Plan Your Creative Year Now!

SYW129 – Crafting Your Authentic Self

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.

August 16, 2021

How does social media make you feel? Is your scrapbooking truly your style? In this week’s episode we dive deep into what it means to show up authentically in our hobbies and in this creative community. My guest is Suse Fish, a crafter with a quirky sense of humor and an impeccable eye for design.

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Suse Fish 0:00

I'm a type four on the Enneagram. So I think authenticity is really, really important to me and I do need people to know who I am. I do think these projects absolutely help. Show there's more to me than you think there is. I'm a little bit bonkers.

Jennifer Wilson 0:17

Welcome to Scrapbook Your Way, the show that explores the breadth of ways to be a memory keeper today. I'm your host, Jennifer Wilson, owner of Simple Scrapper and author of The New Rules of Scrapbooking. This is Episode 129. In this episode, I'm joined by Suse Fish, an introverted papercrafter who strives to share her real self through her social media posts and scrapbook projects. Our conversation touches on overspending, insecurities, and finding your own path as a creative. This is our final episode of the Photos Journey. Members get access to an exclusive Journey Classroom with guided adventures and optional excursions. Make sure you join before August 30 to get access. And now my conversation was Suse.

Jennifer Wilson 1:08

Hello, welcome to the podcast.

Suse Fish 1:10

Hi. It's lovely to be here. Thank you so much for having me.

Jennifer Wilson 1:14

I have wanted to talk to you for so long. And I think this is going to be such a good show. Can you share a little bit about yourself so we can get to know you?

Suse Fish 1:22

Yeah, absolutely. I'm Suse Fish. I am 48, married to a Methodist minister. And we live on the Isle of Man with our daughter Kitty who's 13 and our two Ragdoll cats. And we've been here for four years now I think.

Jennifer Wilson 1:43

Very fun. Yes. And many of our listeners may know you from around the interwebs and being a scrapbooker. You mentioned before we popped on that you were a previous guest on the Paper Clipping Roundtable.

Suse Fish 1:57

Yes.

Jennifer Wilson 1:57

So you've been around for quite a while.

Suse Fish 1:59

Yeah, yeah. Although I worked out the other day, I was trying to work out how long I've been scrapbooking. And it's actually only seven years. And it feels a lot lot longer.

Jennifer Wilson 2:09

Well, a lot can change in seven years, particularly when 2020 was the whole seven years in itself.

Suse Fish 2:15

So yeah, definitely.

Jennifer Wilson 2:17

So what's exciting you right now in scrapbooking? It could be you know, a product, an app, a class, a person, just a fun idea.

Suse Fish 2:26

Yeah, sure. I wasn't sure how to pronounce this. It's it's something really obvious, but I'm a bit late to the game. And is it do you pronounce it Bazzill or Bazzill Cardstock. Is it Basil, like the man's name?

Jennifer Wilson 2:37

I say Bazzill, yeah,

Suse Fish 2:38

Bazzill, yeah, I'm really late to this I kind of always thought pattern paper was where it's at. But just recently, I've really enjoyed buying really pretty colors of Bazzill Cardstock and making my own backgrounds with modeling paste and paint and you can really, they're beautiful quality aren't they, and all these lovely shades. It's really, really fun to make your own backgrounds.

Jennifer Wilson 3:03

I'm so fascinated by this because you are so into the white aesthetic, you know?

Suse Fish 3:10

Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 3:10

Clean lines, black and white. And so I would have assumed that like white cardstock was your go to?

Suse Fish 3:16

Yeah, it really was for a long time. But just recently I've been really craving you know, bubblegum pink and really pretty blues and lilacs and aquas and I'm not sure what's brought that on. But uh, yeah, I was very much all about the white at one point.

Jennifer Wilson 3:33

So Fun. So you are such a talented scrapbooker and artist and you are actually one of our featured artists here back in 2018.

Suse Fish 3:42

Yeah, that's right.

Jennifer Wilson 3:43

I've always just admired this kind of spunky, quirky irreverence you've had on social media. And I noticed a few years ago, you started this like Barbie and Felicity Jane series. Like, it all looks so perfect, but it's gonna take so much time to craft these tiny little things. And it just, it made me take notice that you were doing something a little bit different than I then other people were doing.

Suse Fish 3:43

A bit quirky.

Jennifer Wilson 3:51

I love it so much. And then just recently, you did a kind of a fake wedding series. And I'm like, Oh my gosh, I have to learn more about who is this person behind? You know, this the personality shown on social media?

