I’m so excited to share this interview with you! I met May Flaum when I first started scrapbooking in 2010. She was the first teacher that I ever took a class from and I totally fell in love with her creative style and flair. She’s a California girl, like me, and I was overjoyed when she said that she would share some of her scrapbooking story with me. You can find more about May and her amazing classes on her website, Craft with May. I’ve taken more than a few of her classes and they are lots of fun. You can also follow her blog, Craft with May, and learn all about her techniques.
The very first scrapbooking class I took with May at Scrapbook U
The last art journaling class I took with May at Scrapbook Territory
1) How did you get started in the scrapbooking industry?
It began as a way to meet new people in my new town. I wanted to teach classes at a local shop for fun and ended up managing the store instead, launching an entirely new career! This of course sent me down quite the path and loads of jobs, failures, and some successes later here I am!
2) What can you tell us about your new venture, Buttons Galore?
I have a line with Buttons Galore called 28 Lilac Lane. I’m all about the details and this line is all about the colors & details that go well together in my dimensional embellishments. Bottles, kits, mixes, and more – loads of colorful fun with buttons, beads, sequins, and beyond! Buttons Galore is a company that specializes in buttons they dye themselves, and I’m thrilled to be collaborating with them.
3) What’s been your greatest accomplishment – personal and/or professional?
Wow this is a tough question! I keep thinking about it and really don’t have an answer for you. I am not a person who looks back and thinks of certain things as high points nor do I look ahead and think “the best is coming…” I really just cherish the small things, details, and wonderful color of life.
4) You’re a California girl like me. What are your favorite places to visit?
Anywhere else? Ha! I love to travel all over and enjoy everything from the beauty of the Sierra Mountains to shopping in San Francisco here in California to visiting NYC or Savannah in the east or Hawaii to the west. Travel is one of my passions to be sure.
5) You have seen scrapbooking change over the years. What’s been the best change for this hobby? What do you see as a sad change?
The saddest thing I’ve seen in recent years is people quitting the hobby due to feeling overwhelmed by the choices. That breaks my heart! The other thing that saddens me is the reduction of specialty shops from stamping to scrapbooking – I love local small businesses! The best thing I have seen would definitely be the expanding definition of what scrapbooking is and being more inclusive to all kinds of memory keeping.
6) Besides scrapbooking, what do you do for fun?
I love creativity in all forms from cooking to gardening, decorating my home for the holidays to paper crafting or art journaling. I enjoy traveling, reading a good book, and spending time with my family as well.
7) Describe your creative process. Do you start with photos, paper, embellishments or mixed media?
The creative process is a much more general one, beginning with an idea. The idea might be inspired by a specific product such as a stamp or paper, it could be inspired by a display I’d seen in a store, or by a need such as “I need a card for a birthday, and the person is a 20 year old young man”. The process begins with that seed of idea, and evolves from there. Even if you know “I will definitely use —-“ that doesn’t mean you start with it. You might very well figure out how everything else fits before you get back to the paper or buttons or whatever else you’d wanted to use. The process may also evolve if things don’t work out the way you’d hoped!
8) Who are your favorite designers as sources of inspiration?
I enjoy following creative folks on Instagram to keep up on what others are doing in general, and to see their creations. That said, I don’t look to fellow creatives for inspiration, actually! Not directly at least, largely because I try to dream up my own idea and I don’t want to look too hard at someone else’s work in order to develop my own style and creative evolution. When your job is to create unique projects and come up with new ideas, I believe it is important to try and pull them from general world around you and not intentionally borrow from someone else. I’ve found that it works well for me to generally be uplifted and inspired to create by creatives on Instagram, but not follow too closely. I’m not sure that makes sense to anyone but me, however it is important to me that I do “my own” thing since I was overly influenced by trends in the past.
9) What words of advice and wisdom do you have for today’s scrapbookers?
My best advice is to create what you want, because it brings you joy. Don’t look for trends or use the greatest/latest just because. Instead, focus on the stories or moments that most inspire you and document them in whatever form works for you. Luckily these days between project life, digi scrapbooking, traditional scrapbooking, travelers notebooks, and mini books the options for documenting are as endless as your own imagination!
10) What’s coming up next for you? Any exciting plans in the works? New classes?
There are always so many things in the works! The process for so many creative endeavors is riddled with details and delays – so it’s always funny to me how what I’m working on now won’t be seen for months in many cases! I am currently done with the 2017 line up of products for 28 Lilac Lane (coming in February!), starting work on an online class for next year, and working on in-person events as well.