Scrapbooking has dominated my life during the past 16 days. This project began over two years ago when one of my best friends and I decided to explore starting a business together. My friend’s aunt volunteered to be our first customer. Neither my friend nor I had ever really scrapbooked before, so we gave her a good deal (probably too good of a deal) on her albums so we could learn. We began with a box full of unorganized pictures, dating back about 20 years or so. Since that first box of pictures, my friend moved to California, M arrived and I picked up a couple more boxes worth of pictures from the aunt to do by myself. I’ve struggled doing this last box because I find so many other things that need to be done in my spare time. Well, that, and I miss cropping with a friend; it’s not nearly as fun by myself.
I’m also just tired of doing it. What has been most frustrating is that for many of the pictures, the aunt does not remember when or where they were taken. I spend most of my creative energy trying to figure out what is going on in the picture and how to describe it. Essentially, I make up the stories behind the pictures by observing details like the date, the activity, signs in the background, nametags, etc. It feels odd to be paid to create someone else’s memories…literally. It’s not so much that I’m putting the scrapbook together for her; it’s that I invent so much of the journaling and comments on each page (which is also why there is not much). I put myself in those pictures and imagine what I would have been thinking or doing, and I incorporate it into the page as if it is their memories. And the weirder part is that I don’t think it’s strange to her.
Originally, this project was fun because I was doing it with my friend, and it provided a creative outlet for me. After a while, however, I ran out of creativity and was just doing it to get it done. It is a relief to finally have it off my plate.