Suse Fish 4:26

Who is this bonkers lady?

Jennifer Wilson 4:30

Not at all. So maybe you just kind of take us back to that seven years. How did you come into scrapbooking?

Suse Fish 4:37

Sure. Yeah. I started because I had a shopping problem. I was, I couldn't go a day without buying something. And I came across a leaflet in one of our hobby stores in the UK for Smash Books. And I thought, well, that's a great idea. If I buy a book or a notebook, I can stick in this book, everything or photos of things, that I would have bought, and I filled the whole book. And I filled out an A4 book full of photographs of all the things that I would have bought otherwise cut from magazines or photos that I'd taken. And it really, really helped. But not in the way I expected. I just realized, I'm really enjoying cutting and sticking in this book, it's really therapeutic. So then, with this sort of idea of Smash Booking, I kind of did a bit of research what scrapbooking was all about. And I came across a scrapbooker called Stephanie Brian. And I just fell in, yeah, I just fell in love and thought, Oh, goodness, I need to try this. The first things I did were absolutely awful. They were like collage, mood boards. And there was just more and more of just sticking things all over the page. There was no whitespace or breathing room at all. But it just brought me so much joy. And I don't I don't know if you remember the sort of honeymoon period when you started scrapbooking. But I was just running around the house saying look at this, I made this one. And I've made this and I bought a little kit on eBay, an American Crafts kit and it had a little album. It was a little brown fabric album. And it had some stickers and some embellishments and paper clips, I think. And I made a little album of Kitty's, my daughter's, birth photos, and I was just smitten. Absolutely, this is what I want to keep doing forever. So yeah, that's that's when it became an obsession really.

Jennifer Wilson 6:36

So I'm curious kind of jumping before that time. Were you creative in other ways? Like was has was crafting part of your life? Or was it when you were younger?

Suse Fish 6:45

It really was, I've always been artistic. I went to art college and studied graphic design and illustration. So I'd been doing that as a job, illustrating children's books and things. So very much artistic. But I'd always been intimidated by scrapbooking. I'd seen all the products in the in the hobby shop aisles, and not understood it. And I've always been a bit kind of, I don't know how to do that or what you do with those things. I remember seeing boxes of Project Life products and there's lovely white boxes and just thinking I've no idea what that is. At all it could have been anything, but just finding, finding it too intimidating, really to try. So I did scraplift for about a year I scrapped lifted Wilna Furstenberg and Stephanie Brian, Marcy Penner, Dear Lizzy, just literally almost every day for a year, I did a different scraplift to learn how how you did this thing? It's not what, it's not obvious. Is it, how you do it?

Jennifer Wilson 7:55

No, it's not. But I think scrap lifting maybe if you've not kind of known that that's acceptable. I guess it's certainly more than acceptable. It's awesome.

Suse Fish 8:06

Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 8:06

But I think some people are intimidated that maybe that's not right. That's, you know, that's copying. But it's such an amazing way to teach yourself. How do I make something that looks like this?

Suse Fish 8:19

Sure. Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 8:20

I think it is super powerful.

Suse Fish 8:22

Yeah, I think it was the only way really, for me to learn how to do it. And because I haven't got a clue. You know, you've got this huge piece of paper. And just well, how do I not make this look like some magazine mood board, you know, covered in buttons and washi tape?

Jennifer Wilson 8:39

How do we actually organize it into something else? Just that you know that the collage? Yeah, I get that same?

Suse Fish 8:46

Absolutely. Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 8:48

Well, I think that you can audition different styles like, Oh, I like that. But then when your hands actually do that, does that feel comfortable? And do you like the end result? And then yes or no. And you keep, you know, learning about what will become your own process as you you know, mirror that of others, but it's also celebrating them? I think that's one of things I love about our community. Is that a scraplift, especially when you're sharing it online, saying like, I was so inspired by so and so and then they feel good about that. And you have a pretty page.

Suse Fish 9:18

Yeah, absolutely

Jennifer Wilson 9:19

Everybody's happy.

Suse Fish 9:20

Definitely. Yeah, that's right.

Jennifer Wilson 9:24

So what types of products or projects Are you loving today?

