Less is More | A Scrapper’s Style Interview with Leontien van Veen

Hello, Leontien, and welcome to Simply Tiffany Studios! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you began digital scrapbooking?

I’m from the Netherlands where I live with my husband and 4.5-year-old son. I’m a fontaholic and love photography.

I started digi scrapping in 2008 when my son was born. The first year wasn’t easy (he didn’t sleep much and cried a LOT!). To keep me sane and occupied with something else other than feeding and trying to soothe him I would scrap in the few short naps he would take.

Your screen name is Jippo. Does that have anything to do with the Finnish football club?

Lol! No, it’s named after a cat I once had!

Pedalpusher

You have such a beautiful, clean style that really catches the eye. What three words would you say characterize your current style the best?

1. Graphical. With a background in graphic design it’s only logical to me to apply some of those principals to my layouts (and of course break some of those rules once in a while)! it’s second nature to me. I love fonts, and lately I’ve been using some bold and big wordart style titles with my favorite typefaces.

2. Minimalist. I want my pages to feel non-cluttered and balanced with the focus on either the photo or text. I definitely think less is more and pretty much always edit things out when I’m completing a page.

3. White space. I love it; it gives my eyes somewhere to focus on. I simple couldn’t cluster if my life depended on it, although I admire scrappers that can pull it off!

magnifyingglass

What’s your unique calling card? Is there a particular technique or step that you apply to your pages every single time?

This is a hard one! I don’t think I have one thing that I apply on every page. Although it’s very rare for me to have more than one photo on a page! If I use a ribbon I always have to tweak the shadow to make it more realistic.

Your photos are gorgeous. What kind of camera do you use?

Currently I use the Canon Mark III, my dream camera, but I also use my point and shoot Canon Ixus 980 and iPad mini. Basically anything I can use to take a picture!

How long, on average, does it take you to finish a page?

This varies a lot but I would say between 30 minutes and 3 hours.

Has your style evolved since you first began scrapbooking?

Definitely; although I think of it more as that I finally found my style. In the beginning I felt I had to scrap a certain way because that’s what I saw in the galleries and thought that’s what a scrapbook page should look like. When I started to view my pages as my own creative outlet I started resizing elements and used a lot of white space.

One of Leontien’s earlier pages:

Oldlayout

Now that you’ve shared an older page with us, do you have a favorite layout you’d like to share? 

My favorite layout is usually one that I created recently, when I look at my older ones I always find something I wish I had done differently. This one I love because of the picture and the graphic quality of the layout. I love the triangle and chalk paper used.

Favoritelayout

The way you use type on your pages is inspiring. How do you manage to work your titles and journaling in such a beautiful and artistic way?

I just love typography and am a self-confessed fontaholic. Usually I fall in love with a certain font and want to incorporate it in my layout. I spend a lot of time perfecting leading, spacing and kerning, those little details make all the difference!

That is so true! It’s amazing that something so little can make such a big impact on a page.

Speaking of fonts, what are your favorites?

My all-time favorites are: Helvetica, Archer and Brandon Grotesque.

Where do you go to purchase or find free fonts?

For free fonts I love Font Squirrel, Lost Type Co-op and Dafont. When I purchase a font, I go to MyFonts which is also great for browsing fonts.

Today13

Do you ever attempt to step outside of your style comfort zone when designing your pages?

Sometimes, but I tend to keep getting back to my own style: clean and minimalistic. It’s my happy place! I am thinking about doing project life but the OCDer in me says I have to wait until January 1, 2014, hahaha!

I’d love to see your take on project life!

What types of digital kits are you drawn to as a result of your style? Do you have a particular product designer that you love?

I’m a lucky girl; I’m on the CT for One Little Bird, Paislee Press and Three Paper Peonies, my three favorite designers! I love their styles, they fit me so perfectly! Because I’m pretty busy with their kits, I don’t have a lot of time to scrap with other designers’ kits. I have a lot of kits on my hard drive that I’ve yet have to scrap with! I also love Karla Dudley and Digital Design Essentials.

Applause!

Who inspires you as a page designer?

I’m in awe of the talent from these ladies: Wendy Bretz, Sue Falstaff, Peppermint Granberg Jones and Liz Tamanaha. They each have their own distinct style but are all minimalist with a great eye for details.

What tips can you share with a scrapbooker who wants to create pages similar to your own?

Don’t! Styles evolve and so does yours and mine. But if I must name one thing: less is more!

Great advice! Thank you so much for joining us today, Leontien!

You can see more of Leontien’s stunning work in her gallery and Scrapstacks page. She is also on Facebook.