Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

May 16, 2011

Memory Keeping Q&A | Inspiration

Today’s Q&A post is a collection of questions and answers about inspiration.

NOELLE | Where do you get your inspiration for all the different projects you come up with?

AE | Living with my eyes and ears open. Reading the newspaper. Listening to the radio. Watching people. Clicking links. Reading books. Paying attention. Celebrating ideas from others.

DAVEAN | How do you stay so inspired to create such awesome layouts? Do you ever “scraplift” from other scrapbook blogs, magazines, etc? I feel like I always have to scraplift and sometimes by the time I have looked through magazines and blogs to find a page, I am too tired to actually scrapbook!

AE | I don’t often scraplift an entire page but I often see things and think, “I’d like to try that.” Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. If I do try something that I specifically saw somewhere else I usually try to make a big deal about where the specific idea came from (such as from a magazine or gallery layout online).

I think scraplifting – or trying on an idea laid out by someone else – is a great way to learn how to find your own method of storytelling. It’s through playing and testing things out that you’ll find what works great for you and your stories.

It sounds like most of your energy is going into looking rather than actually getting some of your own memories recorded. One thing you might consider is setting aside specific time to just look for ideas with no intention of making anything at that time (that way you don’t run into any negative self=talk about taking too long to look at other stuff before you work on your own). Have a notebook or a blank file on your computer open and jot down the ideas you want to try or draw sketches of the layouts you’d like to make. This way you’ll have a go-to list of ideas the next time you sit down to make something. From the list of ideas it might be helpful to identify one concept, sketch, theme, idea/etc that you want to try next time and make plans to get it done.

Another thing to consider – I’m a big fan of repeating designs/layout ideas that work for me. You don’t need to re-invent the wheel each time you start to make a page. Find something that works for you – it doesn’t even have to be the whole page – it might be the way you line up circle embellishments – and do it again and again (maybe even challenge yourself to find different ways to incorporate that idea into multiple layouts).

When you do get distracted by all the ideas and inspiration something you might do is take a step back and ask yourself “why you want to scrapbook?” To record memories? To do something creative? To capture your own personal perspective on the world? To celebrate your family? Whenever I find myself getting bogged down – whether online or otherwise – I remind myself of the real reason I want to do this in the first place. Simply asking myself that question helps me refocus on what’s most important and just start making stuff.

BETSY | Who is inspiring you right now? Are these the same people/blogs/publications that have inspired you through the years?

AE | I think this is such a great question – especially in terms of looking at it over time. The things that are inspiring me today “within scrapbooking” are not necessarily the same things/people that were inspiring me five years ago. I definitely see that as simply part of the process of evolving creatively – some things do come back around full circle and others are a part of my personal creative journey. I feel respectful and thankful for people that have inspired me in the past even if that fire isn’t the same today as it was yesterday. I see everything that has inspired me along the way as a piece of my overall creative self.

Here’s two scrapbooker’s who are currently inspiring me:

  • Laura Kurz | Beautifully simple design with an emphasis on photo enlargements. Laura has long been a favorite. She might just be my favorite scrapbooker – I love how she’s eliminated unnecessary things. I think there’s great skill in using only what’s core to the story and just a few selected accents. Especially love this one and this one.
  • Susan Weinroth | Happy, fun, light-filled pages. I pinned this recent page of hers. It’s just joy-filled.

LEE | I’m curious about what inspires you, too Are there any non-traditional publications (non-scrappy, non-photo based) or unexpected artists or writers who bring out different perspectives?

AE | Lots of non-scrapbooking things inspire me. In reading your question I think it’s interesting that you included “non-photo based” as a qualifier. I’d say most of the things that inspire me often include images (at least initially). That said, I have a definite fondness for the written word and am often inspired by things I read.

