I was cropping digitally at a friend's house on Friday and she commented that I was developing my own digital style. I agreed. There are a lot of things that I don't know how to do digitally, and I'm slowly working on that, but I'm no longer just making digital copies of paper layouts. I'm making digital layouts.
Was that my original plan? Nope. I just wanted to be able to play on my computer and make layouts. At first, I worked to learn the basics of Photoshop. That was difficult enough that all I really wanted to do was stick to what I knew, design wise, which was paper layouts. Adding a completely different style was out of the question.
Once I had a few basic skills in Photoshop, I could easily create a copy of a paper layout in a digital form. A drop shadow here and there, and my layouts were complete. I was using 'paper' in the way that I knew, only via my computer.
Then I started learning digital techniques like feathering edges and warping shapes. I learned how to use masks and brushes. Since I knew how to do that, it only made sense to include them in my layouts. They are becoming digital layouts, not digital copies of a paper layout.