout in a boring block, but journaling that's an artistic part of your layout! But, first, why journal at all?? I mean besides a name and date, why do we journal?? The power of scrapbooking IS journaling. We are putting together both the photo and the words in an artistic way so that we'll always remember the moment, exactly how we want. And, let's face it. Who is the most forgotten person in scrapbooking? US, the scrapper!! The first layout I want to show you is for the journaling. It reminds me perfectly WHY we need to journal. It's our way of being in the layout! This by one of my most favorite scrappers. Not just for her fantastic photos and her utterly fantastic compositions, but for her words.

Here's what Meg has to say about journaling in her layout:

Me. The person behind the camera (most of the time). You won't find many pictures of my face. But read the words. You'll hear me. See the smiles on your faces. You're reflecting the one on mine. Know that I created these pages out of love for you.


Ok . . . so how do we start making the journaling MORE then just an after thought or something we slap in the corner?

Start with the journaling! The story you want to tell. It doesn't have to be long, it doesn't have to be written to perfection. It just has to say what you want to say about the memory you are recording. Then think how that fits in your layout.

Is your journaling happy and hopeful and long? Then your kit might be bold and full of patterns and you will need a vellum or a plain mat to fit your journaling. When you are choosing your elements, pull an appropriate size piece into your canvas or keep an area for it.

Sharon's layout here is bright with a nice long section of journaling but the way she's blocked it out, the journaling flows beautifully and becomes part of the design. She has her swirly elements clear of the text and the patterns are on the borders so they don't clutter up the text.
This one by Ann (isshinryu_mom) is FILLED with text. But she carefully chose a background that wouldn't distract from her text and had it flow around her cluster of elements. There's a lot of text. That's definitely a design challenge. And Ann made the text part of her design concept. If it had been an after thought, it might have been more stilted. Instead it's an intrinsic part of the design.

Or this one by Jill (momof1chef). Lots of text, patterned papers, elements, curves. And she placed everything knowing she would need the room to journal. That by clustering it all to one side, by using a plain background, she could journal her whole story.

One thing to keep in mind, for most layouts, 12x12 is too long to read. What do I mean? Many lines of text that are 12 inches long become hard on the reader's eyes. With both Ann's and Jill's layouts, those long 12 inch lines only make up a small portion of the layout. Most of the text lines are shorter in length. If you do have lots of text, try a column approach.

And if you have LOTS of journaling? Is it a story that will dominate the page? Then you want to concentrate on readability. Font choice - a serif - not too bold.

End of Part 1
Part 2 and Part 3)

*note: for credits and full-size looks at the layouts, click to see them in the user's gallery at DSP.


loonyhiker said...

This was a great tutorial! I love the layouts you chose to demonstrate your points and how you point out what makes it work. That was really helpful.

MAC said...

Beth, now more than ever you are my scrapping hero! When I create my albums (paper or digital) I always think of my stories as having the prominence. My pictures come second, and any decorative elements come in only if they add to the story and pictures.

I'm growing weary of seeing beautiful layouts that don't tell a story. But I'm also getting tired of my plain Jane layouts. Yes, it's my stories and pictures that will endure, but I'd rather have layouts that look like magazine pages than newspaper pages.

So thanks for this SUPER tutorial. I think it's going to have something to offer the journalling-challenged scrapper and the design-challenged scrapper, too!