Should Scrapbook Magazines Be Treated Like Fashion Magazines?

One complaint from scrapbookers and a reason why some people stop scrapbooking is because of the high expectations they perceive are placed on them by scrapbooking magazines and idea books. Common complaints about the layouts in magazines are that:

  • The layouts contain mostly product instead of photographs or the story.
  • The layouts only have one or two photos or the photos have been resized to smaller sizes than most scrapbookers use.
  • The layouts demonstrate techniques that are not real practical.
  • Every layout should be publishable quality.

In sum, the layouts in magazines are just not realistic.
The response from the industry that I have heard and have read on more than one blog, is that scrapbook magazines should be treated like fashion magazines. Very few people really believe they could ever attain the stylish looks presented in fashion magazines, so why would a scrapbooker think that all of their scrapbook layouts should like those published in scrapbooking magazines.
I disagree with this assessment. Scrapbook magazines are similar to fashion magazines in that they present cultural ideals of life. But, there is one huge difference. Most of the layouts published in scrapbook magazines were created by regular people. Most fashion spreads are designed by professionals. I have never seen a call from Elle, Vogue, or any other fashion magazine for readers to submit photographs of their fashionable outfits. Scrapbook magazines do rely on their readers to provide the bulk of the content in their magazines. Creating Keepsakes has elevated regular scrapbookers to their Scrapbooking Hall of Fame or declared them Scrapbooker of the Year. I do not know of any fashion magazine that does anything like this.
In this context, regular scrapbookers are the people creating the layouts in the magazines. Regular scrapbookers have every right to be angry at magazines that do not publish examples of layouts that most people can easily and regularly replicate. Regular scrapbookers have every right to get frustrated by what is published. That being said, I think if scrapbookers don’t like the system, then they should change it. Cancel your subscription if every time you read a scrapbook magazine it makes you feel bad about your scrapbooking or makes you want to stop scrapbooking. Start your own blog and self-publish your layouts. You don’t need a scrapbook magazine to validate your scrapbooking. If your goal is scrapbooking fame, you can gain that in other ways. Think big. Think about why you are scrapbooking. Ignore the critics, including your internal critic.


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