Make Art That Sells, Week 3: Scrapbooking

I’m going to be honest here. I don’t like scrapbooking. Neither do a lot of my classmates from my Make Art That Sells class (side note: I was surprised to learn that a lot of my British/European classmates aren’t even the least bit familiar with what scrapbooking is. Apparently, it’s an American thing). I get scrapbooking’s appeal but personally, it’s not for me. Most of the scrapbooking work I see is just pre-made creativity (templates) collaged together looking like… pre-made work. Of course, there are standout scrapbookers who manage to create and manipulate these templates to really come up with work that looks beyond templated, but they seem to be far and few in between.

Scrapbooking has a tendency to be… hokey. And kitschy. I think those are the main reasons why this assignment for Week 3 of Make Art That Sells threw a lot of us off. I wasn’t feeling this market. Our brief was to make a camera and typewriter-themed scrapbooking collection, and I wasn’t hot about the theme either. I thought those two subjects were way overdone (thanks, hipsters) and I personally don’t like going along with whatever everyone else is into (um, like Speculoos Cookie Butter and ramen places mushrooming in Metro Manila) just because it’s trendy. But if you’re in a trend-driven industry like illustration, you have to be in tune with and work with trends or you get left out of the competition. Notice how the retail market is currently flooded with products with moustaches, hipster glasses, owls, and YOLO on them? The companies selling these products are making money because they jumped on a trend.


So cameras and typewriters it is! I thought hard about how I was going to interpret this theme and assignment. If I were to preserve pictures and memories into a scrapbook, what kind of memories would I like to go in there? The answer was easy– travel. In 2011, I resigned from my fulltime design day job and one of the things I wanted to do with my newfound freedom was to go out and travel, especially since I had spent the last two years working from home on night shift. I traveled alone, traveled with friends, traveled with family. I like how travel is good for your soul, mind (especially for creatives!), and spirit. I didn’t travel as much this 2013 as I spent my travel funds instead on taking this e-course (HAHA– but money well spent, nonetheless) but if you’re young and can afford it, I advocate traveling to broaden your mind and expand your horizons.

On my solo trip to Seoul, South Korea last year, I picked up a lot of VERY cute paper products. Seoul has them in abundance (maybe one day I’ll get a post up on all the adorable paper merchandise in Seoul… one day! Ten years from now!), and cheap, too! I bought a lot of stickers, notebooks, postcards, journals, sticky notes. “For research and inspiration,” I said (to no one who asked).

Korean stickers for inspiration
That’s Tiger a year ago, sitting on my stationery loot from Seoul. Tiger’s bigger and fatter now!


They proved to be inspiration I was able to draw from when I was making my scrapbooking collection. There’s a lot of simple, naive-style, hand-drawn art on Korean stationery and I wanted to emulate that look, while at the same time staying true to my style.

These are some of the icons I came up with in my attempt to fuse cameras, typewriters, and travel in one theme.

Travel + writing icons

I don’t know about you but they remind me of planner/diary deco stickers, which is exactly the look I was going for. Or LINE (a Japanese instant messaging app) stickers, another source I drew inspiration from. And the girl looks Korean, doesn’t she? In my mind, her name is Ji Hae. Hehehe. Annyeong haseyo!

We were to present our work on a page as scrapbooking embellishments, brads, stickers, labels, and other stuff you might find as part of a scrapbooking collection. I presented my work as a scrapbooking kit with journaling tags and coordinating papers, too.



I thought the kit looked like something a pre-teen or a teenager might be drawn to, so I branded and packaged it as such to appeal to their teenybopper tendencies (do people still say teenybopper?): heart doodles, cheesy declarations I would never say myself (“adventure awaits!”), and the title of Little Miss Adventurer to drive home a sense of adventure and false independence. Hahaha. Parang Dora the Explorer.

Out of all the assignments we have had for this class (I’m writing this post a little late– we’ve just finished the fifth and final week), this is the assignment I enjoyed the least. I mean, it’s ok, but this won’t be going into my portfolio– not like this, at least. I will need to tweak it (probably for a different market) as the vibe I’m getting from this is that this is something you’ll see being sold in mass-market retail stores– like Claire’s (accessories for tweens and teens), perhaps? It’s a little kitschy, a little hokey… just like scrapbooking. So despite my initial aversion to this market and the theme, the end product seems to have achieved its purpose!

Next up is Week 4, Editorial. I’m excited to show you the work I did for Editorial week, as unlike this assignment, it tackles a theme and subject matter close to my heart <3 🙂

Read about my Make Art That Sells series of blog posts
Week 1: Paper
Week 2: Baby Apparel
Week 3: Scrapbooking
Week 4: Editorial
Week 5: Party Paper
Bonus: Lilla Rogers’ Make Art That Sells: a review