Suse Fish 9:30

I really like I like to do my scrapbooking quite thriftily. So I really like using things that you might find, perhaps in a haberdashery shop like ribbons and buttons and little bits and bobs wooden scraps of lace and that kind of thing. I really like, we don't have an awful lot of access to product in the UK. It's quite quite tricky, and quite expensive. So I love finding tags and envelopes. Just sort of bits, genuine, genuine scraps too, you know, scraps of pretty wrapping paper or tissue paper, that kind of thing. But that goes a long way.

Jennifer Wilson 10:12

What about the size of things that you're creating? are you creating 12 by 12 pages, mini books? I think today, there's so many options.

Suse Fish 10:21

That's right. I went through a real phase right, I started with layouts. And then I went through a couple of years, I think I reached a point with my layouts where it felt like showing off. I'd reached a point where I was aware that I was trying to make things that were impressive. And I caught, I caught myself thinking this isn't healthy. Let's stop this. So I stopped making layouts. And for a long time, I made very unimpressive little scruffy books, which I called my scrap therapy books. And I loved making those and they weren't in, you know, they weren't impressive in any way. But I just really enjoyed the process of making these little books with binder rings. But just recently, I've really got back into making layouts, and I'm working hard to keep myself in a healthy place with it where I'm not. Because I think you can get into a place where you're, I must make something for social media to bring in the likes to remind people that I'm good at this. And I think when you get into that messy, I think it all gets very uncomfortable. And really, I think you need to, you know, press the pause button at that point.

Jennifer Wilson 11:29

Yeah, can we go back to that point, when you stopped making layouts and started you like you made this deliberate decision to start making these books? Like what was going on in your mind? And, you know, what was like, and how does that feel different than how you feel about it today? Like I, I'm curious to kind of peel back the layers? Because I think there's going to be listeners out there that maybe are in this place, but don't realize they are.

Suse Fish 11:54

Right, yeah, I think when I was making the little books, it felt so fun and playful. And really unimpressive. Like, I was just aware, nobody's going to be impressed by this. But I'm having so much fun putting things together and layering up things and making them really tactile and beautiful to me. That it really did tick the box of this is creative playtime. And it was only really recently and Obed Marshall, who's got the line with American Crafts, asked me to work with his new products and make some layouts. And it really struck me, gosh, he still thinks I'm a good scrapbooker I know that sounds, it sounds crazy. But I thought, Okay, well if he's got confidence that I can I can make layouts with his products. Let's let's see if I still can because it's been a couple of years really, that I'd stopped and focused on these little books. So yeah, I gave it my best shot. And really fell back in love with with 12 by 12. And, and now it is just a case of what am I making next. I've just forgotten how much I love this.

Jennifer Wilson 13:01

Well I think it sounds like you've tapped into your, like what feeds you, you mentioned before we started recording that you're really, you're in this for the creative process because that fills you up. And maybe, maybe you didn't always understand that about yourself you hadn't you're ready to tap into it or something.

Suse Fish 13:21

Possibly, I think I have always done this in a kind of therapeutic way. It's very much the way that I cope with things if I'm if I'm stressed or anxious, that's when I need to scrapbook. The the day we found out where we'd be placed as a ministry family, I was 10 out of 10 stressed because it could have been anywhere in Britain and you don't get a choice the first time so I was really very, very anxious. It could have been London could have been Birmingham could have been Scotland could have been anywhere. And I as my husband took the phone call to find out where we were going to be I was sat at my craft table making just because that was my way to cope and calm myself. And I think I just I come to associate cutting and sticking with being in a good place inside myself. It's almost a I don't know, like a reflex sort of it's a response that happens now that I feel calm as I cut and stick and all very often take fussy cutting to the doctors and sit in the waiting room cutting just because it does calm me down. And I have those good associations.

Jennifer Wilson 14:32

Oh, I love that. And I love that you know that about yourself. So you can use it as a tool?

Suse Fish 14:36

Yeah, absolutely.

Jennifer Wilson 14:38

Because we all go through periods of stress and things like that.

Suse Fish 14:42

Sure. Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 14:44

Now do you do you like where you live? Now? You mentioned you know, you have a little bit more limited access and you've lived there for four years. It seems such like a beautiful place.

Suse Fish 14:54

Oh, it's gorgeous. Yes. Yeah, I do love it. I think it's it's a mixed bag. Because we know we're not here for good. With the Methodist Church, you do move on, after a certain number of years. So to be somewhere so beautiful next to the sea, in a gorgeous house, they bought us it's it's hard not to spend all my time thinking it's gonna be hard to leave this.

Jennifer Wilson 15:21

Yes. So stay in the present.

