Tuesday 7 February 2012

Interpretation: The Debate Continues

Following on from my previous post on the Inspiration Debate, I’m going to talk a little bit today about Interpretation, since it’s loosely related to those aforementioned copyright laws and the difficulties involved with intellectual property rights, the internet and so on.

It is very often claimed that any given creation is not a copy of another, it’s an interpretation, which is pretty much like saying ‘it’s OK, I’ve put my own spin on it’. This is OK, until the claims start to be made over creations that are  in fact copies, or uncredited, or both. The problem is that all of this is subjective. You might think something is a rip off of something else, but I might not be able to see it. I absolutely don’t have any answers to this one. Again, it’s a situation that is developing every day, and we are just trying to keep up with the fast-paced changing world of instant online connectivity.

So to completely go the other way and run from the debate, I’ve kind of done the opposite with the layout below. It’s made from a sketch, but it is very loosely based on the sketch. For many reasons (two of them being printer related, causing me to feel like this) I switched things up and did my own thing.

In the past, before I was scrapbooking regularly, I did sometimes look at a layout that was supposedly based on a sketch and wonder how the artist got from sketch to layout, as I couldn’t see any resemblance. Now that I’ve been more active in scrapbooking circles, I see the interpretation process a lot more clearly. And frankly, these days I’m disappointed if a layout is too closely, too precisely based on a sketch – what I find inspiring, like the majority of us, I’m sure, is seeing different people’s different interpretations of a sketch (yep, I used 'different' twice there intentionally). More than that, I find it fascinating that a small group of people like a design team can come up with different layouts for a sketch and no two are even remotely alike.

This is the main reason I love sketches so much these days. Not so much because it takes out of my schedule that extra step of thinking up a design, saving me time; more because the process of getting from sketch to layout is an art in itself.

Look at what I’ve done with Scrapbook Challenges’ sketch this week:

hi, my name's Cheryl and I can't multi-photo scrap

Mine doesn’t look like that. It looks like this:

Scrapbook Challenges sketch #281

I turned the sketch 90 degrees, moved the title position so it diagonally mirrored the original, opted to go for one photo chopped up instead of multiple photos, tried to play around with the title in place of the journalling, and used wavy (literally!) lines instead of straight, moving them from the outside in.

trying to be too clever?
For the title I tried to do something a bit different. (In case you can’t see, there are Heidi Swapp Ghost Alphas on there that spell out ‘Dubrovnik’). It’s (supposed to be) a multi-way title, so you can read it as ‘I love Dubrovnik’, as ‘in Dubrovnik’, as ‘in love’, or as ‘in love in Dubrovnik’. I think I’ll try this again in the future as I didn’t quite get the positioning right on this one (the ‘in’ needed to be closer to the ‘love’, for example, and perhaps I needed to use smaller letters for the ‘Dubrovnik’).

What are your thoughts on interpretation? How far do you like to take a sketch?

If you want to see what the other DT members did, and submit your own layout for a chance to win a prize, visit Scrapbook Challenges. This month, because we feel like sharing the love, there are also extra prize-winning opportunities for new members, so come over and sign up!


  1. I have often thought the same thing, how did they get there from that. I have copied sketches almost exactly as they were but I find now I have to adapt them to suit what I have and what type of photo I am using. I am usually happier with my interpretation. I guess that is what matters in the end, that you are happy with it. I just use a sketch now as the very first step, then it just grows as I go! I love your page.

  2. I found using a sketch next to impossible! It seems to block my thought process for some reason and I grind to a halt. I tend to use the photo itself or the length of story I want to tell to determine the design of my page

  3. I have a very difficult time with sketches too..it imprints a picture that I can't seem to take out of my head and that boxes me in..I'm more inspired by colors, word suggestions, techniques. Interesting topic!

  4. Whoa- deep ideas- will need to read that last post. I agree 100% percent with what you've said- when I first started scrapping I used to call bull patootie on people who said their page was inspired by another and didn't stick to the overall design- now I admire those pages most as they give me a chance to figure out the creator's thought process.
    I LOVE your ghost letter title!! I think that is seriously awesome- the only thing I would change is perhaps ink the outlines with a contrasting color to make them stand out from the background a bit- but not too much because I love that they blend in and I LOVE the double message!! I love your section photo is amazing- beautifully romantic.
    OOO! I just read Miae's and Sian's comments- yes I know what they mean- food for thought!!!

  5. I love the way you interpret sketches cause they almost never look like the original design :) It's those stinking flowers that always get me stuck with a sketch - it's hard to picture anything else but a flower, which I seldom use.
    Your page is fantastic and so full of symbolism! Seriously, you visit the most amazing places!!