Back to Basics: What Are the Things You Needed to Know to Start Out?

As the year comes to a close, I am starting to plan out 2011. Over the next few weeks, I am going to be asking for your opinion on everything from new products to upcoming blog posts.

When you were starting out as a digiscrapper (or if you are now), what were the things that you wanted to learn about? What are the things you felt you “needed” to know? One thing I want to share more of next year is tutorials, and I am wondering what things a beginning digiscrapper would want to learn more about? If you have any thoughts, please share them in the comments below!

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11 Responses to Back to Basics: What Are the Things You Needed to Know to Start Out?

  1. Iciclelady says:

    I remember as a beginning scrapper, hanging out in the galleries, going HOW the heck do they do THAT? In particular, shadows were a mystery (my first pages had 0 shadowing, can you imagine?!).

    Learning how to use clipping masks allowed me to learn how to use templates which allowed me to “test drive” more complex layouts and that made me want to learn more about blending modes, masks, brushes, etc.

    • Dutch_Diva says:

      My first pages had no shadows either; I didn’t get either how they made those beautiful pages and mine looked awful (in my opinion). I agree on the shadowing but also there are soooo many shadowing tuts out there now but there’s a lack of great tuts on how to use styles and actions and I still haven’t found a tut I 100% like on how to create rounded corners on pics or paper.
      Also I see new scrappers wanting to offer QPs but they don’t know to delete everything inside the frame on all layers so you can’t really use them. Sometimes I feel the pros are trying to hide their little secrets so we will never get closer to what they are doing ;P

  2. HappyLilGrahamCracker says:

    I’m with Iciclelady. My first pages had no shadows! They didn’t look realistic at all! Learning how to use a template was a big thing for me… not necessarily how I could modify it, but just how I could get those papers in the right places!

    Also, when I went through my early files, I found out that I had a lot of things I had downloaded as freebies that were only 72dpi, and TINY! Now, I avoid those things and go for the stuff that is 300dpi and high quality, but it would have saved me a lot of time as an early scrapper to skip the stuff that wouldn’t print well.

    I also lacked organization early on, and I think it’s a lot of the reason why my organization isn’t great now. I didn’t understand a lot about crediting, etc, and since I wasn’t posting my layouts anywhere, I didn’t really NEED to post credits, so I ended up losing a lot of the TOUs, etc. Since then, I’ve deleted most of the kits I had to start out with, but my kits still aren’t organized!

    Also an overview of what programs are good. There are way too many programs out there, even some free ones like Paint.Net and GIMP, that it can be overwhelming to a new scrapper.

  3. Flowerscrap says:

    When i look back on my older stuff – one thing that I notice is lacking is shadows – not that I don’t have shadows on stuff – but rather I have the exact same shadow on everything! I think that one thing that really makes the difference for a newbie and a more seasoned scrapper is the ability to know when and how to use different shadow-looks

  4. Diane Weber says:

    I totally agree with the comments on clipping masks and shadows, but I still have no idea how to use styles or actions, so I would add that to the list 🙂

  5. Sondra says:

    I love clusters but had no idea how to do them when I started scrapping. I’m better with them now, but still look for tutorials on the how-to of clustering.

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  7. Hmm… I’m trying to think back, I’ve bee digiscrapping about three years. Some of the things I wish I had learned about earlier, to make my life easier and my pages/pictures worlds better, are actions and styles. And I totally agree with everyone else about shadows – probably made THE BIGGEST difference on my pages when I learned about the wonder of shadowing!!

  8. LauraB says:

    Download a few freebies to play with, but don’t go overboard and end up clogging up your hard drive with mismatched items–invest in a couple kits. ALSO, organize right from the start. I am so glad I did. I can pretty much scrap lift any page from my own stash because I can quickly find a “paper with small flower, striped paper, geo pattern, this, that or the other….” It saves me lots of money too from over buying.

  9. Lirielb says:

    I would love to see step up tutorials. Like start with a simple page, then each week add on a new item, like how to make shapes, how to use brushes, how to get a picture to fit in a frame (not by using a clipping mask)..etc. How to use all of those tools on the sidebar of photoshop or Elements.

  10. Julie says:

    I am with everyone else on the shadows thing BUT I also think there are a ton of shadowing tutorials out there nowadays…and you also have done some shadowing tuts already-maybe just some links to your tuts and other tuts on shadowing-no sense in recreating the wheel right?

    some other things thinking back…..styles, actions, clipping masks, simple things like how to change the color of elements (how to make a blue brad into a pink one, etc.) How to keep track of credits, creators, etc. How to tag photos as to what needs to be (or I would like to) scrapbooked and what have I used in layouts already? Where to get prints printed…How do I use a brush/stamp (or what the heck is a brush for that fact! I had no idea when I started!), blending and opacity; what the heck are ALL those things in my toolbar for? or what in fact is everything mean in photoshop! (I think I learn something new each time I open photoshop! I don’t think anyone could ever know all the ins and outs of PS!)

    another important aspect is organizing!! I use ACDSee (pc user here) and it is wonderful and I could not live without it. makes finding things a breeze. I will just leave it at that-I think it is a necessary investment but there are some other free options out there.

    someone else said something about buying a few good kits-great idea-skip collecting the small freebies (although there are some large ones out there don’t get me wrong!) but they are harder to organize (since many have different creator, TOU, and are not all you need to get a layout done) get a kit or two that has everything you need and experiment away….where are some good places to purchase great kits, where do I find freebies, hmmmm….what other questions would I have if I were new? where do I find fun fonts? How do I use a template? or quickpage? (I LOVE quickpages they make things quick and done-they don’t always work but you can alter them, add to them, change them, or leave them as is) when in a hurry to whip out pages quickpages are a great response and I know when I started I just didn’t ‘get’ them. I do still like to create a layout from scratch don’t get me wrong-but there are times quickpages just help me get a bunch done-I wouldn’t get my ‘creative fix’ if I only used quickpages, but they do have their place!

    how to post things to galleries and how to get layouts ready to post to a web gallery (can’t always post the large psd file have to post a smaller 72ish dpi jpg or png image) so how the heck do I get my layout to upload and save it the way I need to?

    ok that should keep you busy for a while 🙂 I am sure there are many more things-that is just what I quick came up with thinking back to the days when I was new 🙂


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