Suse Fish 15:24

Yes, I think you put down roots sideways so that they they're kind of easy to lift up when the time comes. So yeah, it's beautiful, though. It's an absolutely gorgeous Island. And it's a bit of a hidden gem really.

Jennifer Wilson 15:39

For sure, yeah. No, I googled some pictures. And I was like, oh, and I've obviously seen in your feed some of some places that you've photographed as well.

Suse Fish 15:47

Yeah, sure.

Jennifer Wilson 15:49

So we are recording this episode in June, but it will be coming out till a little bit later, probably August when you are listening to this. But as of right now, you're starting a brand new Patreon.

Suse Fish 16:00

Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 16:01

Can you share a little bit about your decision to go this direction?

Suse Fish 16:05

Yeah, absolutely. I'm, I'm especially just a housewife, but I am a housewife, homemaker is, you know, I iron clerical shirts and school uniform and make pack lunches. But, and I enjoy that. But for quite a while I've been feeling I would like to do something related to scrapbooking. And I'm really not sure what to do. I wanted a focus other than just creating for social media and blogs and, and whatnot. And I'm also very specific about the colors I like. So being on a design team isn't always the perfect fit, because they're not always pink. I do love my pastel colors. So I have...

Jennifer Wilson 16:46

That's a facinating challenge, I'd never thought about that, I mean because you are very consistent in your preferences.

Suse Fish 16:53

Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 16:54

And design team work may not always be the perfect fit for that.

Suse Fish 16:57

Well, that's right. And the times I have tried to, even with designing my own kits, because I illustrated my own products. Even the times I've tried to work perhaps with an orangey palette for autumn, I've really not enjoyed the process at all. I'm just all about the certain palette. So I was looking for a focus for this sort of creative energy really. And then had the idea if I could design a little kit each month, and charge a very small amount, and show some friends how to make a page using that kit that they could print at home. That would be a nice, sort of, not not a beginners class, but it would be great for perhaps people on a budget or people who are quite happy to watch you make something and make along with you and be a bit guided. I'd always thought I couldn't teach lessons, because I'm not really a very good teacher. But then it did occur to me, I can't teach how to do things properly, in inverted commas. But I can show people how I do it. People who like my pages might be happy to see how I do it and learn why I'm making the decision decisions I make, why I'm choosing things, why I'm putting them in certain spots. So I thought, actually, there is some value here, I do have something to offer. So yeah, it's been fantastic. It's been really good. I've got a lovely, lovely group of friends that are just so supportive, I think they would have followed me anywhere really just to be kind. But it's, it's really lovely. I'm really enjoying it.

Jennifer Wilson 18:36

Well, and it's such a terrific, and you mentioned that a lot of times the types of items that you're using and the techniques that you're using maybe a little bit different. So I think what you're offering is, you know, very you but then something that's has its own unique place in our community as well.

Suse Fish 18:53

I hope so, yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 18:57

How do you feel feel like this is going to better support your needs, as you know, just both a human, a mom, and a creator versus what you were doing before?

Suse Fish 19:07

Yeah, I do think this is going to provide a real scrappy hub really a centralized place for my little community because I do I do have some, some little, little, little, some friends that do, do really support me and my creativity and very happy to interact and chat. And I think hadn't realized that Patreon actually offers quite a good community in terms of commenting and liking and, you know, we're sharing our work on Instagram with the hashtag and that kind of thing. So I think it's going to really give me a good, a good focus that isn't just doing laundry and mowing lawns.

Jennifer Wilson 19:49

Well, it sounds super fun.

Suse Fish 19:50

Mmm, definitely.

Jennifer Wilson 19:52

So I want to turn our focus now a little bit more to kind of the why and then your your perspective on the social content that you have created and I'm sure will continue to create in various forms. Like your to start off your photos are always just so amazing.

Suse Fish 20:10

Thank you.

Jennifer Wilson 20:10

You mentioned your graphic design training. Do you have other training in photography? Are you all like self taught watching YouTube videos? With your camera?

Suse Fish 20:20

Yeah, I don't actually have any knowledge about photography at all. I just set the camera to auto every time. I know how to turn all the dials to A and I don't, I almost refuse to learn. It's terrible. We had a KitchenAid for three years. And I was still whisking things by hand because I didn't want to learn it. I'm really, really, really stubborn when it comes to learning anything to do with technology. So no, I, I just take a lot I think is probably the key probably for every decent shot there's probably 20 useless.

