Monday, August 03, 2015

the stigma of scraplifting

So I have this hater. She amuses me greatly. Like I literally laugh out loud over what she writes and I know she thinks she's cutting me to the core but I just think it's funny because her opinion of me doesn't change my life in any way. Her level of obsession with me is puzzling because for someone who appears to hate me, she sure does spend a lot of her life thinking about me. Maybe there really is a thin line between love and hate.

So this weekend, we had a comment in our FB community that someone was feeling down about the quality of their work and I encouraged them (as I always do) to scraplift. Then I mentioned that I was going to start scraplifting more often myself.

Well my hater must be stalking my group because she quoted me on a message board and called me a "thieving wannabe." (In a hilariously random way.)

So let's talk about the stigma of scraplifting...especially when you work in the creative industry. First of all, if I were to scraplift, I would do it openly and blog about it and blast it all over my social media and tell the person I lifted and introduce my audience to that person and talk about why I love them. It's a win-win for everyone and I want to start a weekly scraplift challenge in our group soon and do just that. :)

In 14 years of scrapping and sharing online, I've never had someone be mad at me for scraplifting them. Right now the person I want to scraplift is one of my besties, Jen Schow. She has given me full permission to scraplift her as much as I want to. But even if she hadn't, here's the deal....I still want to make layouts that are just for me because I truly love to scrap.

There's an illusion that you get paid for everything you do if you do this full time. ha!!! Double ha!!! If I want to scraplift, I have just as much right to do so as anyone else, as long as it's not content that someone is paying me for. It goes without saying but I do have enough sense to realize that. I just spent four weeks creating original content for BPC and GIS.

So if you are struggling with insecurity about your own scrapping, I highly encourage you to just flat-out scraplift for a while. Emulating people with great design skills is the best way to grow your own artistic ability. Jen Schow is a great one to scraplift because she has a lot of "go-to designs" that are well thought out and always end up as a stunning layout. I'm willing to bet most of you reading my blog are just scrapping for fun anyway so why wouldn't you scraplift??

Do we think we're less than talented if we use the inspiration that's all around us? 'Cause we're not. Why are we saving and pinning and culling all this inspiration if we're not gonna use it? I want to use it!

In my Big Picture class that's coming up, I show a scraplifted layout and talk about it. Moving forward with my business, encouraging others to scraplift is going to be a bigger part of my brand and message because listen....I'm not here to try and teach anyone anything ground breaking in design. I don't want to show you how to do the latest and greatest techniques because I'm probably not doing them myself. I just want YOU TO BE YOU and sometimes that involves finding your style through experimentation of a lot of different looks.

I want to inspire you to tell your stories and find JOY in doing so. Every day can be joyful simply because we have so many blessings: running water, air conditioning and food come to mind but how about sunshine and cameras and patterned paper!!!!? People! Patterned paper is happiness!

So scraplift away my friends and don't let the haters tell you that you can't or make you feel bad about it.

PS: Thanks dear Hater for giving me such a great blog topic to post about today. :)

26 comments:

Nancy Gaines said...

Hi, Tracie!

There is nothing worse than a cranky-pants crafter. I just don't get it.
Keep up the good work, girl!!

xoxoxo
Nancy

Kelly Sroka said...

This is great! I' m glad you don't let that hater get you down. I'm not sure why scrapbookers get a bad rap for scraplifting. In any other creative endeavor, emulating the masters is encouraged and a way to learn. When I learned to play the violin, I played music by other artists and listened to great violinists. No one expected me to write my own symphony after just a few months of playing. I think scraplifting is an important way to learn. I've been scrapbooking since 2001 and I still love to use sketches. I think I would be thrilled to think that my scrapbooking inspired someone else!

Ruth G said...

Sorry to hear you've had to deal with a hater. It definitely sounds like you've got the right attitude for coping - just laugh it off.

I couldn't agree with you more about scraplifting and how much it can help (for me, I generally lift card designs - but as you said, I'm doing it as a compliment, I let the designer know that I've lifted their design and they've been very excited to see my project!)

I don't believe there's a whole lot in this world that is truly original. Everyone is inspired by something or someone else by this point in our human timeline so if anyone thinks they're breaking new ground, they're probably not in touch with where their inspiration comes from and should take a good hard look so they can give credit where credit is due...

OK, I'm done now! Have a great day and maybe your hater will give you a good laugh about this blog post!

Thanks so much for sharing and encouraging others to do something that it awesome!

Emily Adams said...

Well said, Tracie! I like scrap lifting. It takes the pressure off designing a whole page and let's me focus on picking embellishments and paper!

Jules said...

I enjoy creating my own designs. I also enjoy lifting awesome designs /ideas from others. As long as we don't profit and always give credit when posting online, there is absolutely no reason not to scraplift. I'm certainly flattered when someone enjoys something of mine enough to lift it.

Candy said...

Thumbs up!!! If I didn't scraplift, I would not get anything scrapped. I enjoy the process not the design end of scrapping.

Laura Laforest said...

I always start out with a scrap lift and then turn it into my own page. I LOVE scrap lifting and am PROUD of it!! lol

Melissakay143 said...

Have you ever heard of the book "steal like an artist" it's a great little piece about how almost nothing is unique in the art world. How one persons work is inspired by, lifted from, or copied to a degree of another persons work or idea. Even the big companies do it... Look at all the products out with owls and hedgehogs and gold.... They a rent unique, they are trending and no one person invented the chevron or triangle and yet they all seem to have them in their designs! Anyone who says "I never scrap lift" is a liar.... I would challenge them to show me their social media... What no Pinterest? Magazine subscriptions? Instagram.... Your hater doesn't lock herself in a dark closet and create her own unique works of art without help!

TracieClaiborne said...

Yes Melissa! I almost mentioned that book "Steal Like an Artist." I would like to read it. My biggest mentor, Sean McCabe (seanwes), says to soak in inspiration from a lot of sources, sleep on it and then wake up and create something original. That's what I normally do. Everyone we follow influences our art in some way if we truly admire their style.

Thanks for all the great feedback everyone!!! You guys rock!

Judi Partlo said...

What a great blog post, Tracie!! I'm always puzzled as to why people spend so much of their time trying to bring others down. What a waste of this precious gift of life we have! I completely agree with the approach of scrap lifting to learn, to honor the creator, to see what works and doesn't work for us. You always inspire and encourage, keep it up! :)

Jen Schow said...

For people who are just starting out, I think scrap lifting is somewhat essential. When artists are learning to paint, they copy other paintings to help them learn the process. Duplication is a wonderful way to learn techniques and once you've mastered them, you can venture out on your own. :)

Shemaine Smith said...

Bullies bully because they feel bad about themselves. I've taught my children this and it's served them very well. My oldest was bullied once in Jr. High and I was so proud of how he handled the bully by calling him out for his reasons for bullying in front of all of my son's friends. He even offered to buy the kid an ice cream since he seemed to be having such a bad day. People who bully online are the worst kind because their cowardliness is blatantly evident. Don't they realize that happy, healthy people see that about them? Good for you that you are standing up for yourself. Unfortunately she has chosen you as her outlet to release the anger and hurt she is feeling. My hope is this person gets some help so they can live a happy life. Life is too short to be miserable.

amanda said...

First, as I read this, I totally read it with your cute little accent. ;)

Second, I completely agree with you on all of this! Why is there such shame in scraplifting? Once I embraced and realized that scraplifting is and awesome way to get my stories and photos on paper, I was finally able to break free of the traditional layout block I'd had for more than a decade. Also, let's be honest...aren't all layouts scraplifted in one way or another? Is there really, truly any 100% authentic and original layouts out there? Like, zero inspiration was drawn from somewhere?

Anyway - you go with your bad self and you scraplift and forget the haters. :)

p.s. I need to visit your blog more often...I haven't been out here since the Magic Memory Keepers episode! Bad me!!

Barbara Eads said...

Here's the thing about scraplifitng. Rarely would it ever be an EXACT copy anyway!! When I scraplift, it's usually an idea that I like to begin with. When I finish, my layout is uniquely my own! The only time I think scraplifting is a CRIME is---exactly what you say, Tracie---when you do it, share it and do NOT give the person you lifted credit!! That's just wrong! I say just go for it and don't feel guilty! We all hit a dry patch now and then!

TracieClaiborne said...

See for me, it's not even about hitting a dry patch. It's about experimenting with different styles and just not having to think while you're creating. I want to encourage people to let go of the pressure to even try to be original unless you just don't like scraplifting. Pick a designer who has stellar design skills and then emulate them as often as you like. That's how to grow in good design and also how to incorporate new trends into your work. :)

3shiningstars said...

