Riding the Creative Flow | A Scrapper’s Style Interview with Michelle Godin
Welcome to Simply Tiffany, Michelle! Tell us about yourself and your digital crafting.
I’m a 30-something Canadian girl and in a few short weeks I’ll be marrying my sweetheart of 5 years. During the day I work full-time at a museum and I spend most nights creating! I started digital scrapbooking in the fall of 2005 and I’ve been designing on and off since 2007. Currently you can find my designs at the Lilypad.
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! That’s awesome. Your designs at the Lilypad are colorful and unique. I see how your designs carry over into your current style. How would you define your style?
- Messy. I don’t know if messy is the right word because it implies total chaos and I do strive to follow certain design rules. But my style is definitely the opposite of clean! I love to pile on the paint or find ways to make a page look grungy or worn. And I don’t often leave much white space.
- Artsy. I think my love of paint, texture, colour and hand-crafted products contribute to the artsy feel of my layouts. This label also encompasses my quirky tendencies and how I am drawn to the unconventional and unexpected.
- Thematic. I really love to use theme-specific elements to create scenery or vignettes on my page that capture the mood and theme from my photos or stories. You know the expression “event scrapping”? Well I am a chronic “theme scrapper”, if that makes any sense!?!?
Yes, a “thematic scrapbooker” makes complete sense! And I like the term. So would you say that theme is your unique calling card? Or is it the art?
A page isn’t complete unless it has paint, ink splatters, grungy stamps or doodles. And I usually need to frame the whole page somehow, either with papers, border elements or a painted edge overlay. I think it’s my way of visually containing the creative mess in the middle!
Containing the creative mess – clever! Has your style always veered towards the “eclectic” look?
When I first started out I was really into making Artist Trading Cards and layouts that nowadays we’d call art journaling. Back then we called it “quirky”.
I loved that collagey/altered art style where I’d put pointy hats and fairy wings on everything. I was always trying to push the envelope and do weird things. But I also loved the paper scrapping world and that traditional style. These were two separate art forms in my brain and I constantly bounced back and forth between the two.
I think the major turning point in my evolution as a scrapper came when I finally learned how to successfully merge them. Today I feel like that’s where I’m at – still with my quirky and artsy tendencies, but balanced with a lot of design elements from traditional scrapping.
Here’s an old page from March 2006. I remember being so proud, now it makes me cringe! Ha! But immediately I notice some of my style characteristics mentioned above – the 12×12 border, the quirkiness of the stamped heads, the way I pulled the office desk theme out of the photo using office-themed elements. No matter how much I evolve, there are always little habits that remain the same.
And do you try to step outside of your current stylistic comfort zone?
Always! I actually tend to get bored really easily so I love to try new things. I often challenge myself to go clean and simple, or to try new techniques, a new designer, a new canvas size, etc. If I stick with the same thing for too long I get stuck in a creative rut. I always end up going back to my comfort zone in the end, but the little trips I take outside of the box are how I learn and grow and get inspired.
Art journaling is an awesome exercise for this! There’s no pressure to do a photo justice so you’re free to go wild and try whatever.
What an amazing and inspiring page — how long does it take for you to complete a page like that?
Usually about 1-2 hours for a regular page, maybe 3-4 for something really elaborate. But it used to take me days to finish a page! It wasn’t until I learned how to let go and surrender to the process that I became quicker. Now I absolutely have to finish a layout in one sitting. Once I’m on a creative roll I can’t stop the flow or else it’s gone and I have to start all over!
Now you make kits for your own work but what other designers cater to your style?
I absolutely love painted, drawn or doodled elements, anything that is hand-made, and anything vintage or quirky. The Lilypad is my #1 resource for all types of products (I know I’m biased but it’s still true!) CD Muckosky, Karah Fredricks, Kate Hadfield, Sahlin Studio, Kaye Winiecki, and Kim Jensen are particularly suited to my style.
Lately I’ve been getting lots of quirky art journaling stuff over at One Story Down, especially Paula Kesselring and Sissy Sparrows. I really like the Sweet Shoppe girls for more traditional kits. And I hoard a ton of Anna Aspnes stuff! I could go on and on . . . I’m a shopaholic and a digi-hoarder!
You truly are the supply queen! So before we wrap up, what inspiring tips would you like to share with others interested in your style?
Four words: Try Not To Think! Well, ok you can think a little. But seriously – over-thinking is my worst enemy when I create. Do your best to turn off that left-side logical part of your brain, follow your intuition and just go with the creative flow. If you ever look at one of my layouts and think “How did she think to do that!?” there’s a good chance I didn’t think of it at all. My free-flowing process of trial and error just results in a lot of happy accidents.
Listen to your mojo: don’t censor it, don’t question it, don’t judge it. When I make a layout I work at lightning speed, never stopping too long to dwell on a decision. If I do stop I get stuck there and I hate that! Even if something feels weird or wrong or intimidating at first, just try it! You never know what might happen!
Happy accidents! What a welcoming mantra. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about art and how you incorporate it into digital scrapbooking. On behalf of the digital community, please continue to inspire!
About this Interview
Scrapper’s Style interviews are an extension of Scrapper’s Style | the eBook, which helps digital crafters identify their own, unique style and ultimately build better scrapbook pages. With proven strategies for digital scrapbookers, the book offers in-depth tips for linear, layered, and artistic layouts. Check back here every Monday for a new Scrapper’s Style Interview.
Posted by Tiffany | 3 comments