Welcome to the dark side. We have cookies!

Let me just say, right now, I have nothing against CTs or Designers. I love designers, I love their designs. I have my favs, everyone does. I love CTs, the job they do for their designers is just awesome.

I’m not trying to start a fight, or pick on anyone or anything. I promise. I don’t need more drama. I’ve got my very own PinkDiva, who keeps me supplied with all the drama I can handle.

For me, this is about finding the passion for scrapping all over again. Which means working through the issues that bog me down. Blogging is cheaper then therapy, so here I am.

There is a dark side to being a Designer, especially if you are not a well known one. The two years I spent in the design business has definitely affected me.

and since I promised cookies… Here’s a layout I did back in 2005.

Pinwheels

*click the image for details.

What makes you come alive?

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive.” – Howard Thurman.

I found this quote in a Shabby Princess newsletter article by Christy. This hits me at just the right time. A part of this struggle I have with scrapping right now stems from me, having forgotten why I do what I do. For me, it’s not about the artistry, although that doesn’t hurt at all. It’s always been about the story. The memory. All the gorgeous photos in the world mean nothing if there is no story to them. Generations from now are not going to look at that close up of your deep-in-thought child and know why that photo was important. To them, it will be just another pretty photo of someone in the family tree. But. Tell the story. Explain why this photo grabs you, and years from now, someone will be able to look at that and say, Wow. That’s what that photo meant, now I get it.

So what makes me come alive? Right now, it’s the writing. There is a reason why I currently have 5 active blogs, and several mini-blogs. It’s the writing. I just love writing, letting the emotion flow through my fingertips. There is something so satisfying about pressing that little “publish” button down there. If you check out my older layouts (which you really can’t, because truthfully, they are so crappy by today’s standards, they aren’t available online anywhere), you will see that journaling took a prominent place in all my layouts.

So what happened? How did I lose that?

I began designing.

Designing brought the need to advertise. And you can’t show off all those nifty little elements you spent hours crafting, on a page of text. But I’m not an artistic scrapper. So the need to show off doo-dads and thinga-ma-jigs stifled my natural tendencies. Plus, I could never seem to come up with anything as cool as the stuff in the gallery. Which one? Any gallery, pick one, any one. These days they are all filled with CTMs trying to pimp their choosen designer’s product with awesome artsy-fartsy layouts. All that awesome artsy wowed me to a point where I gave up trying to compete. I never did hire a CT because of the stress factor. I just did not want the stress and headache of putting out content on a consistent enough basis to support a CT. I really did not want to deal with sifting through applicants and picking people out and refusing others. So that left me back to square one, the need to advertise, and scrap photos to show off my kits.

So now that I understand what happened, how do I get that groove back?

Guess I just gotta jump in with both feet and start all over again.

So what makes you come alive?

a slow and painful death

That’s what my desktop is suffering. A slow and painful death. I needed to convert some old PSPimages overr to PSD to work on them, and discovered the desktop where my copy of PSP lives, is sick. I think I need to reformat, though that’s hard to do when the machine won’t read from the CD Drive. I’m a bit nervous about it, and not quite sure what to do with it. At this point, it’s a real mess, and I may have no choice but to wipe it clean and hope I can get it started again.

yuk.

I thought about returning to designing…

But as I researched options and looked at what the community has been up to since I left, I remembered why I left.

While I was busy researching my options, my frustration level and anger kept building. When I started getting pissed at the kids for stupid stuff at the breakfast table, it suddenly dawned on me… why? Why am I doing this to myself? Do I think it’s easy money? Because I sure as hell know it’s not! Yes, it would be nice to have some cash in my paypal account again, but I do not *need* it. Instead, I’m going to revisit the reasons why I started scrapbooking in the first place. I used to love it. Designing killed that love, the creative outlet. I want to scrapbook again, yet it’s like I don’t know how. I need to think about what is important to me, and why I scrap. I need to stay away from online websites. Galleries that used to be fun places to get feedback and share layouts are now almost exclusively commercials, as CTM (creative team member – a person hired by designers to scrap with said designer’s kits and post to as many galleries as possible in an effort to advertise the designer) after CTM post such glorified works of art designed to make you want to buy the product they used so that you too can produce, not just an ordinary layout, but a work of art. *ahhhhhh* The digiscrap community is chock full of people who are all jockeying for positions on CTMs, hoping to make it so they can score the free product. Then there is the piracy, ever so prevalent, and the crappy people who steal money and make everyone else in the biz look bad. The constantly changing Terms Of Use as to what you can use commercially, and what you can’t. The fonts. Don’t get me started on font designers. UGH!

Why? Why would I do that to myself?? What do I think I need to prove? Isn’t being a wife, a mother, a teacher, a maid, a personal shopper, a chauffeur, a nutritionist, a chef, a financial planner, a plumber, a mechanic, a painter, a repairman, an organizer, a laundress, I mean… I could go on and on. Isn’t that enough? Why do I feel the need to earn money doing something that will actually hinder my ability to perform all those other jobs?

I don’t *need* the money. Oh, it would be nice. Yes it would. Especially since DH retires in 2 years, and we haven’t a clue what he will do then. We could wind up unemployed for months. I pray not. But if we are, money will be very tight around here. It would be nice to have some “mad money” built up in my paypal again. But at what cost? At what cost?

I’m going to try to rediscover my love for digital scrapbooking. Hopefully I can finish some of the albums I have in progess. I can’t tell you how ate up with guilt I get everytime tPD picks up her baby ablum, with only two layouts in it, and declares that mommy needs to “finish it” so she can read about herself as a baby. Talk about guilt. I have to get past the perfectionism. It doesn’t have to be a perfect work of art. Hell it’s digital!! If I want to change something later, all I have to do is edit the PSD file!! It just has to get done. I know I can do it… I just have to feel like it. You know??

Here’s hoping I can rekindle the romance between myself and Photoshop.

Will you join me?