Jennifer Wilson 20:57

Well, I think I think that is common practice because the first shot may not get it. And so you just need to take a lot and try different things experiment.

Suse Fish 21:07

Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 21:08

But also to show that the, I'm curious how much editing do you do? And like what's the balance between trying to get the lighting and everything right beforehand to take a good shot versus editing it to make everything pop later?

Suse Fish 21:24

Yeah, I edit my photos to death. I am really, there's, there's nothing that I do beforehand. It's all the brightness is cranked right up in the vibrance and yeah, they're really edited very, very heavily.

Jennifer Wilson 21:40

Do you have any other tricks for you know, I mentioned that your Instagram feed has been so just you have this clean, white aesthetic. That's, I mean, most of my walls in my house are cream. So it's really hard to keep everything white because I have that golden glow to everything.

Suse Fish 21:56

Yeah, sure.

Jennifer Wilson 21:57

What other tips do you have if if people are really attracted to your style of maybe you know, quote, unquote, over editing and all that What, what would you share with our listeners?

Suse Fish 22:06

Yeah, I think one of the things I do is looking for the whites, I mean it it backfires in a lot of ways because we're on this beautiful Green Island. So an awful lot of Island doesn't get its photo taken. But I do, if we're out and about and there's a lovely white pavement or a very bright pavement perhaps I'll take a photo of my feet or there's a little dog sticking its head over a wall that's, that's pale. I do look for the paleness. Another trick to make your Instagram feed look bright is to add every now and then a square that maybe has a quote on it or something with a white background that can really help to balance things and add that sort of light quality.

Jennifer Wilson 22:54

Oh what a fun tip, thank you. So let's let's maybe turn to Barbie for a moment.

Suse Fish 23:00

Oh, yes.

Jennifer Wilson 23:00

Barbie and her Felicity Jane kits. How did this all begin? Are these your, I want to know, is it just one Barbie? Are there multiple and is it yours or your daughter's?

Suse Fish 23:11

It's my daughter's Barbie. There's only one. I think she's actually Rapunzel, or she was at one point. And I just love playing Barbie. I mean my daughter wasn't really into Barbies at all but I was every birthday and Christmas buying all these little you know bits and bobs to go with the house. And it just occurred to me this could be really fun to create this character you know scrapbook a Barbie. So here she is in her spotty dress and put it behind a desk and now she's at Creativation. And let's print out some tiny Felicity Jane papers and make a tiny little box that looks like one of the stripy kits. And it was just so much fun. And yeah, one of those things that really snowballed. I think people kind of encouraged me online and yeah, it's just too much fun.

Suse Fish 23:58

It is so much fun now, like her clothing, are you like hand sewing her clothing and all of that?

Suse Fish 24:03

No, no. Most of her clothes actually were ones that I had when when I had Barbies when I was younger, so they're actually vintage. But...

Jennifer Wilson 24:12

Oh, that's so fun. I love it.

Suse Fish 24:14

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, it was just fun to set her up in different scenes like oh, Barbie makes the design team here she is holding a little grid and there's all the other Barbies on it. And you can just, you know, the idea is just get a bit carried away with it all.

Jennifer Wilson 24:33

Oh, and your captions are just so funny. Like, do you consider yourself a funny person?

Suse Fish 24:38

Ah, maybe. I suppose I try to be a bit quirky. Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 24:45

Yeah, everything is just so clever. I love it.

Suse Fish 24:47

Well, thank you.

Jennifer Wilson 24:48

And now we need to talk about the fake wedding. Like I just I started seeing these and I was like, wait, did I miss something like what is going on here? And so I had to go like, look back and look at all the different posts. And I'm like, I think she's just taking pictures. Trying to figure out how did this all begin? Was it your idea was that your followers idea?

Suse Fish 25:11

it was very much my idea I was watching Say Yes to the Dress. And I was thinking, I was thinking to myself, it's a shame I didn't have that moment where I put on the dress and wanted to cry because I was so happy. Because it was 20 years ago that we got married, and I was a completely different person, then I was very people pleasing. I actually asked my husband what color scheme we should have. And I didn't have any styling skills, or, you know, our wedding photographs that are they're lovely, but they're, they're taken against the red brick of the church. And I didn't have my makeup and hair done. My dress was was lovely. But it was it was pretty satin gown. It wasn't. Wow, look at that dress. And I really wanted that moment. So I said to my husband, this is bonkers. But would it be okay if I go on eBay and buy a cheap wedding dress? And maybe we pose in the kitchen for some new photos. And he was completely game, he understood, he understood. Said well, yeah, no problem at all. So I actually bid on a great big marang of address. And I got it close to 20 pounds. And we ordered some fake flowers, and I bought some cupcakes, iced them in pretty colors, and just made this new wedding album in my scrappy style. With all the photos of us, you know, been married 20 years. But here's our new wedding album. And I love it. I loved the whole process. It was so much fun.

