Do you use sketches to help you to plan out your layouts?
I find that if I’m struggling with the creative process and just can’t focus on what I want my end result to look like, sketches are an absolute Godsend.
Of course, the doyen of scrapbook sketches has got to be Becky Higgins. Her books and articles in magazines have really raised the awareness of scrappers to this great scrapping aid. And she creates such fabulous sketches, especially for incorporating multiple photos.
I find sketches especially helpful when I’m doing traditional scrapping. Without the forgiving Undo button of digital scrapping there’s much more importance on having some sort of end vision of your layout to plan and work towards. Even if that vision is fuzzy, having a structure for the elements is something I find enormously helpful.
When I have done large theme albums such as the two 40 page Trip albums I did of my last two overseas trips, I found sketching the framework of each double page spread (and limiting myself to a small number of different colours and patterns) enabled me to pull the albums together quite quickly. I was able to keep focused on the photos, memorabilia and journaling without agonizing over the placement of all the elements. An absolute boon when all you want to do is package up a great looking large project in a relatively short time frame.
And just to make life easier there are a number of great web sites offering free sketches for you to download. Some of my favourites are Page Maps, Pencil Lines and Scrap Maps but of course there are many others and you’ll also find some great sketches in the large Scrapping web site forums.
Digital templates are now becoming popular and an extension of the Scrapbook Sketch concept designed specifically for the Digital Scrapbooker. These templates are multi-layered element blocks which the scrapper replaces with the digital papers or elements of their choice using their graphics editing software. Effectively the layout structure and design is provided for you and you choose the colours and patterns you want to use, as well as the photos of course.
Both scrapbooking sketches and digital templates help the busy scrapbooker to complete layouts quicker and easier than starting from scratch but still allow the element of creativity in the process that all scrapbookers seek.