Saturday, July 3, 2010

Style and voice

I am an English teacher. Part of my job is to teach writing. A couple words float around with writing that also apply to scrapbooking: style and voice.

They are sometimes used interchangeably, but I think they're different. Style to me is decorative; we each have our own style of dress, of manner, of decoration. That's what style is in a nutshell: decoration, ornamentation, organization. I think style's connection to scrapbooking is obvious.

Voice is personal, a little more who we are at our core. Voice shows up in writing by the way the writing sounds, and that's how it shows up in scrapbooking. Some people are funny, some are concise, some are warm, some are sentimental, and so on. I work hard to cultivate voice with my students, encouraging them to play around with writing techniques to figure out what works for them. Voice cannot be forced, nor can style. They can only be cultivated and discovered. Discovering "Who am I?" regarding style and voice is just as much a question of "Who am I?" as a person.

Regardless of how the two things are different, we each have our own style and voice. Adopting someone else's style can help you discover your own; someone else's style won't fit. And voice...trying to sound like someone else while writing doesn't work either, though it will help reveal to you what your voice is like!

So taking LOAD in May, which focused on style, what did I learn about myself? Not sure this was learned so much as affirmed.

1. I like white space and asymmetry, as in this page:

2. I like to overlap the photo with different words or accents:

3. Journaling strips work consistently for me, more than one big journaling block:

4. Me = stitching.

5. This next page shows what I don't like: separation of page elements. I like things tightly grouped together. For example, with this page I wish I'd journaled and put the title right next to the photo block:

6. I like lines, like in this LO. And one of my favorite kinds of patterned paper? Striped.

7. I like to cluster accents together around the page. I vaguely remember reading the eye sees these groups as a single object.

8. I like mixing fonts for titles, like here:

So that's my style, if you will. Overall tidy and structured, but layered and interesting to look at.
My voice? I think as a writer I am concise and humorous.


Keshka said...

I love this post! I've also been thinking about this lately. I also love your journaling skills--but for some reason, they drive me crazy when I make them. I always cut them in the wrong places, and have to print it 10 times. So I generally handwrite:)

alisonm said...

Jennifer, I always love your choice of papers, especially the white one with the wood grain. Who makes that? I still think you have the best style and I enjoy your "voice." Always inspiring. Are you coming to Maine this summer?

Diana said...

You nailed it, describing your style.
And, WOOHOO on the Ella cover! You go girl!

AmyInKy said...

I LOVE your style!!! Congrats on the Ella cover, too. ;)