Jennifer Wilson 26:46

Well, that's so fun. I love how your husband was supportive and of course I'm sure it was it was fun to have your daughter there to see it. And yeah...

Suse Fish 26:54

She was not so impressed. Actually. She she was really she was determined not to be involved. I even offered, I said you know you could be our Goth bridesmaid if you want me to get your black dress and you know that that could be fun. And she just wanted no part in it.

Jennifer Wilson 27:12

That's so cute. I love it. They're, our children are often very unpredictable, aren't they?

Suse Fish 27:18

Absolutely. Yeah, yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 27:21

I just feel like you're so good at creating the curiosity with your, your short little clever captions and just just making me chuckle in addition to the the images and the scrapbook works being just so beautiful. And it's kind of this package that really resonates for me, you mentioned that you're an introvert.

Suse Fish 27:41

Yes. Yes.

Jennifer Wilson 27:43

How do you think that like this? I mean, the kind of stories that you're telling with your social media, whether they're I mean, these are, you know, the fake wedding, it's still a it's a pretend story in the Barbie's a pretend story. How do you think this intersects with you being an introvert and maybe the ways you need to express yourself?

Suse Fish 28:04

Yeah, I definitely think there's a link. I mean, being a minister's wife to this, there's a kind of acceptance that you'd be pretty straight and perhaps a little bit earnest or. And I'm not I'm quite irreverent and have a bit of a potty mouth at times. And I feel things quite passionately. So I think perhaps these chances to express myself and be creative really do help with that. It's a sort of way to show up authentically. I'm a type four on the Enneagram so I think authenticity is really, really important to me, and I do need people to know who I am. So yeah, I do think these projects absolutely help show there's more to me than you think there is. I'm a little bit bonkers.

Jennifer Wilson 28:55

No, I love it but to be able to express you know your your childhood love of Barbie with Barbie as a scrapbooker today. And your appreciation of how beautiful photos and scenery and designing things, with your fake wedding. I mean it all it does each little each little photograph and each series shares more about your personality and what's important to you. Even though it's you know, fun and quirky but it's still somewhat so personal.

Suse Fish 29:24

Yeah, absolutely telling people who I actually am. What I enjoy, you know, and I I do enjoy Britney Spears and Barbie and bubble gum and you know, all those things do float my boat and I think it's important to really be who you are, isn't it?

Jennifer Wilson 29:39

Oh, for sure. Especially today because I think it's so easy to pretend, I guess. I think there's this the sometimes the the urge to go for that perfection and you've mentioned that with you know, you're creating these layouts that are bigger and bolder for the sole purpose of you know, they're going to get likes. But is that really you is? Are you really expressing your own authentic creativity with it? Or are you doing what you know is gonna get attention?

Suse Fish 30:07

That's it exactly. Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 30:12

So in terms of thinking about your experience online with social media and your creativity, how do you balance the experimentation of doing something fun and seeing what, what feels good? And what maybe you know, others enjoy as well, with that desire to be so polished?

Suse Fish 30:33

It's so tricky, isn't it? Because we none of us want to put something online that isn't good. We want people to think we're good at this. And yet, it's in experimentation, and playing, and really trying different things that let's give this a go. This could all go completely wrong. It's then that we get really creative. And these, these accidents happen. And we think actually, that's lovely. I remember watching a video, one of Wilna's videos, actually where her paint ran down the page. And at the time, she said, Oh, no, no, it's run. That's it. That's kind of ruined it. But then she let it dry. And she made the rest of her page. And she said, I actually love that now. And then it kicked off a whole trend of people getting paint running down their pages deliberately. Because it looks so great. And we'll do that now, don't we, you know, put on the paint and hold the page up. So it runs down beautifully. But I do remember seeing her do that the first time I'd seen someone do that. And it was an accident. And I think there's absolute value in layering up things and experimenting and just seeing what effect it has to put that paint over the modeling paste and add this crayon and, you know, really see why not? Let's try this and see how how it turns out.