Here’s a list of things that are currently inspiring me:

  • 3191 Quarterly | I followed 3191, A Year Of Mornings when they first got started posting back in 2007. I loved watching their daily images unfold and I purchased their book as soon as it was released. Looking at thier images both online and in the book was like taking a deep breath. A couple weeks ago I ordered their 3191 Quarterly and loved receiving the last three issues – it was the same deep breath feeling with a little more substance.
  • Pinterest | I tried to stay away. “I don’t need another place to go online.” is what I told myself. Now I love it and see it as a great way to categorize things I want to remember. Loving it now. You can check out my pins here.
  • natural cook books | I’m big time into reading these right now. Currently I’m switching between The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters, Super Natural Everyday by Heidi Swanson (also love her website 101 Cookbooks), and Moosewood Simple Suppers. I’m even reading them in bed which is a whole new thing for me to actually be reading them vs. just browsing for a recipe.
  • Sunset | I get super excited each month when this home & garden magazine hits my mailbox.
  • Oregon Public Broadcasting | I’m a daily listener to this Portland-based public radio station. Their line-up includes programming from NPR, PRI and the BBC (as well as local shows). It inspires me in all kinds of ways. Storytelling ideas are generated through things I hear on there regularly.
  • Uppercase Magazine | Their tagline is a “magazine for the creative and the curious.” This is a more expensive non-monthly magazine but one that I find very visually inspiring each time.

I’m often inspired by links I come across via Twitter. One thing leads to another and another.

I also just added a Online Inspiration page under About Ali. The sites listed there are additional places I read often.


This post is part of a 2011 Memory Keeping Q&A series. Additional posts in this series will be listed below as they are posted. Past Q&A posts are available via the Category Archives here.

Products | Photos | Inspiration | Motivation & Time | Anna’s Baby Album

Comments

  • 1.
    Heather Smithson said…

    Wow! Thanks for sharing enough info to keep me busy online and in my scrap space for several days. Since we have thunderstorms in the forecast all week, This is perfect timing!

  • 2.
    Lee said…

    Thank you so much for answering all of these questions – including mine! Those links will certainly keep me busy this morning :) Like Heather above, the weather will be keeping me online (better that than laundry!).

  • 3.
    Melissa said…

    I’m here by 7:30-8am EST every morning while the kids are eating breakfast, looking for a new post. ‘Can’t wait to read today’s when I can carve a few moments out of my day. Thanks again, Ali! Have an amazing week. :D

  • 4.
    Lisa W. said…

    Love this…looking forward to more time now to click into all the links and play. Thanks Ali!!!!

  • 5.
    Ann-Marie said…

    I LOVE Susan Weinroth’s work too!! She is also the inspiration behind lots of Crystal Wilkerson’s digital templates too..great stuff if you are a digi or hybrid scrapper.
    http://creativitybycrystal.blogspot.com/

    Susan is a very talented seamstress,photographer and quilter as well.
    Check out her blog for lots of inspiration!

  • 6.
    Sandi Keene said…

    Wow. What an inspiration and link heavy post! I am off to explore that which inspires you. Thank you for this whole series which is loads of work for you. Much gratitude!

  • 7.
    Katy said…

    I also love Laura Kurz’s pages and others who focus on photos + stories. I’m over the idea that you need all these embellishments when all I care about is just documenting stuff. Cathy Z is another great example of this – I’ve purchased several of her templates and often don’t add a single other digital or trad. embellishment – just my photos, the journaling, and it’s good to go!

    • ….
      Jennifer L. said…

      I’m so with you, Katy! I also keep things minimal so the stories and photos shine, and I, too, use Cathy Z.’s templates almost just as they are! I think sometimes there is such a thing as embellish overload…when a layout or book is all about the product and ‘oh, yeah, there’s a little photo over in the corner’. Not me, either. I like Laura Kurtz, and Ali for blowing up the picture, adding the words, maybe a little something artistic, and it’s a go. Nuff said!

    • ….
      Sarah said…

      Thank you Ali. The “Someday you will fly away” page by Laura Kurz is perfect for how I am feeling about my two and a half year old right now…new inspiration!

