If you were to wander into the homes of any of the thousands of people in our country that scrapbook and ask them if their work is an Art form, I think you’d hear a resounding, “Yes!” However, if you asked a professional painter, designer, or illustrator that same question, you’d hear more than a few churlish responses of “No!” So, what’s the truth here? The truth is that art is incredibly subjective. What appeals to one person would disgust another, our individual opinions will vary based on our own personal preferences.
So, is scrapbooking art?
In my opinion, I think scrapbooks CAN be art, but that not all forms of scrapbooking qualify. Overall, scrapbooking is a craft, often more of an assembly of pre-made professionally designed papers, stickers, and embellishments showcasing a photo…or seven. However, many fantastically creative scrapbookers take the initiative to create unique pieces that resemble elaborate collage rather than cutesy stickering.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I greatly enjoy cutesy stickering! Don’t even get me started on my sticker collection. My 11 year old daughter and I have a blast decorating cards and scrapbook pages together. It’s a wonderful bonding experience and a lot of fun! The intent in this crafting is more the experience than the outcome. The pictures are fun to look back at later and remind us of memories we’d forgotten and places we miss. Scrapbooking this way is more of a game than creation of Art.
Then, there are those mixed media artists who can create something truly original using paint and a variety of materials, building a stunning collage around a picture. Images like this one come to mind. This is not a cutesy craft! This scrapbook page is (at least to my eye) a work of Art. It is very obvious that a great deal of time went into making this piece and it looks to be an original concept. This piece is certainly frame worthy to me, so this is an Art form.
Comparing this beautiful piece with one of my own crafted works is like comparing a scribble to one of the great classical masters. And while my cutesy scrapbooking page is certainly not Art, I do think that scrapbooking is a respectable hobby and craft. Scrapbookers are often some of the best family historians, protecting images with acid-free, quality papers and preserving originals or digital copies of photos that would otherwise be lost to time and decomposition. So, to all my scrapbooking hobbyists and mixed media artists, I say this, enjoy yourself! Whether you create fanciful pages with themes and stickers galore or stunning, raw art pieces worthy of public display, take pride in your creations and know that someone does appreciate them.