A Digital Scrapbooking Rant

by Lain Ehmann on January 29, 2011

I rarely get on my scrapbooking soapbox, but I just had to today. Want to hear me all fired up? Check this out:

What do you think? Is there a big difference between digi scrapping and paper scrapping? Can we learn from each other? You know what I believe… now it’s your turn.

  • http://twitter.com/J_kissmequikly jan@twoscoopz

    Love this!
    Inspiration is inspiration. It’s up to you how you apply it to what you do.
    I’ve seen a fabulous room, loved the wall color and came home and created a website with it. LOL!
    Or word art that I love and decide I need to stamp it on a pillowcase or something.
    Inspiration is all around you, everywhere you look.
    IF you look :)

  • http://twitter.com/wishkeepercc Elli

    You had me dancing around on the chair here, cheering! Like I keep trying to tell folks, creativity is creativity, no matter what you use to manifest that creativity…and it’s ALL GOOD. I get a *lot* of inspiration for art journaling from both kinds of scrapbookers, and I know my digi stuff is informed by what paper folks do, and my hybrid stuff incorporates all three — there is no divide if you let the inspiration FLOW! :D

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  • Jayma

    I am a paper scrapper but am learning digiscrap because I like grapic design, and sometimes I like to switch things up. I’ve picked up on digiscrapping quickly because it IS still scrapbooking and the same design principles. I’ve also ised digital layouts as inspiration for my paper layouts. And even cards!

    Great video. Obviously I totally agree.

  • Anonymous

    I have lifted digi lo to paper and vice versa. And now I’m dabbling in art journaling and to me one prompt ir inspiration can result in a page in either or a mix of the mediums. It is great

  • http://www.facebook.com/kimberly.kalil Kimberly DeMucha Kalil

    I couldn’t agree more. I was a paper scrapper, but have converted to digi. Digi just works better for me, but that doesn’t make it better (or worse). No matter how I scrap, I’m doing the same thing. I’m preserving memories, telling stories and being creative. And anything, anything can inspire that. Thanks for the rant!

  • Anonymous

    IF you look — so true!

  • Anonymous

    I love the visual of you dancing! Keep going!! :)

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, Jayma!
    It’s all one big holy lovely soup. :)

  • Anonymous

    To me, it feels best when I do mix it up! :)

  • Anonymous

    So true, it’s all good!!! :)

  • Kathy28

    Amen, Sister! I did LOAD in October and was probably about 80% digital. Inspiration is Inspiration! I also love the challenge of trying to replicate paper techniques in digital. It makes me think outside the box in how I look at digital embellishments.
    Would love to total up the paper vs digital layout from 10/10LOAD. I bet they were pretty evenly split between paper and Digi. Oh well, her loss.

  • Angela

    Amen has been used a lot so I’ll use Haleluya! You are fired up! :) I am a paperscrapper who is trying to be a digital scrapper. I don’t think I will EVER give up my paper and scissors. BUT I found so much inspiration on digital sites I decided to try it out and to use some of the layouts on my paper layouts. Carry on Lain.

  • http://www.nathaliesnotes.typepad.com/ Nathaliesnotes

    Nope. There’s only one right way to be creative.
    Just kidding. It made me laugh just to write that. This does remind me a bit, not that long ago, of a time when there was a similar {ridiculous} debate regarding what is “Real” photography when digital cameras grew in popularity.

  • RH

    I am a paper scrapper. And listen, I have a degree in Graphic Design and spent 10 years employed by a publishing house doing computer design work. But I love the feel and dimensionality of paper. I love inking edges and using border punches and adding lace. You can do all of that digitally and it looks great, but I love the process of using product. That’s just me. And I lift from digi LO’s ALL THE TIME. I even use my printer to print my journaling and sometimes make a photo collage on the computer…gasp! So I guess that makes me a sometimes-hybrid scrapper, but it’s all good. Go,Lain!

  • Barb in AK

    Lain! I am right there with you! Scrapbooking is scrapbooking. I used to look down on my sis’s photo albums—you know , the kind that you just slip the photos into a sleeve? But she ALWAYS journalled about the photos. It was simple journalling, but nonetheless, journalling. Never any embellishments, but that was okay with her. (Can you say “simple scrapper”? LOL!) In “those days”, I thought she had missed the point!
    Then Stacy Julian educated me :-) Now I’m open to all kinds of inspiration. I look at an ad on a billboard or in a magazine, and I see a scrapbook page. I have seen some A.MAZ.ING digital layouts and unless I felt it or was told, I would NEVER have guessed it to be totally pixelized!
    Yes, I am in agreement that anything that makes a scrapper happy is a layout well done–no matter where the inspiration or materials come from! :-)

  • Heather

    Totally agree! That said – I wonder if the person in question either was looking for digi tips or just realized she couldn’t afford it & wanted a refund?

