Is scrapbooking Art?

Posted: September 1, 2008 in campus life, Scrapbooking
Tags: ,

I am taking an intro to design class.   I was reading the first chapter of our textbook when I ran into a whole section explaining why scrapbooking isn’t design!   It was pretty involved but the gist of it was that the purpose of scrapping is for you to see notice all the ind’l elements ie photos but for a piece of art to be considered good design you should see the overall piece first, not the ind’l elements.  Therefor a scrapbook, by it’s nature, isn’t a unified design.  Now, maybe this was true back in the day but I consider my pages art.  The photos add to the design but when you look at my pages (I think anyway) you see the overall design first.  In fact, the overall design leads your eye to the main focus, the photos.  Any thoughts on this?

One of the ladies on 2peas brought up the point that I am using design and art interchangeably.  Clarification- my title is an oversimplification of the issue.  So as not to cloud the issue here is the exact wording.

  They are discussing “…visual unity-the whole must predominate over the parts….each item may have a meaning and certainly add to the total effect, but if the viewer sees merely a collection of bits and pieces, then visual unity doesn’t exist.”

“This concept differentiates a design from the typical scrapbook page.  In a scrapbook eachitem is made to be observed and studied individually, to be enjoyed and then forgotten as your eye moves on to the next souvenir.  The result may be interesting but it is not a unified design”

  1. Melanie says:

    Of course, Scrapbooking is art! I think art is very individual and so is scrapbooking. What might be art to some might not be art to others, just like someone might not like the way you scrapbook but others love it!


  2. SDeven says:

    Of course, by that definition, anything with a focal point wouldn’t be considered art. That’s just silly. And narrow.

    Of course it’s art.
    Because I said so.
    That’s why.


  3. Sandy says:

    Scrapbooking is definitely art! Anything that takes creativity to develop is art in my opinion. So if Scrapbooking isn’t art is it Science?


  4. Of course it’s art!

    If it isn’t art, what about charicatures? Those are meant for you to focus on the head, yet there is a body there. That’s kind of how I see scrapbooking. You have the main focus, which is the photos, but you add the embellishments and papers as the “body” to support the head!

    To each their own. I have friends who tell me scrapping is not art or creative. Hah!


  5. JulieP says:

    The term “souvenir” shows that it was written for the scrapbooking of years past, not today.


  6. redoaklines says:

    scrapbooking is an art! 🙂 at least i think it is.


  7. I think scrapbooking is an art. Art is in the eye of the beholder. A child may create a clay scultpure and to that mother is it worth millions. Be to a stranger it is just a blob of clay. To our families our scrapbook pages are art.


  8. meanqueen says:

    I know the way you scrapbook is art. But the standard scrapbook, not so much. How about showing your teacher some of your work and asking their opinion?


  9. Sarah*Jane says:

    That’s funny, I usually get an overall impression of the page first. That leads me to either look at it in more detail or go on the the next page. The way you are describing it, that would lead me to believe it is good design. : )


  10. pam says:

    I think scrapbooking is art. I know your layouts are works of art!


  11. barbara says:


    of course your pages are ART…my SB pages are not art in any sense….but the level pages you and many other create are definitely ART!! And require artistic design and coordination. To suggest that SBing isn’t ART is a person who has never Sb’d.



  12. Art is in the eye of the beholder!



  13. Kate says:

    Scrapbooking is an art form. To say it isn’t is just plain snobby, possibly very narrow minded about art in general. How can he be an artist with out being open minded?

    Photography is an art form. Writing is an art form. Choosing shape and color putting them together is an art form. We use all of this and more in scrapbooking. How can that person say it isn’t an art form?


  14. Sasha says:

    Where is this class at again??? Girl Art is any form of expression .. well umm to me anway .. and so I express myself through scrapbooking then I guess that is Art .. how was your weekend boo bear .. and dont be jelly about the blog boo .. add yourself a playlist .. and then go from there . nothing wrong with yours…LOL you want to see me jealous ,,, man click on Sarah Bowen name on my diva list and or Kim B (she used Facebook to make buttons for her blog) or shall I say “flair”.


  15. Karen says:

    Lily- As someone mentioned the text is behind the times a bit and not on the edge like you and some other DT’s are. You have art….It’s not just some pics , CS and some stickers on a page calling it done. Nothing really wrong with that but it’s not you. It’s not Lilyicous to do that. i have always admired your style. I can say I knew you when. 🙂


  16. Sarah C. says:

    Hmmm…per that book, some of my projects in design school weren’t art either. 😉 LOL I definitely consider my scrapbooking art. And far more fulfilling that some of my professional design work.


  17. Miss M! says:

    LOL… I can’t believe that the debate made into a college textbook!

    Okay, on the one hand, I can see their argument BUT I think it’s because they’re thinking more of the traditional scrapbook, where yes, you do just paste bits and bobs here and there on a page. Many “scrapbookers” scrapbook in this way.


    There are scrapbookers like you and me, where the overall design is taken into consideration, not just what we put on the page. In that case, I would argue that you do take design into consideration.

    The writers of that text are using a blanket definition of scrapbooking, and quite frankly, scrapbookers like us don’t fit under that blanket.


  18. Janet says:

    Interesting discussion! I think that scrapbooking CAN be art. Old-school scrapbooking, like what was done in the Victorian age — putting memorabilia and “ephemera” on pages for safekeeping — was probably not art.

    But today’s scrapbooking really emphasizes the overall design. Many of us take classes in design theory so that our pages look cohesive. I agree with you…the overall design of the page is what I look at first when I see a sb page. Sbing today IS art!


  19. […] public links >> design Is scrapbooking Art? Saved by HeadsrongGirly on Sun 09-11-2008 New Contest! Saved by weelassie on Sun 09-11-2008 Do […]


  20. Arielle says:

    Scarpbooking is very much art. Its like making memories through a artistic way. You can look back in time and be like i remember when i made this years ago. To me its a big form of art that most people like to enjoy doing.


  21. Dot Paolo says:

    I am taking an artist book class and this question came up. I call it “blue collar art” but it is art. I think that the elements used to make the pages are so over designed by someone else that it overrides any originality created the maker of the page. In my book, as long as you are not playing a video game and are using some creativity to make something, you are alright.


  22. Abe says:

    Youre taking pre designed materials, “scraps” and glueing them on paper, that is not art, that is creative expression.Scrapbooking is to art same as a guitar hero player should go on tour, or a train enthusiast should operate a train. It’s a hobby, enjoy it for what it is. You are all probably working with pre designed paper, stamps, glues and glitter you by from a store which makes your creative pond as big as the store can carry your idea. If that is not the case and you are painting and drawing and writing your own poetry in margins of your photos that’s called artistic journaling or even Slambooking. Not scrapbooking. A good rule of thumb is if its true art, you won’t have only a bunch of lonely house frous surrounded by cats agreeing with you, all your shit wouldnt look the same and, most importantly, you would have seasoned professional artist weighing in there valued opinions also, but you don’t… I know….because they’d be posting just as pissed as I am that this is even being discussed. When scrapbooked pages of you at the Grand Canyon are hanging in a museum of worth we shall hold a different discussion. Until then no, you have no right to keep saying that. you are the auto-tunes of art, at best.


  23. […] Is scrapbooking Art? – LilyArt Designs | Examining life … – Of course, Scrapbooking is art! I think art is very individual and so is scrapbooking. What might be art to some might not be art to others, just like someone might not like the way you scrapbook but others love it! […]


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