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When I don’t have time to allow an idea or layout to develop naturally, I often rely on sketches.  I have a collection of sketches from my own, to others culled from various sources (Joy of Cardmaking Special Issues by Paper Crafts are an excellent source, as are the Sketch Challenges on Splitcoaststampers).

Sketches are extremely helpful when I hit a creative wall, and can’t figure out which  direction to take the images I’m working with.  I usually hunt for a sketch that would work with the  focal or main image, and then determine whether or not all the other "accessory images" I’ve gathered together can also be used in the layout or whether they need to be eliminated or swapped out for something better.  I also might alter how many layers are used in the project, as opposed to what the sketch indicates.  I can also rotate or flip the sketch and work with it from a different angle.

Often times with my own sketches, I have a specific image I’m trying to incorporate and the layout is built to accomodate it–it’s part of my planning of the entire design.  Sometimes, I will annotate the color scheme I want to apply to the layout, jot down a specific sentiment if I don’t have a stamp that meets my needs, and other notations to the side of the sketch, such as types of embellishments that might really make the design pop.  This strategy also helps me  determine whether or not the design will actually work, before I invest huge sums of time with real supplies and materials, only to have them  end up in the circular file.  (wink!)

It’s not a "full-proof" method, however, and sometimes, no matter how I work it, it simply won’t fly and it’s back to the drawing board to try again.

It’s a good idea to keep a notebook and pen handy at all times–you never know when a great layout idea will pop into your head–and when it does, you don’t wanna forget it!

  1. Thanks for this entry. I sometimes jot down ideas for layouts on scraps of paper. I think I’ll decorate a notebook and have an “offical” registry for my ideas!

  2. Thanks for this entry. I sometimes jot down ideas for layouts on scraps of paper. I think I’ll decorate a notebook and have an “offical” registry for my ideas!

  3. Julie…I don’t know how many times I have thought about a project design but never scribbled it down. Most of my brillant thoughts come to me just as I am laying in bed. Thank you for this wonderful idea. I have the perfect journal just for this!!!!


  4. I really enjoyed this post. While I have a note book too… mine isn’t so nice and neat! lol! I will absolutely take some pictures of it this week for a post… it’s so funny how messy my notes and sketches are in comparison to your purty ones!

  5. Gee, I’m not the only one who scribbles down ideas. LOL Mine are on post-it notes! I see I need to get a notebook!

  6. Julie, so when are you going to come out with your own book of card sketches (a la Becky Higgins scrapbooking sketches)? I must admit, I have a notebook with sketches in it as well as there never seems to be enough time to put ink w/ stamps to paper – but I can usually find the time to put pencil to paper LOL!

  7. Julie- I loved reading this post and being able to peek into your creative brain. its neat to see your work come alive from the sketch to paper! Adelle

  8. Julie, these 2 cards and the sketches are so interesting. I was looking at some Amuse stamps the other day and felt like I could never pull off using them effectively — their simple style seems very difficult to work with — in that I think that simple is not simple at all, KWIM?? I love seeing inside the mind of a true artist.

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