  • 8.
    dawn said…

    Happy Monday Ali, love all these links and what inspires you. This must of been a fun group of questions to answer for us. I love that your adding in photos along with the Q&A makes it more personal. That week of asking questions was so busy for me I never got to ask anything but after seeing your info here it made me think of two if you don’t mind please.

    question one: do you feel pressured to keep finding new things to post about or inspire us with?

    question two: with your stamps and other digital products do you come up with ideas easy for those or do you really have to look for inspiration or ideas?
    Thanks for any answers you can give and for all you do.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Morning Dawn :) .

      Sometimes I do feel pressure – not necessarily in always finding new things to post but in simply keeping up and figuring out the balance between blog and other projects. I love doing this – I love sharing – and I love documenting our lives through this medium.

      Ideas for digital products and stamps seem to come pretty easily. I also happily take suggestions from people who have something specific they would like to have.

    • ….
      dawn said…

      Ali, thanks so much for answering my questions. I think you do a great job of balance on your blog. My favorite favorite part is that you have to places for them personal and projects. I love seeing both of them. Thank you for sharing yourself and family and ideas with us this way. I love having my blog too and finding things to blog about. That’s great that your ideas for your products come easy for you, I love them as well too. Have a great day.

  • 9.
    cinback said…

    Ali, have you seen the Donna Hay cookbook called ‘Seasons’? It is not only filled with amazing recipes, but the pictures and layouts and handwriting made me want it for its ‘scrapbook’ look! I will sit and browse through it with a cup of tea!

  • 10.
    rhonda nickol said…

    Thanks so much for this Ali! I am loving finding new ideas and have a good week!

  • 11.
    Jennifer L. said…

    Thank you so much, Ali, for sharing your inspiration. You, yourself, I find to be an inspiration, and I am so happy to hear your answer about scraplifing, because I do it often (especially your layouts!); it gives me a “template” and a foundation which has really helped me find my rhythm and style. I also learn many new techniques from you that I never would have thought of, and I often expand on those ideas in my projects. I thank you also, for introducing us to Laura Kurtz. I followed your link (I am also a big link clicker) and was blown away at what she has done! Really amazing, and another new source of inspiration. I like that you both focus on the photos and the stories, as if the papers and embellishments are almost an afterthought, yet they are an integral aspect of making the layout become art. Thank you so much for your wisdom and thoughts, Ali, you are so appreciated! Hope you are feeling better, too.

  • 12.
    Cynthia said…

    Thank you so much for this post Ali! The thought and time you have taken are so wonderful and the content is so great (I will admit to printing off all the posts on your latest Q&A – there is just so much content). I think my greatest difficulty lies in translating my inspiration with all the ‘stuff’ I have – I am enjoying LOW so much because it is really helping me to channel my creativity (my word is create) although I still struggle with this so much. The most important thing I have learned from you is to go with the flow, to be okay with what comes boo-boos (at least how I see them) and all. I can’t tell you HOW much that inspires me.

  • 13.
    Davean said…

    Thanks so much for answering my question! I am going to try to stop looking so much and just get busy crafting! I think I just need to set some specific time for myself and ignore all the household chores that are never-ending. LOL!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Yes, yes, and yes :) .

  • 14.
    Sarah J. said…

    This is great! I could of written question #2. I always looking for inspiration but many times forget the “action ” step. Thanks, Ali.

  • 15.
    Jennie said…

    love reading cookbooks, and love these q&as.

  • 16.
    susan weinroth said…

    Thanks so much Ali for the sweet mention and link. The thought that I could inspire you even just a little bit is really the ultimate compliment to me, considering I’m inspired (& amazed) by everything you do. ;)

  • 17.
    Amber said…

    This is a great Q&A session. I always love hearing about what inspires other people-somehow it inspires me, too!

  • 18.
    Mbavhalelo said…

    I love your story,It is well said.Inspiring and giving ideas.I am inspired.For more inspiring quotes people can visits http://www.inspireweb.com.

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