Art + Science | Right-Brainer Melanie Ritchie Follows Her Whims

Jennifer Wilson

I’m your guide here at Simple Scrapper. Our community helps people find what fills you up and fits your life in memory keeping.

September 10, 2013

This is a guest post from team member Melanie Ritchie.

We all know about the right vs. left brain distinction, don’t we? But what does that really mean? Psychologists have identified a number of dimensions that shed some light on right vs. left brained styles. I wanted to understand these a little more and share with you some of the ways these more specific traits influence my scrapbooking.

According to this right brain vs. left brain creativity test, I am 46% left brained and 54% right brained. I can’t say I’m surprised. I am a colourful, creative, intuitive person. I feel things deeply. I’m highly attuned to my senses, and I tend to think of the big picture before looking at specifics.  To be a well functioning person, both sides of our brains need to be talking to each other. So, I didn’t expect my results to be way off the chart in the right brained direction. Just a slight tendency.

Currently in my life, I am most creative in my scrapbooking. I’m wondering how being a right-brain dominant person affects my memory keeping. Does it affect everything from the way I organize my supplies to the type of patterns I use on a page? It is just about design, or does it even affect the length of my journaling?

The online test I did gave percentages for my right and left brained characteristics. Most notably, I am highly fantasy oriented (48%), concrete (46%), and random (39%).

  1. Fantasy Oriented – Life isn’t always pretty and I won’t deny it. However, I will try to find a way to make it prettier. I say, bring on the unicorns and rainbows. I’ll scrapbook about difficult topics and challenges in my life but I’ll still do my darndest to make it pretty. I guarantee there will be patterned papers and copious amounts of washi tape involved. The scrapbook page itself can bring beauty to life even if the topic is one of hardship.
  2. Concrete – The more I can visualize something, the more I can understand it. The act of scrapbooking gives me insight into my own life. Organizing my thoughts and pictures onto a page helps me to make sense of my world and grasp the meaning of what I am seeing and experiencing.
  3. Random – Thinking out of the box. Yeah, I can do that. Following a step-by-step procedure… not gonna do it. I am too scattered for that. I’ll get bored or feel stifled by the limitations.

I am usually so eager to create, I can get overwhelmed or discouraged by thinking too much about the structure of my page. Composition is so important but I only have so much time and I want to spend it telling my story and decorating my page. My solution? TEMPLATES. I like templates. Ok, I really love them. A lot. They give me structure when my mind just wants to play with words, colour, and photos. They are a starting point but I can alter them as much or as little as I like.

(Editor’s Note: Melanie consistently rocks the templates in our premium membership.)

I don’t usually have a plan. I’ve picked out photos and I have a vague idea of my journaling. I use the elements and patterns to help build the story. I might distress the heck out of a very simplified design. Clean lines will disappear.

I don’t tackle each part of the page in a systematic way. I jump around the page working on whatever part delights me most. I trust that it will come together in the end. It usually does.

I don’t scrapbook chronologically. I might scrapbook my fifth birthday on a total whim. I might do a layout about my daughter making friends with a toad. The next day I might work on a Christmas page even though it is the middle of August. I follow my whims, otherwise my heart isn’t into it and I lose interest. It always shows in the finished layout.

So, let’s go through some of my layouts and my process to see just how obvious and ingrained my right brained tendencies can be.

I love colour. I love visual imagery. My layouts usually evoke a sense of emotion. I like to think they have personality.

I’m not boxed in by limiting myself to only scrapbooking events (a trip, a person, a birthday party). A random feeling can inspire a page. A simple photo from my everyday life can have meaning and a story that would otherwise go untold.

Sometimes I don’t know what to scrapbook about. A spontaneous snapshot of my world is a great way to gain insight into life. In this layout, I gave myself a minute to ask and answer random questions that I made up on the spot. The result was a rather amusing and creative layout.

Just because you start from a very linear template, doesn’t mean you have to end up there.

Feelings. Individual expression. Emotion.

Are you right-brain dominant like Melanie?
Leave a comment below to share or come back tomorrow when team member Kelly Sroka shares her left-brained perspective.

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Join Stacy Julian and Jennifer Wilson for a brain-boosting exploration of your creative process. Class starts September 12. Click here to learn more.

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1 Comment

  1. Tina Campell

    Cool layouts

    Reply

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  1. Art + Science | Left-Brainer Kelly Sroka Loves to Escape the Box - Simple Scrapper - […] you left-brain dominant like Kelly? Leave a comment below to share or visit yesterday’s post to learn about Melanie…

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