Thursday, November 15, 2007

Response to Scrap Smack post...

I read this post over at Scrap Smack the other day and it really made a lot of sense to me.

The author raises a lot of great points, such as the high (and sometimes outrageous) expectations that many manufacturers and online stores have for their design team members. I've noticed this myself over the past several months. For as much I would like the 'honor' of being on a design team, it's just not realistic for me in many cases and it has kept me from even applying.

I work full-time outside the home...I have to work full-time. What some of these design teams expect requires nearly full-time effort, but with little or no compensation. VERY seldom are actual $$ mentioned and even when they are, it's generally insignificant.

"Designers and marketing people in other industries are compensated for their work with paper, too - but it's green and has pictures of dead presidents on it, not pretty little flowers...They have taken our desire to be published, our want of validation and turned it into a form of slave labor." (from Scrap Smack)
Now, I don't necessarily have an issue being compensated in the form of product, but this isn't even 'true' compensation if you're not always at liberty to use it as you wish, but rather given an 'assignment' which you are then expected to submit for further marketing purposes on the part of the manufacturer or store.

Personally, I like to create so that I (and my family) can enjoy the results.

Getting published can be a little better, I think. I have been a few times and the payment has actually been fair (in my opinion) AND I got my layouts back...eventually.

However, the catch here is that in order to get published, one feels like they must virtually 'hide' their creations from the world in order to be considered. More and more calls are specifying that the layouts not be 'previously seen' in online galleries, on a blog...anywhere basically.

And, so, here I have been...not sharing my layouts in the minute chance that it might get picked up for publication. And I hate this! For me, half the fun of creating is sharing what I've created!

I also recently read an explanation as to why (one of the premiere online scrapbooking communities and supply store) does not have a Design Team.
"The reason we don't have a formal one [design team] was/is that we really feel that in a community natural relationships will develop in which some will naturally mentor and inspire others. We aren't any "smarter" than the people in our community in determining who those people will be." (from

Every scrapbooker who's ever submitted a page to a design team or publication call understands the disappointment and/or frustration that can be felt when your layout/submission doesn't get picked.

I've had a few layouts published and it still hurts when other submissions don't get picked up and I find myself wondering, "What are they looking for??" and "Why aren't my pages 'good enough'?" When, in reality, I know that this art is so subjective. What one may love another may hate. When I know that it is hugely competitive. For every call, hundreds, if not thousands of submissions are received. Who knows if they're even able to view them all. When I know that when I ask myself these questions, I'm losing sight of the whole point of scrapbooking in the first place.

I admire for realizing these truths and that we all create and are inspired in different ways and refuses, in a way, to be involved with what may be the worst part of the scrapbooking industry...the competitive nature in all of us which enables others to take advantage of our talent and desire to be recognized.

Now, does this mean I'll never submit my work for Design Team or publication call again?

Absolutely not! But it will cause me read and consider the fine print a little more closely and make sure that I don't lose sight of why I started this whole scrapping thing in the first record my make sure my daughter knows how precious she is to maintain a creative outlet in an otherwise rational life.

I also want to stop being afraid to share my layouts and other creations here because of something that could (but probably won't) happen...hopefully you'll be seeing some of my craftiness soon!

Response to Scrap Smack post...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend