Digital Scrapbooking, digiscrapping, is a relatively new form of traditional scrapbooking or paper scrapbooking, first surfacing as an organised hobby in the mid-1990’s.
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Essentially scrapbooking, and by extension Digital Scrapbooking, is the practice of celebrating and preserving precious family memories and life stories as beautiful works of art.
These works of art, known as layouts can be created in many forms and styles and often incorporate significant items of memorabilia and journaling. Items used on a layout can include anything from photographs, which are usually the main focus of the page, press clippings, children’s artworks, personal letters and ephemera together with purely decorative elements ranging from flowers, ribbons, paint and other items through to random and non-personal decorative elements of any type.
Whatever is included on the layout is entirely dependent upon the creator’s unique taste, style and preference.
Traditional paper scrapbookers strive to create their works using archival quality materials … think back on the disastrous magnetic / sticky photo albums that destroyed photos back in the 1970’s and you will appreciate why acid free and archival quality paper is a real thing and a big deal for scrapbookers.
Digital Scrapbookers strive to achieve the same result with the added advantage that, when securely backed up, digital layouts have the potential to be accessible in their original format indefinitely.
The birth of Digital Scrapbooking was driven in part by the resurgence in the USA of paper scrapbooking as a popular hobby, especially after the company Creative Memories exploded into the marketplace, combined with the emergence of digital cameras and imaging software and even software that was not specifically for image manipulation like Microsoft Word or Publisher or PowerPoint.
In fact here in Australia in the late 1990’s Cannon bundled an early version of Adobe Photoshop together with a suite of driver software applications for a range of their flatbed scanners in a bid to achieve greater market penetration.
My own early interest in digital photography and graphic design was sparked at around that time when my late husband and I were running a wedding suit hire business.
This page was created as a fun interpretation of a series of photos of my younger son taken when he was just turned three. He was such a ham!
I’ve tried to keep the layout slightly off balance to support the photographs in a fun way with the slanted lines on the paper crops as well as the discordant angles on the acrylic alphas combined with the vintage ephemera style of the postage stamps style alphas … flowers are a boy pages’ best friend too! Many digiscrappers shy away from flowers on masculine pages but I totally embrace them and add them to the majority of my layouts.
The deeper significance of this photo series from a memory keeping and family heritage perspective is that it was one of the last few sessions that my late husband shot with our children and the shirt that my son is wearing was from our old wedding suit hire business inventory … memories of great days and great times.
Today, Digital Scrapbooking is a memory-keeping and creative craft in its own right … although there are still a few purist traditional paper scrappers who might disagree.
There are numerous active and inspiring online communities of artists and creatives leading the cutting edge of the Digital Scrapbooking industry through website forums, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media services.
Both print and digital magazines have recognised Digital Scrapbooking’s place and over the last decade numerous stories, articles and special features have been published about our craft and the designers and creative artists who enjoy preserving their family memories through digiscrapping.
In simple terms, Digital Scrapbooking is creating a scrapbook style layout on the computer by combining, re-combining, layering, cropping and manipulating digitally created papers, embellishments, alphabets and fonts with your chosen photograph/s and writing the accompanying journaling, the story, memories and recollections about the photograph/s within an imaging software application.
It is not necessary to be a four-eyed computer geek to be able to take up this hobby … although I just happen to be one and love it!
Seriously, all you need is the ability to turn your computer on and to connect online.
The learning process is fun and many digiscrappers have gone on to develop lasting friendships with other scrappers that they first met online.
I am working on pulling together a history of Digital Scrapbooking to document the evolution of this fabulous hobby. However, in the meantime, if you are interested in learning more about the history of traditional paper scrapbooking please take a look at the entry about Scrapbooking on Wikipedia and this brilliant article published on Scrapbook.com.
As an aside question: Do you like the look of the base composition of the layout featured on this page?
Awesome! You can download the scrapSNAP for it here … for free!
Anita Richards Designs | scrapSNAP | scrapSNAP 003
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Having said all that, this is but a brief explanation of what Digital Scrapbooking is and a lot of it comes directly from my personal experience. So if you are a seasoned Digiscrapper and would like to share your recollection of how you started, where you used to / currently hangout online, what stores and designers you used to and/or currently frequent, support and follow and anything else about digital scrapbooking that you’d like to share please leave a comment below or connect via the Contact page.
This post is part of our Digital Scrapbooking FAQ Series, the complete index for which can be found on the Start Here: Frequently Asked Questions page.