Sunday, 1 April 2012

Scrap Lifting

Hello everyone!
We hope that you enjoyed your weekends by doing something nice and relaxing.

Today we want to share with you on the topic of scrap lifting, as it seems to us that it was discussed lately a lot in certain scrapbooking circles. 
We hope that this article will answer some questions and help you to enjoy scrapbooking even more once you will learn a few simple rules of scrap lifting.

This article is translation from Russian of an article, which was publishes in “Scrap Info” 2-2009
The Russian text of this article is available at the portal of "Scrap Info”.
Scrapbooking is a hobby that has no limits or rules. It is available and open for anyone. 
Nevertheless, scrapbooking has its own terminology and ethics, especially in such a sensitive area as 
scrap lifting.
So, what is this thing after all? We think that any scrapbooker, especially someone who is new with this hobby, should know a few simple rules concerning scrap lifting. 
It surely will make the whole experience more exciting and joyful.

Scrap lifting is a partial or complete copy of an idea or design of a layout, 
card or any scrapbooking project made by another designer.

The first thing that almost every scrap beginner does is browsing through online galleries, blogs and magazines. Many start their own blogs to share with others their creations and ideas, to receive some feedback or advice.  Blogging is a very nice tradition of scrapping world. It allows other people from all over the world to see your work, be inspired by it and to get some new ideas.  Once people start noticing your creations, they start following your blog showing interest in what you do. Sometimes we visit our favourite blogs and galleries in search of fresh ideas for new techniques and inspiration a few times a day. Sometimes we go numerous times through the pages of our favourite scrapbooking magazines.  Off course, there are many wonderful ideas that we want to try for ourselves. We want to copy the work of our favourite designers. 
And this is where the delicate topic of author’s rights kicks in – ethics of scrap lifting.
It is agreed that 
you scrap lifted someone’s project if you repeated at least 70% of the original work that inspired you.

You scrap lifted when you copied:
design of the title;
color combination;
theme of the original work;
the placement of the elements;
combination of the materials (embellishments + paper/ combination of paper);
idea for the journaling;
ideas for the photographs and/or special combination of photographs;
all the elements of the original project, including materials and placement of the details;
original idea of the author.

The complete copy of someone’s work is called casing (from CASE – Copy And Steal Everything).

If you copy only some of the elements from the project that inspired you, and you use less that 3 of such elements, then it is not scrap lifting – you were only inspired.

For example, if you looked at a layout with pink and grey color combination in it, and then you created a project in the same color combination, it is not scrap lifting. Off course you shouldn’t think every time you are busy with a project: “Am I not lifting somebody?” No one can guaranty that someone else, long before you, did not use the same idea. After all, there are not that many different techniques and combinations, as one would think. Even if the design of your layout was completely yours – you made a choice of materials and the way you placed all the elements, there is no 100% guaranty that someone else didn’t already publish a layout with exactly the same placement of the elements. There is always a chance that your idea came to you after it visited a couple of other people :-))) 
It is a very different story if you deliberately use another designer’s idea even if you don’t follow it completely. In this case, you scrap lift anyway.

If some of the points can be argued upon, as using of the same embellishments, papers, color combination or same wording for the title, we can say for certain that the following three points are crucial to evaluate 
scrap lifting:
if you use a sketch (outline) of someone’s layout;
if you use a unique author’s technique;
if you copy an overall design idea.

Why do we scrap lift then, if each one of us has a different style and ideas?
Even some of very experienced scrap ladies sometimes use scrap lifting for these purposes:
to save  time, especially when working on a big project as an album;
to get rid of scrap blues (when experiencing luck of desire to create);
to try some new techniques or materials, which normally wouldn’t be used;
to copy an interesting idea.

Scrap lifting is especially important for beginners. In this way,those who just make their first steps in scrapbooking, can learn from very good examples and set higher standards for themselves. In this case, there are no questions as “what?” and “how?” – everything is in front of them to try. Many designers in some case encourage scrap lifting of their work when they give a list of materials and techniques used in their projects, sometimes even outlining tutorials for their readers to follow.

Scrap lifting is very useful as it allows us to practice difficult techniques and reach perfection in it. 
When we copy creations of famous designers, we are learning how to create stylish and well-composed projects. Very often, we perceive some techniques as difficult. But once we scrap lift one or two projects using these techniques, we add some useful “gadget” to our arsenal that we can adapt for own projects in future.

Now, let us look at scrap lifting through eyes of a designer who accidentally stumbled upon a project, which is a copy or almost a copy of her or his work. May be someone will be very excited that her or his work was liked so much by another person that it was used as a source of inspiration. However, some designers think that in this way, their author’s rights were violated and it is unethical. One person invested her or his time and imagination to create some new original technique or idea but somebody just took it over, may be adding something to it and perfecting it. 
To make both parties happy and satisfied, it is a good idea to show respect to the author who inspired you.

