Paper crafters often develop very distinct styles. Some gravitate toward crisp and clean. Others embrace and celebrate white space. And still others love perfectly coordinated crafts, with matching elements from every embellishment down to precisely matched ink. All of these are beautiful styles that you can find all over Pinterest and Instagram. They are pleasing to the eye, organized, and stylishly chic. Unfortunately, none of these styles come easily to me…
Sunday Secret #7 – I have the paper-crafting style of the average pre-teen girl, and I’m not going to apologize for it anymore.
Yup, you read that right. I liken my style to that of a typical pre-teen girl who appreciates all things rainbow, shiny, and full of whimsy. I prefer to use “all the things” on my Bible journaling entries and memory keeping pages, rather than carefully choosing elements that provide balance or that don’t go overboard. I’m all about going overboard!
Many times my Bible journaling pages end up looking a bit messy or over-done, but those are often the pages that I enjoyed creating the most. When I get lost in thought or prayer while working, it can be hard to stop adding more and more to a page. While I sometimes feel a little out of place sharing my messier style on Facebook and Instagram, I am slowly learning that embracing my style is far more fulfilling than trying to constantly imitate someone else. I plan to stop shying away from my bold messy style and really be proud of the work I produce!
1. Get Inspired!
Most of us are experts at cruising Pinterest and Instagram. But, maybe it is time to be a bit more selective in pinning our “likes”. Do you pin anything that is relative to a topic, or are you actually considering whether an example Bible journaling page sparks joy? I have previously had the tendency to “mass pin”. This means that I would go on pinning binges where I tended to not discriminate at all and just pin any example page I could find. This doesn’t really tell me much about what style I am drawn to. The same thing is true about “liking” things on Instagram. I tend to “like” a picture in support of that artist. It doesn’t mean every style is for me, but in this community of creatives, it’s always important to support our fellow creators! However, if you didn’t know, you can save Instagram pictures to different inspiration boards through the Instagram app. This is an awesome way to collect specific images that inspire you and help you hone in on the style you like the best. If an artist or a creator pops up on your inspiration board more than once, be sure to give them a follow for fresh waves of inspiration throughout the year! You can follow me on Pinterest and on Instagram if you are looking to start your style search! 🙂
2. Look Around You!
Is your home designer-chic or more eclectic? Do you like to wear loud, bold patterns, or do you gravitate toward black with pops of color? Do you like trying adventurous and exotic food choices, or are you more of a classic “comfort food” type of person? Stop and take a closer look at the world you surround yourself with. This will give you wonderful insight into the colors and design choices that you most likely prefer as a crafter.
3. Try Something Old!
What did you love when you were younger? For me, it was Lisa Frank stickers! Do you remember those?!? I collected as many as I possibly could and held onto them in a brightly colored sticker book. Those bright, fun colors drew me in and gave me such joy when I was able to decorate binders, pencil bags, and books with them. Turns out that bright colors still inspire me, and I’ve recently re-discovered a love for stickers in my planner and journal entries. Did you keep scrapbooks as a child? Or did you create pieces of artwork on canvas with acrylic or watercolor paint? Reflect back on what inspired you as a child and dig back into those roots. While styles evolve, it is very likely that what brought you so much excitement back in the day probably will still spark some joy now!4. Try Something New!
Experiment, experiment, experiment! How will you ever know if an art medium is for you if you never give it a try! Find some YouTube tutorials, or follow a blog process post to give a new kind of style a try. You may discover that just the process of trying something new helps you to refine your likes and dislikes as a crafter.5. Does It Come Easily?
You know those times when you suddenly look up and realize that hours have passed while you were crafting away happily and it felt like mere minutes? When pages and layouts feel like they fall into place with barely any effort, you have probably connected to something that is intrinsically your style. Our styles come effortlessly and with ease. If something comes natural, that means that it is a style that is deeply embedded in you, whether you knew it was there or not!6. Try it Again!
When I first started Bible journaling, I was drawn to pages that used acrylic paint. But, the first few times I tried using acrylics, it ended with a big ol’ mess. I couldn’t ignore the fact that these pages kept catching my eye though, so I stayed at it! Knowing I was drawn to the aesthetic look of acrylic painted entries gave me the motivation to keep trying this medium until I discovered a technique that truly fit my style. Just because something new doesn’t work for you the first time, doesn’t mean that it never will. On the flip side, you can’t force yourself into a style that doesn’t fit you. White space will always feel awkward to me. When I try to purposefully leave large amounts of white space on my pages, they still feel unfinished. Yet, others master this concept beautifully! God gifted us in different ways, and while I will always try to expand my horizons, I know I will come back to the style that makes me feel at home.
Keep it creative,
-The Scrappy Wife