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Let’s talk about sketching. Do you sketch before you scrapbook? What’s your creative process?

I sketch all of my layouts. I don’t need to have a perfect artist’s rendering of what my page will look like, but I’m a visual person and I have to get my ideas down on paper.

Sketch to Narrow Down Ideas

Usually I’m not sure about how I want to tackle a layout. I’ll sketch a few different ideas to compare them.

I showed a holiday layout earlier this week. That layout was actually the third idea I came up with:

Different ideas for holiday layout.

I knew I wanted to use wrapping paper and a glittery headline. I wanted a large headline so I canned the first idea. I tend to like clean lines, so I moved on to my third idea.

Finished holiday layout using idea number three.

I’ve been wanting to do a big headline down the side for a while.

In the sketch below, notice that I was going to do a big headline for my party page:

I thought about a large headline down the side for this earlier page about parties.

But I ended up really liking how the page was broken up horizontally and did it this way:

Finished party layout with headline that cuts across the page.

Sketch to Refine One Idea

I’ll sketch multiple variations of the same idea until I get one that I like. In the school page below, I thought for a while about the boxes and how I was going to fit the baseball ticket in.

Refining my idea about cutting up pieces of schoolwork.

I also used a sketch to figure out how I was going to alternate the blue, orange and grey backgrounds for each piece on the page.

Finished school page.

Above all, it’s important for me to have a general idea before I dig in. I don’t make any cuts until I know where I’m going. I can still change things later, but I don’t want to waste supplies.

Do you sketch out your layouts first? Or do you dig in and go with it?

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