Well said, Tracie! You tell them! I agree with another one of your commenters, "if I didn't scrap lift, I wouldn't get anything done!"

Robin said...

When you sew, knit, or cross-stitch you typically follow a pattern, and when you're done people tell you how lovely your top, scarf, or picture turned out. No one ever focuses on the fact you used a pattern. I've never understood why it's viewed so differently when you scrapbook. Even Shakespeare got his ideas from earlier writers!

IAmMikki said...

I absolutey think there is a stigma against Scraplifting, but mostly in the "It's great if you're a beginner but once you've been scrapbooking for a couple of years you should be able to create on your own." well, I've been scrapbooking for over 10 years and I've found the scraplifting brings me joy. Just because I've been doing this a long time doesn't mean I ooze creativity, and because I scraplift doesn't mean that I lack creativity either. I love scraplifting and I will stand behind scraplifting as being a wonderful way to scrapbook, a great way to honor other scrapbookers as well.

Jann Gray said...

Great post Tracie! Love you to bits....and boo to the hater. I've never understood how it can bring someone so much glee to tear someone down. If you don't like what they do...move on! What could possibly be the motivation? Even if they are right (I'm not saying your hater is right -- clearly she could't be MORE wrong), why do they feel that they are qualified to bring your "wrongness" to the attention of others? I have too big a task wrangling my own stuff - not sure I could find an ounce of energy to take on someone else.

All that being said...I LOVE scraplifting...for the exact reasons that you do...it let's me try things that are not in my wheelhouse! I have scraplifted YOU for almost as long as I have scrapped! Love you girlie...boo to the hater!

Merrick Dunphy said...

i am big time sketch user. Less scraplifting general pages (im too lazy to look for them... My pinterest isnt full of layouts, i dont really watch videos, etc) than using sketches, starting points, etc. i like having a place to jump off from i dont want to spend hours on each layout figuring out each detail. I like the analogy to a sewing or embroidery pattern.

Heather said...

Ugh, people like your hater have too much time on their hands. Way to stay positive and find the good in a bad situation! She just picks on you because your life is happy and full of goodness, and she's probably jealous.

I'm looking forward to your scraplifting challenge, scraplifting has gotten me out of many a scrappy rut, so I'm always glad to hear you and Tiffany talk about it in the show.

doris sander said...

you're so funny. and spot on. and i love the first comment opening with "cranking pants crafter." ha!

Raelynn said...

I would never get past looking a blank cs and my pics without some divine inspiration! Most of the time, you wouldn't be able to tell the layout I create was based on the layout I scraplifted from. Usually, that is because once I get rolling, I start to tweak things. Except for once and that was because I used the same exact products as the original LO.

Teddi said...

i just say YES to this post. tracie, i'm ha-ha-ha, right there with you. yes, i SCRAPLIFT, & it does make my pages better! i've been scrapbooking for over 13 yrs. i like to try lots of different things. even if it's just a starting point or reference. i remember you & tiffany having a whole podcast about scraplifting in the very beginning. i like how you're staying true to yourself. wooo hoo, or is it woot woot? :)

Susanne said...

Amen. I just recently went to a long weekend crop and spent the first half of it scraplifting cards, and doing two layouts, one a lift, the other from a sketch. I was thrilled with the productivity and as the weekend went on, I found myself switching to doing my own thing and being better at it than if I had let the pressure of being original right off the bat slow me down. When I post the projects on my blog, I will of course be honest about what was a copy and what was my own idea.

Sometimes I think those who make the negative scraplifting comments are often frustrated about their own lack of productivity and want to project that onto someone else to make themselves feel better. Life's too short for that. Scrap happy, I say. Just be honest about how it happens.

Debra Kinder said...

Dear Hater,

Ever think about how a baby learns to walk,talk,craw or eat? Even the Bible says we are to learn by Jesus' example. When people scraplift, they are learning through copying and emulating styles of other scrappers whether they are working in the industry or not.

Hater, I'm guessing you learned to walk, talk, etc by copying your parents and family just like all the rest of us did. So in a way, one could say you've scraplifted also. Maybe you could take some of your hater energy and channel it into something positive like scraplifting your next layout.