Jennifer Wilson 31:54

Well if you look at creators online, the ones that I think have the most connection with their followers are the ones that are being real every step of the way and sharing the failures as much as the successes.

Suse Fish 32:09

Oh, definitely. Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 32:10

I don't think it's the ones with that are all perfect that they may have millions of followers, but they're not necessarily have a connection with their, with their people.

Suse Fish 32:20

Right, right.

Jennifer Wilson 32:23

So today, are you paying attention to what others are creating and how they are posting online? What other scrapbookers are doing? How do you balance that? How does that make you feel?

Suse Fish 32:34

Yeah, I really tried to not look actually because I've got this theory that we need as creatives to put the blinkers on sometimes. I think, I think sometimes we all end up sort of scrap lifting each other to the extent that we're all making the same stuff. I think I think there's freedom really in not looking too much. I love that phrase dance like no one's watching. And you're you we all almost all need just to, you know, eyes down and let's make what I make and do what I do and not try and be each other is because what's working for her, and what's getting followers for her, that that's not a good reason for me to do it. If that makes sense?

Jennifer Wilson 33:19

For sure. It seems like maybe there's almost this kind of evolution that we have to take, though that if you are a non scrapbooker trying to figure out how do I do this. And then once you understand these are the materials, these are some of the techniques that people use, then you have to intentionally say, okay, now I'm going to go and take that and follow my heart and my own intuition.

Suse Fish 33:42

That's it absolutely, that's totally it. Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 33:46

There, there might be phases for us. And we are all in certain phases. And so of course, sometimes we may even circle back because suddenly somebody is doing something that you've never done before. So you want to try that and then close our eyes and, and move on.

Suse Fish 34:00

Yeah, definitely. I think, I think the danger for me is when I see that there's a technique that people are doing that's popular, and it's maybe something that's very tidy, or it's very intricate, or it's taken a long time. And that kind of thing gets applause I think it's, it's almost worth me thinking don't go there because that's not a reason to make, to make a page in that way. That's that's not a good motivation.

Jennifer Wilson 34:31

Well it sounds like you like a lot of freedom, happy accidents. You know, it's a little bit more organic, creative process, then the structure. Let's, let's, you know, make a type of stained glass window with 1000s of pieces.

Suse Fish 34:52

I'm not sure I've ever made one of those.

Jennifer Wilson 34:55

Yeah. So does, does social media. How does it make you feel today? Do you ever feel negatively about maybe your own creativity when you're when you are browsing?

Jennifer Wilson 35:08

Yeah, I have struggled with it. To be honest, at one point, I completely deleted my Instagram account and took my blog down and just ditch the lot. It felt like the numbers had become a focus in a way that was not healthy for me as a person that I was no longer creating for fun and for the joy of it. But it had become, it felt like around about like, what am I posting next? What will people expect next? What's going to bring in the likes next? And I don't like the idea of feeding a machine like that, because you never come to the end of that. There's always, you know, there's always something more to add to an Instagram feed, and it can start to feel, what am I doing here? This, this isn't joyful, this isn't life giving. So I have struggled an awful lot. And I think people have been very patient with me, really. Because I do, you know, turn 90 degrees, very quickly. As soon as, soon as something feels overwhelming or unhealthy. I'm very quick to, I can't do this anymore. You know, this, this has to stop, which isn't always very nice when you're following somebody.

Jennifer Wilson 36:24

Well, I think that I've seen a lot of different dialogue in various spaces about kind of creators rights to make their own decisions. And they don't necessarily owe their audiences something. Like this is your you know, you as the creator choosing to show up and share. They're consuming free content and if you decide that you need to do something else for you, that's that's your choice.

Suse Fish 36:51

Yeah, I guess. So. I think it's when your followers become a friends that it can feel a bit unfair can't it to just, you know, this is all too much right now. There's stuff going on in my real life. That means I can't do this as well. I'm out on out of here like that can, that can feel harsh. And I do understand that but yeah. So I have struggled with with the whole social media thing. I think I'm in a very good place with it now, actually. I think I've reached a point. I'm not following many people at all on Instagram. And I've I've got handful of people on Facebook, close family that I follow. I don't, I'm not posting an awful lot. I think I'm probably the healthiest I've been with it all, really.

Jennifer Wilson 37:31

Oh, that's terrific. I love to hear that. Yeah. So is there anything else you'd like to share about kind of your experience as a creative and showing up online and what you've learned from that?

