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Wednesday, February 2

NEW Feature: Inspiring Scrappers and Artists

I am often asked in interviews who inspires me. With this in mind, I wanted to start sharing on my blog a feature where I give you a look at those who I know, whether they are email/online friends, or in real life friends, that are inspiring and making a big effort to inspire the scrapbooking community at large as well.

My first feature is of someone that I recently met in person, after connecting in Facebook and realizing we live near each other. She is the co-founder of Sketchy Thursdays, Diana Fisher. I picked Diana because her sketches and layouts really rock! I love how she runs her Sketchy Thursdays blog.  If you haven't been to her personal or sketch blog, today's the day to check it out! Here's my interview questions, with Diana's answers in color.

1. Tell us a little about yourself and your family.
 (A photo of you and your husband and/or family)
Editor's Note: This photo just says it all. I was able to meet Diana's husband when we cropped together at Michael's as he stopped in on his break from work, or perhaps it was after his shift was over...I'm not sure. But my point that I want to make is you can easily tell they are fabulously happy and in love.

Editor's Note: I edited this photo with a free action from the CoffeeShop blog.

2. How did you develop an interest in graphic design? Which did you do first, scrapbooking or graphic design?

I was a stamper since middle school age, and then got into scrapbooking at 18, but only casually. Everything I had fit into one Sterilite box. I still have and use the embossing gun I bought as a teenager!

I was at Ohio University for a bachelor’s of science in magazine journalism when I took a graphic design class as part of the curriculum for that major—and I was hooked! I immediately went to my adviser and tried to switch to an arts degree. She and I decided that based on the kind of design I wanted to do (print work) that staying in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and taking all of their layout and design classes would work best. And it did!! I have been with NextStepU Magazine as their print production coordinator and on-staff designer for 9 years.

3. How many blogs do you have, and how did you get involved with each blog?

I have my blog (http://www.designbydiana.blogspot.com/), and I started it in 2009 because I wanted to play along with challenges and needed a place to post my work.

I also have Sketchy Thursdays (http://sketchythursdays.blogspot.com/) which became it’s own challenge site in Sept. 2009 after running the sketches on my own blog was becoming cumbersome. Heidi Myers (http://notbusyenuf.blogspot.com/) offered to help me out if I wanted to take Sketchy Thursdays and make it its own challenge site. And now Heidi is just as much a sketch designer as I am on the site.

I am the co-blog coordinator for the Scrapbook Circle kit club . I also post on The Sampler blog.

4. What makes a good sketch for scrapbooking? What makes a good layout? (Share a favorite sketch and layout)

This is one of my favorite sketches. I think a good sketch is one that gives you enough room for interpretation, but also follows good basic design guidelines to help the creator make an eye-catching piece.

There are simple rules of design that just can’t be ignored and they are based on human reaction. One rule being that we often scan a page in a Z pattern. This sketch follows that. Draw a Z on this sketch. 

You see the top embellishment first, read the words, travel across the images and down to the final image and title.

With this same sketch, you can see that even I changed it up a bit once I began to make my page. A great sketch can give you a jumping off point, and still allow you to make it your own.

Layout by Diane Fisher

5. How can a blog build a community?
I am still amazed by the scrapbooking community. Having a place where people can feel connected to you is wonderful. We get to know each other and our families. And being able to share our knowledge makes an interwoven opportunity for teaching. And then to be able to share the URLs to those lessons makes you invaluable. You begin to trust certain bloggers for tips, tricks and inspiration.

6. Tell me about some of the people you've met through blogging.

I have met some people who I honestly think that even though I’ve never spoken a word to them in person, I would consider them my best friends. Through our blogs we share personal moments, and then manage to swap phone numbers, which can lead to texting at all hours. J Once a trust and connection has been built, you can’t imagine your life without them, even though you are time zones away from each other.

And they GET IT! They understand how someone can drop $50 a week on adhesive, really cool markers, and then also want to sit surrounded by paper and stickers for hours and hours each week. That connection is so important—it fuels creativity.

7. What are your scrapbooking/blogging goals for 2011?
I spent a lot of 2009 and 2010 doing as much as I could. I played everywhere and commented on everything and tried to show up in as many places as I could. I have layouts about my shoes, coffee, music… things I never would have scrapped about, but I wanted to connect so badly by playing along.

In 2011, I am focusing on scrapping only what I want to scrap about. I’m focusing on bigger projects that take more time rather than as many quick projects as I can bang out.

8. A fun question: What is your favorite book? Favorite movie? Favorite band? 
My all-time favorite book (so far) is The Time Traveler’s Wife. I read it long before the movie, but the movie did a great job of not ruining the book, as movies often tend to do.


My favorite movie for the longest time has been The Color Purple. But I also love Goodfellas and Fried Green Tomatoes . Honestly, I love most movies. I get that from my Dad. We are movie nuts!
 The Color PurpleGoodFellasFried Green Tomatoes (Extended Anniversary Edition)
I am not big music fan in the sense that I buy or download music. I listen to anything, but I like Pink, Nickleback, Three Doors Down.

9. What else would you like us to know about you?
Wow, I feel like I’ve already talked forever.   I just want to say thank you, Julie Ann, for inviting me here to your blog.  Such a great idea to highlight scrappers like this!!

Thank you so much Diana for being my very first interviewee for this feature! I hope to see you soon to crop together and I wish you many successes for 2011!!!

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Lisa Andrews said...

Such a great interview. Love your work, Diana!

Emily said...

Fabulous interview.....I love Diana!

Brenda said...

Wow thats our Diana!!! Awesome interview!!!
love you too Diana you are such an inspiration to sooo many of us!!!

Stacey said...

So neat to read more about you, Diana!! Love your work!

Casey Wright said...

What a fun interview! Thanks for sharing!

Connie said...

Your work is beautiful~nice to learn more about you!!

Audrey Yeager said...

Diana is such an inspiration and Sketchy Thursdays is one of the best sketch sites! Loved getting to know more about you Diana!!!