If you read this blog at all regularly, you will know that lately I have struggled creatively. I went more than two months without creating anything. For me, that is a very long time. However, I recently returned to creating digital scrapbooking and digital art journaling pages. Since the beginning of May, I have created five pages. A very low number for someone who normally does five or more a week, but it’s something. However, every page has been more of a chore than a pleasure. Not great for something that is a hobby, Plus, I haven’t been very happy with what I’ve created. The good news is tha late last week I think I stumbled on to a solution for at least part of my problem.

On Thursday, I set out to create a digital art journaling page about how much I love David. If you pay any attention to my digiscrapping pages, you’ll know that my creating a page about David is not uncommon. These pages usually come pretty easy to me because this is a subject that I love scrapping. But on Thursday, I found myself struggling with a page when it should have been so easy.

I had two other goals as part of my desire to create a page on Thursday. I wanted to use the May M3 kit that I received as part of my Mixed Media Monthly Subscription at The Lilypad. I also wanted to make sue of the techniques that Rachel Herron demonstrated in her Mixed Media Art Journal video about using Layer Masks. The latter goal was met easily. The techniques weren’t really new to me, but it was a good reminder for me about all the different options I can make use of while creating a page. However, I was struggling to create a layout using only the May M3 kit.

Creating my background with all the papers from the May M3 kit was easy. I used the masking tutorial plus blending modes to get the look I wanted. However, I wasn’t really finding elements that really fit what I wanted to create and I couldn’t seem to get make any of my idea for using a photo of David work either. After a bit, I decided to go see if purchasing any of the May add-ons would solve my problem. (I have a $20 gift certificate to The Lilypad, so it wouldn’t cost me anything.) Alas, I didn’t find inspiration in any of the add-ons. I was just about ready to chuck everything when I decided to do something that turned out to be very important.

Just as I was about to give up, I made the critical decision to stop forcing myself to use only the M3 May kit. This wasn’t a page for a creative team. I didn’t have to limit myself to products from a specific kit or a specific designer or a specific store.When I opened myself up to using my whole stash, and I have a large stash, I was able to create the exact page I wanted and wrapped things up quickly. It was like I was able to finally unleash my creativity when I stopped forcing myself to work a certain way. Here is the final result of my crucial decision.

Devoted Digital Art Journaling Page

This page was creating using with M3 Kit May from Just Jaimee, Little Butterfly Wings, Lynn-Marie & Sissy Sparrows, Gesso It and Stamp It No. 1 from Pink Reptile Designs, Be My Valentine from Paula Kesselring, Stitchy Hearts from Tangie Baxter and It’s My Journey Elements & Ephemera from Captivated Visions.

When I finally stopped trying to force myself to work in a specific way, I was able to create a page I truly liked. What I learned from this experience is that I will be able to be more creative if I stop trying to force myself into a box. It can be a box labeled “I must use this kit” or “the page must look a certain way” or “I have to make a page that will impress others”. When I open myself to creating a page however I want to create it, then it really helps the creativity to flow.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great to challenge yourself to use specific products. When I was a paper scrapper, I shared a Club Scrap subscription with a friend of mine. One of the things I loved about the subscription was the challenge of using that month’s papers with whatever photos I was wanting to scrap that day. But you know what, I never forced myself to only use Club Scrap products. I used whatever I needed to create the page. I just also made sure to use my Club Scrap papers. I didn’t try to force myself into a little Club Scrap box for that layout.

With this discovery, am I going to go out and resign from all my creative teams? Heck no! I love them too much. What I am going to do is make sure that at least once a week, I sit down to create page that is just for me. Use the products I want. Create the type of page that calls to me that day. Sometimes it might be digital art journaling. Other days, it might be a more traditional digital scrapbooking page. Whatever I do, it will be the page I want to create without any rules that I just don’t need.

Thanks for stopping by and reading about my personal discovery. Until next time, don’t forget to document your memories.