It is always nice to learn a little bit about our guest tutors and Sue has kindly responded to a group of questions that were put to her recently that gives us an insight into who she is....
1. How did you start in Scrapbooking and how long have you been doing it?I started Scrapbooking some 15 years ago, previously a Cardmaker for 5 years, I was asked to teach scrapbooking, looked into it and instantly became hooked. I found with my Art background, it was similar to Collage and that I loved the creativity of it.
2. What do you enjoy most about scrapbooking?I enjoy the process from image in my brain to finished piece in front of me. I love to bring something to life and express what I feel about the photo or person. I love to explore what a product can do and find something unique about that product. Texture paste, Gesso and paints are my favourite things to use and these elements can always come up with something of a surprise, I like to see where it will take me.
3. What is your style?My style has changed over the years, I used to do a lot of interactive layouts, with pull out or pop up elements. Then I started to make my own flowers and explored that with a very shabby chic / vintage look. Now I bring quite a few Mixed Media elements to my work, playing with paints and inks to make a unique layout. A colleague of mine once called my work “a feast for the eyes”. So I like to incorporate a lot of elements to tell the story and to keep the eyes busy, so you want to look more than twice at a layout, and the photo blends into the layout, with a nice flow for the eye to follow.
4. What are your favourite 3 products at the moment and what can’t you do without?All of them lol, no I love Gesso, for so many reasons, Chipboard shapes and Sprays and mists. Simply could not do a layout with either of them. I really like crackle medium these days too and of course texture paste.
5. Where do you find inspiration for your layouts?I find inspiration everywhere,really! From fabrics, papers, TV, nature and products. Sometimes I can wake up with a complete layout or project in my head. And I cannot wait to commit it to paper sometimes it turns out exactly like I pictured in my head, other times completely different, this is the exciting thing about our craft. Sometimes when I see a product or patterned paper, I see what I want to do with it straight away, it kind of leaps out at me.
6. How do you get through Scrappers block?After completing a Diploma of Visual Communications, I suffered Artists block, and was burnt out. But I have never suffered from it with Scrapbooking. I have a rule where I take a complete break over Christmas, and don’t touch paper crafting at all. Then in the New Year, I look at a few blogs, pinterest and the net and cannot help but be inspired, and I am away again. If I am truly stumped again, Google images can be one of the most inspiring things to do, but can also waste loads of time lol.
7. What is the best advice you would give to newbie scrapbookers?For a Newcomer, I advise, a few things. One, take classes, this is the quickest and most efficent way to learn, along with the teacher you will get inspiration from fellow students, and learn about products and techniques. Two, take your time, do not expect to become an expert overnight, enjoy the journey and the learning, this is what makes it fun. And Three do what suits you, there are no mistakes, it is about saving your memories your way. It is not for other people or to be fashionable (though that can be fun) it is in the end all about you and your family memories.
8. Info re design teams, published works etc.Being in the industry for so long, I have seen shops come and go and have been on many design teams, small and large. To name a few, I have taught for TAFE, back in the day, Myers, and even Spotlight, since then, several large Scrapping shops, camps and at the major shows in Melbourne and Brisbane. I have been published too many times to count and have my own blog as my creative outlet to share.
Design teams include, Spellbinders, Couture Creations and Imaginarium. I won first prize at the RNA for professional/teacher in Scrapbooking 3 years in a row, and have designed my own papers and products for wholesale companies.
Currently My role as Editor of Australian Scrapbook Ideas keeps me really busy and certainly up to date with the cutting edge of Papercraft industry, and many of the big names I am lucky enough to call friends.
One highlight was a visit to CHA in Anaheim California earlier this year. Truly a Papercrafters paradise.
So, now you know a little bit more about Sue Smyth. I have had the pleasure of attending a class that Sue taught and I can tell you that she is a wonderful teacher, very patient and extremely knowledgeable. I for one am looking forward to the class at the Retreat.
Take care for now, Ann :-)