When scrapper’s are feeling uninspired, unmotivated or simply just don’t feel that special something that moves us to sit down and almost effortlessly put together a layout, we tend to say our “mojo” is missing.
I don’t know exactly what “mojo” is … and in this case, our friends at Dictionary.com weren’t much help…
None of these definitions really fit, do they? Leave it scrapbookers to be so creative that we come up with our own definition of a word.
But even though I can’t clearly define mojo, I definitely know when it’s lacking in my own creative life. It’s when I actually have time to scrap and sit down to my computer only to find myself … empty. No ideas, no inspiration, no desire even to start a page. And I know that all of us go through periods of time when that spark is missing.
Most of us have found that if we’re patient enough, that spark eventually finds its way back to us. But I’ve also found that there are a handful of activities that help me speed the process and get the creative energy flowing again. So I thought I’d share what helps me in hopes it might help you, too….
1. Browse the galleries. It takes about 2.5 seconds for me to find a scrapbook layout I like in the many galleries I enjoy visiting around the Web. There is just a never-ending supply of ideas and talent waiting there to inspire us and you have only to look to find something that speaks to you. I have lots of favorite places to visit, but lately I’ve found the galleries at Sweet Shoppe Designs, Designer Digitals, Scrap Orchard, Peppermint Creative and Scrap Matters to be especially inspiring sources of the kind of “real life” scrapbooking I most enjoy.
2. Go shopping. Sometimes my scrapbook purchases are driven by a page I am doing, but more often than not, my pages are inspired by a great new kit I’ve discovered. I am constantly amazed at how product designers can create kit after beautiful kit without ever seeming to run out of new ideas or fun color combinations. And as you might have guessed, many of my favorite designers live in the same places as the galleries listed above. Pretty convenient, eh? 😉
3. Do a little blog hopping. There is just something about peeking into the studios, homes and lives of other scrapbookers that makes me want to follow their example. Sometimes it’s seeing a cool mini-album that gets me going, other times it’s reading about their memory-keeping philosophy or seeing a collection of albums all lined up just so. The best part about blog-hopping is there is always a new or unfamiliar one around the corner just waiting to be discovered, as well as a growing list of reliable favorites. Among those I return to again and again are the blogs of Ali Edwards, Cathy Zielske, Jennifer Wilson, and Lain Ehmann.
4. Look through old photos. My main goal in scrapbooking is telling stories – my own and those of my family. And it doesn’t take long to start thinking of stories I’ve yet to share once I start looking back at family photos I haven’t seen in a while. Oftentimes, a page idea comes to me while I’m actually taking the photo … and it usually doesn’t take long for those ideas to resurface when I go back through those photos later on. And once the idea is back and the photo is at my fingertips, it’s not a big leap to having an urge to get it scrapped.
5. Take some new photos. Just as looking at older photos can get the creative juices flowing, so can taking new photos. In fact, I rarely take a photo anymore without at least thinking about ways it might work in a scrapbook page or looking for new angles that might help tell a story. Thanks to digital photography, it’s become extremely easy to jump on those ideas as soon as they come, and quite often, I’ll be scrapping a page within mere minutes of taking the photo that inspired it.
6. Write out a non-scrapping To Do list. There’s nothing like being unable to scrapbook that makes you want to do it! I’ve found that the more non-scrapping related work I have to do, the greater the drive to shove it all aside and play with a layout. Sometimes creating a list and making a little scrapping time my reward for completing it is all it takes to set the gears in motion again.
7. Find a challenge. Nearly every scrapbooking site hosts a variety of challenges with just about every kind of theme you can imagine. An idea or focus, a deadline, a little friendly competition and oftentimes a prize … that’s about all it takes sometimes to get you scrapping. Plus, they’re usually a lot of fun!
8. Pick up a good book. Books have been a consistent source of inspiration for me for as long as I can remember, in all areas of my life. Whether it’s home decorating, marketing ideas, menu planning or scrapbooking, I can usually rely on a good book to get the ideas flowing again. Favorites on my scrapping bookshelf right now include Life Artist by Ali Edwards, Real.Life.Scrapbooking. by Rebecca Cooper, Get It Scrapped! by Debbie Hodge, That’s Life by Nic Howard, Encyclopedia of An Ordinary Life by Amy Rosenthal, and We Dare You by Kristina Contes, Meghan Heath Dymock, Genevieve Simmonds and Lisa Fiin.
9. Seek out new experiences. My husband teases me about this, but one of the easiest ways to make me want to scrapbook is to force me out of the house to try something new with the family. Since I always have a camera with me, it doesn’t take long for me to start capturing this new experience … and of course, the natural next step is to want to scrap it. The shutter gets to clicking, the ideas start flowing and pretty soon I’m just itching to get back home to get it on a page.
10. Take a break. If all else fails, sometimes the best way to get that creative energy back is to just quit trying so hard to be creative. Take a break, shift focus for a while, start a project completely unrelated to scrapbooking, or just get some rest. Sometimes the best remedy for me is simply a really good night’s sleep.
So now it’s your turn. What tips & tricks have you discovered to regain your mojo after it’s gone missing?
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