Suse Fish 37:46

I think, I think it's important for me to keep focusing on why I'm doing this. For me, it's it's very much about the therapy of creating and, and keeping it simple, I think is another thing, it can be so tempting to turn creativity into a shopping experience. And I think for for me having had a shopping addiction, I can't risk letting this, this thing that gives me joy and keeps me sane. I can't risk letting that become a shopping thing. So, so to keep it focused on the actual scrap and the wrapping paper and the tissue paper. That's that's really important to keep it simple, I think is is key for me. Yes. And I think just keeping it about expressing myself creatively, and not about producing things that are impressive. I'm not, I think the minute my thinking starts shifting into I would like to impress with this, that, that really is the time for me to take a step back. Because that's, it's not a healthy place for an adult to be I think.

Jennifer Wilson 38:57

I love that. I mean, it's such an important and beautiful way to think about it. And really, it's powerful because so many of us get stuck in that and we realize we're not in a healthy place, but we're not quite sure what changes we need to make, right? We know that something's not filling us up, it's not feeding us the way it should be. And then we have to start looking not just the broad strokes but really specifically about our behaviors and where we are hanging out, who we're hanging out with, how we're consuming, how we're creating, and how that does or does not, you know, nourish your your soul.

Suse Fish 39:34

Okay, well that's interesting cuz I wasn't really aware it was a problem for because because you guys are traditional Memory Keepers, aren't you and you're recording things that have happened. And often often not sharing those pages because they have personal photos and I kind of thought it was perhaps a different experience that the proper scrapbook was, in inverted commas, make their pages and put them in albums, and perhaps share on forums occasionally. But I've always felt that my approach is a little bit different in that I'm literally grabbing a pretty photo and trying to make something pretty, and have fun doing it. And there's no memory involved at all.

Jennifer Wilson 40:12

I think no matter what I always like to describe it as this like spectrum that there are some scrapbookers that are purely in it for the creative outlet. And there, some are in it purely for the documentation and the legacy. But most of us tend to be somewhere along the middle. Like you're very much on that, that creative end. And that's, that's beautiful in itself. But we all have this kind of unique balance. And that can even ebb and flow during different seasons of life. Sometimes you're in it more for the playfulness, and the creativity and sometimes more you feel the clock ticking and you want to get some things documented for the future. So I think, but no matter where you are on that spectrum, I think we all struggle with how much do we share online? What, how is this making me feel? Am I really just doing this for, for the gram, you know, for the likes, because I want to get attention and validate my own creativity because of that. I don't think, I think doesn't matter why you're doing it to start with, why you're showing up online, I think is a kind of a universal challenge.

Suse Fish 41:19

Oh, that's interesting. I find it interesting to notice or to try and observe myself when I'm posting something online. Because I really, it really makes me think you know, how old are you, eight? If it doesn't get likes, or if it if it does get lots of likes, I can feel my my feelings towards the page. I can have posted it thinking I love this. I'm so proud of this. I had so much fun making this people are going to love it. And then I post it. And if it's very quiet the response, I'll start thinking, or maybe it wasn't so good. No, maybe I'll make something and it really affects. You've got to not let it affect what you're making, haven't you?

Jennifer Wilson 41:57

Yeah, it's I mean, it's hard. And you know, you mentioned you thought that, maybe, maybe more documentary scrapbookers just put their pages away. Someone like me who's in the industry, I feel like almost that I, I have to if I'm going to create something it needs to be you know, quote unquote, for the business. I need to share it, like to say that I'm, I'm a scrapbooker too, and I don't know, I certainly do struggle with that, too.

Suse Fish 42:24

Oh, that's interesting. So there's a pressure there for you to produce something good, in inverted commas, because your scrapbooking professional.

Jennifer Wilson 42:32

Yeah. So I think Yeah, you're certainly you're certainly not alone in this wanting to have a healthy relationship with it.

Suse Fish 42:41

Yeah. Okay, that's good.

Jennifer Wilson 42:44

Well, it's been so fun to talk to you and get to hear more about your perspective and hear where you're going.

Suse Fish 42:51

Thank you, you too.

Jennifer Wilson 42:52

And to all of our listeners, please remember that you have permission to Scrapbook Your Way. If you like the podcast, you'll love being a member. When you join, you'll get access to weekly Zoom crops, bimonthly retreats, and a huge content library. You can head over to simplescrapper.com/membership to learn more and join our creative community.

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