Every day we copy other people in many ways without realising it. We use what was thought of, or made by others: we try new recipes, buy new cosmetics, search shops for some specific shoes, clothes or bags. We want to look like our favourite actresses or TV personalities. No one will ever think of blaming us for wanting to prepare something new and tasty or for wanting to look stylish. On the other hand, we wouldn’t forget to mention that the same pair of shoes was spotted on “the red carpet”, or the same salad you ate in that cool trendy restaurant. If it happened that scrapbooking came into your life and fill in every free moment of it, then surely you will have no problem to follow the simple rules of ethics of scrap lifting: always give credit where it is due and thank the author for the wonderful idea that inspired your creation!

Scrap lifting without giving the credit to the author is acceptable only if you store your album at home, share it only with your family and friends, and never upload your projects online. If you want to upload your creations on your blog or in online gallery, then you must always mention the name of the author 
whose project you scrap lifted!

The most important point is to never send scrap lifted projects to a competition or publication in a magazine. Even if the publishers or the organisers of the competition will not pick it up, you will not have peace with your consciousness. Because if you win and people will write comments telling you all the nice things about your project, all the praise to your talent and creativity actually doesn’t belong to you but to the author of the original project whom you copied! 
We hope that such situations, if happened before, happened only because you didn’t know the rules of scrap lifting. 
No one must use scrap lifting for entering competitions, publications or preparing classes or kits. 
There is only one exception to this: you can scrap lift your own projects as much as you wish. 
Nevertheless, you must not scrap lift your own project for entering online competition if you already showed the original project on your blog or in an online gallery.

Scrap lifting is a very exciting and wonderful way of scrapbooking that inspires and helps us to reach perfection. But before you decide to copy someone’s work, it could be wise to ask yourself a simple question: “What exactly do I like the most in this project?” If you can point out the specific elements that attracted you in the first place, after a little while of analysing the project you will realise that you don’t want to scrap lift it. Most likely, you will get your own ideas on how you can use the details or techniques that you liked so much in this project. 
You will get a lot of satisfaction from creating your own unique layout and later showing it to the world to see.

The rules of the correct scrap lifting are:
-         When you publish your project on your blog or in an online gallery, always give credit to the author of the original project, which you scrap lifted. Give link to the author’s blog or give the name of the magazine and the number of the volume where you got inspirational from.
If you save projects from internet for the future inspiration, always make a note of where you got it.
Even if you can’t remember the name of the author or the source of the original project you scrap lifted, then simply mention that you copied the idea but can’t remember the name of the author. Very possible that soon someone will be able to tell you the name of the author.
NEVER send scrap lifted projects for publications in magazines or books and for competitions. 
Also, you must never make kits for sale or teach classes based on a project that you scrap lifted.

Internet and magazines are wonderful way of finding inspiration but certainly not the only way. Just look around and you will see that the world is full of inspiration; one only needs to learn to notice it!

Here are a few examples of scrap lifting taken form the challenge blog Scrap Lifting

The original work by Gerry van Gent...

... and scrap lifting of it by Svetlana Austin

The original project by Lene Neby...

... and scrap lifting of it by Victoria Freze

We would like to hear from you what are your thought on this topic.

Make sure to enter your project for our Sketch # 3 and Challenge # 3 (Rainbow) - there is a wonderful prize at stake!
Thank you for visiting Scrap Africa today! Have a wonderful week!


  1. До чего красивые работы! Потрясающие!

  2. wow, I'm so happy to be featured at your blog! thanks:)
    I love scrap lifting it helps me to get to know new technics and adapt it to my style :)

  3. Thank you so much for this beautiful post! I think it should be shared at many blogs, message boards and forums so people can read it and spread the word!
    Pity, there are people who are very arrogant and don`t have any ethics to obey the rules!
    Thanks for sharing! I`d love to share this post on my blog if I can! Let me know!
    ~Gerry van Gent~

  4. Very cool that you laid out the rules of scrapbooking ethics, Jeunes. When I first joined Let's Scrap, it was one of my concerns, because as an artist, I felt that my work should be only of my own design. -But I've loosened up and now enjoy the inspiration I get from ideas that are so different from my own & I like rising to the new challenges. Often these "fine lines" of ethics get blurred...I love that you've defined the difference between inspiration and outright theft.

    I love this many familiar faces and BEAUTIFUL layouts! I only wish I could participate, but alas, pretending I am from South Africa would be errr...cheating!

    1. hi, Eniko! thank you for visiting Scrap Africa! we are glad that you found this article interesting and useful.
      the name of the author of the article is mentioned in the beginning.
      you can take part in our challenges - it is stated in the rules that our challenges are for anyone, not only for South Africans. so, we hope to see some wonderful projects from you! take care! ♥

  5. Very interesting topic, and I think often a very touchy subject because in reality nothing is new or undone and because we are such visual individuals everything you see inspires you... In your first example you can see the layout has been scraplifted but in the second I see no resemblance at all. I do agree tho about not putting in for publication something you have copied. All of my inspiration comes from stuff I see everyday... all kinds of stuff from adverts, to nature to pagemaps to other peoples work. I loved this article and I know that some people are VERY touchy about having their work copied in any form at all. For me it is the highest form of praise :D Good Job Girls :d

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