Digital Scrapbook Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday
Right before the new Digital Scrapbook (and Art Journal) Day, I read a few blog posts about how to handle a week of frenzied indulgence in new kits, tools, and commercial use grab bags. And of course, this applies to the very next month when we not only were overindulging in scrap art supplies, but in anything and everything else as well. How would we manage it all? One bit of advice was to make a budget and stick to it. That is very safe, good advice—from someone who obviously has never attended a Flash sale. These scrapbooking supplies going at 75-90% off are often called doorbusters—the loss leader that gets you through the door to buy something else while you’re there. If there were truth in advertising, however, these would properly be called “budget busters.” That’s what they really are; the unexpected sale that is so good, it simply can’t be passed up.
These budget busters make it impossible for you to stick to your budget and still get the items you want that are on sale, but not quite as eyepopping a sale. Often, we’ve chosen these more expensive items to purchase on sale because they work for a project we have in mind or already have in progress. They aren’t absolutely necessary to the project, but the project would go better for having them. We don’t really want to sacrifice getting something extra special for a project just to stick to a budget, or exercise so much self-control, we don’t enjoy the unexpected journeys a flash sale leads us on. Not if we have the option to purchase a bit more. We all have budgets, and one of the reasons we shop the sales is there are many items we would love to have, but can’t quite justify having at full price. But that’s not the only reason to shop the sales.
I would argue that the Flash sales are something different and worth the ruin of our budget if we engage in them with more purpose than winning by dying with the most scrap supplies. (Yeah, I’m too often playing that game, too.) Most of the scrap art designers I have discovered, I’ve found because some kit or action or brush set of theirs was so cheap, I could try their work and not mind if their product just didn’t live up to my expectations for it, or if my ability to make good use of it was currently too limited. Flash sales might help you pick up more from a favorite designer than you would, because you know you don’t need more from them, but what they’re really good at is finding a designer whose style is different from what you’re used to, or who is offering a creative tool through an action or brush or layer style—some product that will get you to stretch your imagination and will help you grow as a a creative person. Sometimes there’s a very good reason to loosen up a bit, about budgets as well as your artistic endeavors. Finding potentially more expressive tools is one of those reasons.
Next time I’ll talk a bit about what you might do with this stuff to organize it in ways that will help you later use it more creatively.