Through years of dance classes I learned to pay attention to lines. The lines of the body in dance are key. The curving line of the back. The line of a neck. The long — or sometimes bent — line of a leg or an arm or a hand.
Now I use things other than my own legs, arms, and torso to make visual art. Like you I use paper, photos, text, and embellishments. But lines are still a key component, not just in designing a scrapbook page, but in photography as well.
A great way to improve your photography is to identify the lines in your favorite photos, and then practice noticing lines when you’re taking photos. Let me share some examples…
A line of people. The line of a bar. And if you’re lucky, the lines of two pursed lips that mimic the slanted line of a protective piece of glass.
The back-lit line of an arm leading toward the subject. The angled lines of a game board. The vertical lines, like spires, of game pieces.
Repetitive vertical lines. The diagonal line of a slide and a body, both leading to the subject of the photo. The lines of a frame around that subject.
Lines lead the eye. They add structure. And if there were no other relevant purpose, it would be enough that lines can be truly beautiful in and of themselves. So when you’re done reading this week’s newsletter, why don’t you open your photo manager and make an assessment?
Are you making use of all the beautiful lines around you?
Your Suggestions — My Responses
Last week I asked you what you would like to see if you could choose the next Paperclipping Video Tutorial. I got so many great responses, and I am happy to find that most of what everybody asked for were topics I had rolling around in my head. Your responses helped me to prioritize the specifics of those topics you want to see. So first, let me say thank you for your help! I hope you like the episodes we’re planning for the coming months.
There were some questions or requests that I want to respond to. I’ll share one here today and a few more in the next two newsletters…
“I’m not sure if you work with sketches but if you do I’d love to see your process. I struggle with scrapping with a sketch and maybe you have tips and techniques we can learn from?”
While I know sketches are great tools for many scrapbookers, sketches are not good for the way I personally get creative.
- I prefer not having visual inspiration in front of me while I am trying to create something. I feel more creative when I work from within my head.
- I like my photos and my story to dictate the structure or design of the layout. When working with sketches in the past, I felt like I was trying to force my story into someone else’s strict structure.
I do have a system that I use, though, that is more fluid and flexible than a sketch. The system is a set of visual starting points that I call Flexible Templates.
My Flexible Templates are very loose and general foundations — ways to lay photos and lines that always work. I don’t sketch out the placement: instead I share an image that you can visualize in your head, such as Moving Panels, and show a number of examples of how you can place your photos, titles, journaling, and embellishments in and around that image. Here are two Moving Panel layouts:
Most of my Flexible Templates can vary from single-photo layouts to multi-photo two-page spreads. That’s how flexible they are!
The episode where I first introduced my Flexible Template concept is free for anyone to watch. You can view it, even if you’re not a member, by clicking here. Then, if you have a Paperclipping Membership, or if you choose to become a member, you can watch some of the other Flexible Templates I have shared so far…
- Invisible Grid
- Multi-photos From A Center Point
- Rectangular Collage
- Squares On The Third Lines
- Circular Anchor
I have more Flexible Templates that I will share in the future, so keep an eye out if you like the idea of having a jumping off point that doesn’t strap you down before you’ve taken flight.
- This week’s Roundtable episode is available – I Did It But I Hid It
- The Paperclipping Festival will be here on the blog on Tuesday!
- Paperclipping Live! is Tuesday night at 6:30pm PST. Come scrap with me and others!
- Play along with our Monthly Challenge!
I hope the tips and tutorials I mentioned in this newsletter give you a stronger foundation in design from which you can let your creativity spin free this week! Have fun paperclipping!