With Glue, Paper And Nostalgia, The Art of Scrapbooking Is Getting A 2023 Upgrade

Left (@imanyahello), Right (@martinamartian)

There was a time in our lives when stress was an abstract concept, our worries were limited to getting out hands on the next One Direction album, and obsessing over our silly high school crushes. Some of our teenage-era memories included making the perfect playlist on our first smartphone or decoding how Disney celebs are in multiple shows at the same time. In today’s world millennials and Gen Zs have different childhood memories, but I have found one thing that’s common between these two generations.

Space Scrapbook – A Note On a Rainy Night

The art of collecting little scraps of our lives, aka scrapbooking, A safe space where we stick our memories together with some cute artificial jewels, ribbons, or stickers. Scrapbooking is more than just glue and paper; one person’s school-time scrapbooks reflect their mad love for Justin Bieber or the Backstreet Boys or a fun school trip with the squad, which now may be a forgotten memory. But if you are active on Instagram or Pinterest, you will see the art girls of this newer generation are bringing this Y2K trend back on the radar, with a perfect dash of the future with nostalgia.

Taking Over Artgram

It’s heartwarming to watch this trend taking over the art space where artificial intelligence is altering the nature of art. Even in digital spaces like Canva and Photoshop, there is a notable resurgence of the traditional craft of scrapbook effects, especially with the newer generation. Scrapbooking continues to have a timeless appeal and a distinct place in the creative world, even in the face of the explosion of scary AI-powered art.

Like any other internet-consuming Gen Z, I was scrolling through my Instagram, that’s where I tapped on Martina Calvi’s zine-making reel. As her Instagram bio says, she is a memory collector and a crafty girl, which is beautifully translated through her art. Her whole Instagram feed fills your heart with warmth and take you back to those sepia-tinted moments.

She started her scrapbooking journey at the age of 9 when her mother gifted her and her sisters some travel diaries. And that was the beginning of her filling it with drawings, her favourite candy wrappers, or train tickets from family trips abroad. Making a curated piece of art for a time back when people didn’t have any access to collect memories digitally, scrapbooking was her creative way to remember those moments and share them with her friends.

Since then, she has kept the habit of keeping a mixed-media journal, especially when she travels. That consists of receipts, drawings, tickets, and found objects striking the right chord in people’s heart. In a world filled with iPhone snapshots or Google photos, scrapbooking captures the feeling, not just the image. It’s a simple and accessible way to unleash creativity. Her Instagram is now one of the most popular art account for scrapbooking inspiration, which has also sparked zeal and encouraged others to start their own.

A Pop, K-pop Culture Phenomenon

We can’t talk about scrapbooks and not mention the fangirls and fanboys. If you have stumbled on to the Wham! documentary on Netflix, a portion of the 80s pop duo’s history is recounted through the scrapbooks that Jennifer, Andrew Ridgeley’s mother, kept on the band from the beginning. She decorated the books with their first press clippings with some quotes. A prime example of how this little book can be passed down to the generation.


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In 2023, the scrapbooking trend is dominated by K-pop fans all over Pinterest and Instagram. The fans of different groups will turn a blank piece of paper into a whole new artwork filled with images of their favourite idols, bold scripts, and a few song lyrics. These artworks are not just pretty to look at, the process on reels is a therapeutic ASMR. Some of the biggest groups like BTS and Twice have also adapted this trend in their concept artworks, where they revisited their old eras.

Apart from K-pop, Gen Z icon Olivia Rodrigo‘s debut album Sour also used this trend in 2021 in the best way possible. Her coming-of-age album was conceptualised on Y2k nostalgia with a paper effect artwork, featuring key elements of her lyrics.

diesel is desire — Olivia Rodrigo - Sour Release Date: May 21, 2021...

In the end, scrapbooking’s persistent allure lies in its endless possibilities. There’s no right or wrong way to start a scrapbook, there’s no rules book for you to begin with. Perhaps it can just be your junk journal, where you vent your frustrations after a tiring day, or it could be an artwork that you post to Instagram and share with everyone you know.

- Digital Writer


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