I always kept scrapbooks – proper, paper, tangible ones that is. Whilst most eight year old girls were riding their bikes outside or playing hopscotch (I don’t know what kids do these days), I sat in the middle of my living room and cut my favourite items out of the new Argos catalogue that I’d eagerly awaited the arrival of. Yes, for eight year old me, the latest Argos catalogue was the height of excitement. This behavior progressed throughout my life, I became a twelve year old drooling over the fashion spread in the late and great Shout magazine (RIP), their A/W ’07 feature-focus on brightly coloured tights and denim cutoffs took pride of place in my third scrapbook, after all, we couldn’t have the previous book’s 5 page spread on Bratz dolls showing it up could we?
Little did I know, 2007 was also the year that a new phenomena would arrive, one that would change my ways of moodboarding and inspiration collecting forever. One word my friends – tumblr.
All of a sudden, girls (and boys) the world over were creating their very own online inspiration blogs – with one click they could share those ‘O.M.G- IHAVETOHAVETHEMRIGHTTHISSECOND-O.M.G McQueen shoes with the world and their mothers. Those gorgeous photos you saw in this month’s Vogue? They’re instantly online for the planet’s teenagers to sit and reblog. With Polyvore, pritsticks became a thing of the past and as long as you could create a reasonably unique username and password, you could create collages out of any image, item or font on the web.
The latest arrival in this smorgasbord of inspiration stations is Pinterest, where members create moodboards by ‘pinning’ objects and photos they’ve fallen in love with online. Fast forward a few months and you’ve reached present day me, scrolling endlessly on my laptop ‘til I find that perfect image to reblog for my pastel-themed tumblr, creating Polyvore sets for my fashion and beauty blog, a collection of outfits ‘pinned’ onto my Pinterest moodboards and yet, not an actual, real-life, paper scrapbook in sight.
A few months ago I visited a friend’s house and discovered a notebook she’d began sticking photos in that she’d found on tumblr – my heart leapt with an indescribable range of emotions: inspiration, jealousy and a touch of sadness. It was then that I realized there was something so hollow about all of these online moodboarding shenanigans. I wanted to create something tangible, something I could slave over for hours on a Sunday afternoon, something with actual pages, something my children could keep and flick through when they grew up. Okay, that’s maybe taking things a tad too far…But I had a sudden overwhelming desire to own a pritstick and a beautiful notebook, along with a printed copy of every image I’d ever squealed in delight over and reblogged on my variety of different social media accounts. I began cutting and sticking once more, creating pages filled with my dream wardrobe, inspirational quotes and stunning photography. For a few hours a week I regress to 12 year old me. Of course, every time I finish a page I take a photograph and upload it to my blog, after all, you can’t live in the past forever you know…
Love Ellen xx