    I actually do both paper & digi & fid that they feed off of each other – they really are just two sides to the same coin. If I want a very matchy embellishment filled album I will go digi to save some $$ on accessories & I use the digi world to sketch sometimes…. but I also paper sketch & paper layout…. some things lend better to one or the other but in the end they are both great & I use the same techniques (finished look anyway) for both!

  • Anonymous

    I’m not sure… It was particularly interesting since one of our four speakers for Feb. is a digital designer… in any case, she has her refund, and I have something to bleat about. ;)

  • Tez

    While I do agree that you can always find inspiration everywhere, I would also say that there are two definite distinct styles on both sides. I probably would not take a paper class because that’s not a style I feel comfortable scrapbooking in. I would however takes bits and pieces of a paper page and morph it into my digi page.

  • Anonymous

    I see it more as a continuum — there are people at all points on the scale. Some people move easily between digital and paper, while others are definitely more comfortable with one style. But to me, it’s tools. We can find inspiration anywhere we look, if we keep our minds open.

  • http://twitter.com/jenkinkade Jennifer Kinkade

    hello! hybrid scrapbooking is HUGE! it is melding both techniques in very inspiring and creative ways!!!
    i get inspiration from people ALL over the place–whether it be artsy, graphic, vintage, paper, digi, you name it and it is out there! i can’t believe that this is even an issue. we are all in this together, right? creative inspirations! let’s encourage one another! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/barb.h.murray Barb Hancock Murray

    Don’t we all get inspiration from things around us? Wether it be a print ad or even a TV ad, everything I see can spark a bit of inspiration if I am open to it. There is no way that a digital scrapbooker can not look at your challanges and not take something away from it.

  • Anonymous

    Well, I agree! :)

  • http://mom-e-memoirs.blogspot.com AngMomof3

    I guess I never let that wall go up… I love all scrappy mediums! :) A most recent proof: taking a JessicaSprague.com digi layout and converting it to a hybrid so I could use some papers I had. I love the versatility of using both! Here’s where you can see my take: http://mom-e-memoirs.blogspot.com/2011/01/digi-and-hybrid.html

  • Donna

    creative inspiration… don’t box me in!!! I love seeing what others can do in all sort of areas, even beyond scrapbooking, and it all works to get those creative juices of mine churning and working. And I love the creative inspiration I find from all the beautiful blogs on the Internet.

  • http://mom-e-memoirs.blogspot.com AngMomof3

    I often leave Starbucks and have to sketch something that inspired me there… most recently a mug for V-day. Not sure if I’ll use digi or paper to execute it, but that doesn’t stop me from getting the inspiration!

  • Anonymous

    I love it, especially the cheery colors! Thanks for sharing. :)

  • Anonymous

    Yes, yes, YES! :)

  • Hope

    agreed! and what a great challenge — just to get out of our normal creative ruts. thanks!!

  • Kaylea

    I’m game….. but I’ve found paper scrapbookers in my life are not excepting of my digital scrapbooking. I’ve tried. I find inspiration from both camps….but I was treated differently at the scrapbook store after I started going digi, and it’s one (not all) of the reasons why I quit going. I just wasn’t treated the same when I wanted to try something digi or when I pulled out my laptop. We even went on a scrapbooking retreat and they told me my laptop wasn’t welcome. (this was a couple of years ago, before hybrid gained in popularity, so I don’t know if it would be different….)

  • Anonymous

    Okay, THAT is bizarre. Reminds me of my friend who was kicked out of a CM crop b/c she was using non-CM materials! I think you need to join us for LOAD. :)

  • Anonymous

    Isn’t it great to have MORE TOOLS to execute our ideas? It’s just another part of the tool box…

  • Gina, Mom to the Shoe

    Oh, digi-scrapper-who-asked-for-a-refund…get out of your box, girl!!! I am a digi scrapper right now out of necessity — I have four small children and need the “lack of mess” that is digi-scrapping. But the idea that a digi scrapper can’t draw inspiration from the paper world is putting up walls that don’t need to be there. Shabby Princess has designed for Doodlebug (paper) and has a wildly popular digital site. Nancy Rowe Janitz designs for a paper line and has a digital line. Jennifer Wilson designs for a paper line and also has had a digital site. Cosmo Cricket has a paper line and now sells some of their lines in digi version at Jessica Sprague’s site. In.Sanity. Sheer insanity that the two must always remain separate.

  • JJ

    Paste Eaters or Pixel Pushers – who cares? If you’re preserving your memories, it’s all the same to me.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for the great laugh! LOVE that!

  • Dailygrace

    I loved this….but mainly because this spreads to so many more areas. Why do we, especially as women, box ourselves in and pretend it is the only way to do something??? Working with women’s ministries I see it done with whether you work at home or away, whether your home school, private school or public, etc. We have got to start taking the blinders off and just be more open……

  • Anonymous

    So TRUE! It hearkens of the “breast vs. bottle” debate… And the “working mom vs. SAHM” debate… and on and on! Why can’t we all just get along? ;)

  • http://twitter.com/starlitestudio Starr Mercer

    Very well put Lain! I do both…and love it!

  • Berta

    Inspiration can come from anywhere. One of my all time favorite LO’s was inspired by a digital LO. And I am a paper & glue scrapper. I think all LO’s can be inspirational, and almost all paper techniques and be done didgitally and all digital techniques can be done with paper to acheive a similar look or feel. It should never be a case of them and us!!! If you are saving your memories your way you are “scrapping” and it is all good!

  • http://twitter.com/pmakurat Peggy Makurat

    sooo true Lain! I have friends who do both and one who is always poo-poohing the digital as “not scrapbooking.” BOTH require design and BOTH are recording memories. Does it really matter how it gets done? NO, what matters is that it is being done.

  • Anonymous

    Starr, do you find yourself using digi for certain types of pages, and paper for others?

  • Anonymous


  • http://twitter.com/ScrapbookerUk Andrea Daniels

    I couldn’t agree with this more – I am a scrap-for-hire gal working in the UK and produce paper, digital, hybrid and mixed media projects for clients all the time, and I get my inspiration from anything and everything!! My local craft shop got really humpy with me when I told her I was also doing digital pages so much so that I don’t feel comfortable going into her store anymore – how ridiculous is this?! I have spent a small fortune in this store over the last 15 years. Good for you for your rant – made my day!

  • http://www.facebook.com/leequebee Lee Scott

    I’m a digital scrapbooker and I completely agree, I take inspiration from anything and everything, from magazines, to car interiors…you are dead right


  • Mrsmoosie

    Amen Sista!

  • Anonymous

    I love that you can find inspiration from a billboard! :)

  • Anonymous

    Woohoo! Thanks so much for sharing your perspective. :)

  • Lynn

    Inspiration is everywhere! A sunset, a quilt, a child’s artwork, pottery, you can get ideas for colors and layouts pretty much anywhere if you are open to it!

  • Anonymous

    Yes, yes, YES! :)

  • http://www.learn-create-share.com BMac

    AMEN!! Now if we can just tackle the stigma that scrapbooking ‘in all it’s forms’ is NOT just for women. . .

  • Anonymous

    That’s a good one. I’m a tad guilty of that, I must say — but I think photo books and digital scrapbooking (and blogs too) are totally transforming the face of scrapbooking — for the better! The more the merrier, I say!

  • JoMama

    Funnily enough, I just finished a LO that is totally based on a digi LO and I did mine all in paper. Sure there was a little more work, but I loved the look and made it happen. I think inspiration can come from anything. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, but that is like saying you are not a good learner if you are visual instead of tactile. Just do what works for you.

  • Anonymous

    You are so right! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/timelesscrone Lisa Wilkins

    Oh for crying out loud. She didn’t think she could find something in LOAD to apply to digital scrapping?! Bull hockey. The things people find to gripe about never ceases to befuddle me. And, you!!! What grace to refund her fee! Not sure I could muster that, myself.

    I no more “get” the digi vs paper than I do any of the inane things women find to argue over.

    I dunno, Lain. LayOut A Day. Seems pretty benign to me. I did your BPS LOAD. I did paper and hybrid. I also did Art Journal pages, and altered a freakin’ planner. Thought the whole idea was to DO something every day. Silly me!

  • Anonymous

    Lisa, I love you! “Bull hockey.” I’m going to have to use that one! :)

  • Beth M

    I’ve played in all different parts of the paper/hybrid/digi continuum and like them all for different reasons and find inspiration from all of them. Even if someone chooses to stick to one particular area it floors me to think that a theme as general as “inspiration is everywhere” could be seen as exclusive to anyone. Some of the artists I find most inspiring draw inspiration from completely other areas like interior design or fashion that aren’t directly tied to scrapbooking. The whole digi vs. paper thing feels even sillier to me than the divide I used to run into of stampers vs. scrapbookers. I attended various shows where scrappbookers who were interested in learning stamping techniques and tools where looked down on by stampers for I’m really not sure what reason, but it seemed really silly to me.

  • Hannah Wilde

    I became a digi scrapbooker, when my daughter, katie, and her daughter, Mikaya, lived with me! I was the care giver when Katie when to work, so if I wanted to scrapbook it had to be something that didn’t have a lot of stuff that little fingers could get into, or put in their mouth! Plus, I am kinda a perfectionist and I was able to place stuff different places and resize it without having to redo the page…. I still love paper scrapping and now that my daughter and granddaughter are living on their own, I think I might get back to it…..but as many have said inspiration is inspiration no matter what the medium you use!

  • Mcscraps4/Claudia

    Hi Lain,
    Just wanted to let you know that I whole-heartedly agree with you!! For the first day of LOAD, I was totally inspired by a digital layout that I saw in an email. Using the design, I created my paper page. Inspiration comes from many places, and there is no divide in my scrap world!! I enjoy it all!!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you much! I’m going to make sure to check out your page. :)

  • Anonymous

    I often find paper scrappers who say the same thing about digital. I’m so glad you are trying to gap the divide!

  • Anonymous

    Yes, either direction, it’s silly! :)

  • figrsk8r

    I used to teach software classes and the inevitable mac v pc discussion could always lead to hostile feelings. What I always told my classes is that you can have a wooden ruler, a plastic ruler, or a metal ruler, but in the end it’s just a ruler! It’s the same with digi v paper. No matter what the result (be it digi, paper, or hybrid) if you and the people you design for love it that’s all that matters!

    I’m a graphic designer who did ad layouts by hand when I first started and love the digi world’s flexibility, but I can get an ad idea from anywhere anytime. If you limit your scope, you’re going to miss out on a ton of fabulous ideas. Sometimes it’s the weirdest things that can trigger the most brilliant results!

  • Chellebb

    Ok, now you’ve stepped off the soap box, I will hop on!
    I started “traditional” scrapbooking about 10 years ago, and I am always hungry for inspiration.. I joined a few groups and ate up everything they offered.. I became friends with loads of Scrappers, both Traditional and Digital. At first I mocked the digital thinking they’re cheating, but I guess that is because I knew nothing of the art of digital. I just figured they used a program that allows you to just drag and drop your photos into a pre-made layout (NOT THAT THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT!)
    After many years of being a friend to a digi-scrapper, admiring her work, I asked her what she used and she told me Photoshop… so off I went to buy Photoshop (ouch!) and have a go! Can I just say OMG, I LOVE IT! I have only been digi-scrapping for maybe 2 years, and as I am still learning photoshop even, I would say I spend sometimes MORE time on a digi-layout than a traditional one. I still do traditional layouts and I do hybrids as well.. when asked what kind of scrapbooker I am I gleefully announce, I’m a traditional digital hybrid kinda girl!
    Now, this is my first year of LOAD and as saw as I read up on it I jumped on the bandwagon.. I know we’re only up to day 4, but I have already gained so very much and I cannot wait for the next round. This person who wanted a refund because they’re a “digi-scrapper”? I don’t get it… maybe they’re using a drag’n’drop program (again, NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT!) but I can’t imagine ANYONE who scraps who doesn’t source out inspiration from friends/family/magazines (so miss Simple Scrapbooks) and the internet or classes. Maybe she knows something we all don’t? Maybe she enjoys doing her scrapping the same way day in day out? It’s her choice I guess, but she will never ever know what she’s missed out on, and as I browse the Flickr group for LOAD 211 I see many digi-layouts and I smile to know that I am apart of a fantastic group that shares what they do, be it digi, trad or hybrid!
    Ok, passing the box onto the next person! TFL

  • Anonymous

    Well said, my friend!!! Can’t wait to see what you produce!

  • Anonymous

    I love the ruler analogy!!

  • Jenny

    AMEN!!! I am 99.9% a paper scrapper, but I LOVE to go to digi sites and see what kind of inspiration I can find there! My favorite thing to do is look at the digi templates…it’s just like a sketch! But because it’s digi, many times there is more layering, more photos, a different way of placing things…I just love trying to create something in paper from that! And I’m dappling in the digi world…I had a lot of fun creating calendars for Christmas for family members that I did all digi. I just love the different creative processes provided by each style.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, it’s so inspiring to try to translate digi to paper. I love it!

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