Please say Hi and welcome to the 12 new members of the All That Scraps Design Team!! I can't wait to see what they all bring to the table over the next 4 months!! Here they are along with links to each of their blogs (in alphabetical order by first name):
Crystal Spencer ---------- BLOG
Cyndi Bundy ------------- BLOG
Inge Groot ----------- BLOG
Jeanette Fincher --------- BLOG
Katie Stilwater -------- BLOG
Laurie Schmidlin ----------- BLOG
Lesa Rapp ---------- BLOG
Linda Black --------- BLOG
Renée Van Stralen ------- BLOG
Shannan Teubner --------- BLOG
Sue Berker ------------- BLOG
Tricia Traxler --------- BLOG
I'd also like to add that I did receive a lot of questions from people wanting tips on submitting and wanting me to critique their work but being that there is no way I can respond to each individual e-mail (unless I glued myself to my computer for a week or two!) I've typed up some of my thoughts and for those interested in reading them (it's a lot longer than I thought it would be!) you can click to continue reading them!!
NOTE: I received over 150 applications from people wanting to be on the ATS team. It was NOT an easy job to go through them all and narrow them down (and by that I mean that there were SO many people that I would love to have on the team but there weren't enough positions available! Even after doubling the original amount I still had several favorites...) - however for those that didn't make it don't lose heart! I will be doing another call in a few months as this will be a rotating team and we will be looking for new members three times a year! Also many MANY companies are starting design teams now - there are plenty of opportunities out there!
EDITED TO ADD: Yes it was originally only supposed to be 6 new members every three months - but after receiving SO many applications we decided to double the amount of members and add on one month. Being that this is a new team we work things out as we go along! *grin* And on another note - I hope that it doesn't sound like it was all work and more trouble than it was worth going through all the applications - these pointers are just some things I personally observed (and have heard other people mention that they themselves have had to deal with) - a LOT of the applications were wonderful - I saw some amazing projects and found a lot of new faces and new blogs to check out and really enjoyed seeing all the variety out there (one of the many reasons we decided to take on more people than originally planned - I just couldn't narrow it down more than that!).
I was also asked by SEVERAL people if I could critique their work in order to give them ideas on what (if any) improvements they need to make in order to get on Design Teams - since I don't have time to even think of doing that I've got a few pointers here that should hopefully help those trying:
1. CLEAR PHOTOS - I can not stress this one enough. It really doesn't matter if you make beautiful projects - if your photos are blurry then it's a moot point! Not only does it give me a headache trying to see the details - I personally just find it irksome. That can be improved by just reading your camera manual and practicing taking more pictures of your work (setting it on the macro setting - usually identified by a tulip symbol - really helps close in and get better detail - that is the setting I always use when taking pictures of my work).
2. SIZING your pictures. When submitting for publications or Design Teams there are usually a set of guidelines that one needs to follow - one that I have seen over and over again (and personally put into the guidelines I made for submitting to the ATS team) was to make sure your pictures were around 100KB. That IS very important! When I open an e-mail from an applicant and they HAVE re-sized their pictures to around that size - I can easily see the ENTIRE picture and therefore I can accurately asses their work (not to mention they were paying attention and can follow directions!). When I open an e-mail and someone HASN'T re-sized their photos and the file is too large for me to see - it is a LOT more time consuming to try and scroll over the photo to get an idea of the person's work or I need to save the pics to my computer and re-size them myself - well with over 150 applications that is just impossible for me to do when dozens of applicants have over-sized (and often blurry!) photos.
3. MOTIVE - I could go on and on about this one but as it is different for EVERYONE and applies differently to every situation I will keep it brief. Within the past 6 months (maybe even less!) Design Teams have been popping up all over the place - where there used to be very few and being a "Design Team Member" was a very coveted and rare thing - they are now quite common! Do I think this is a bad thing? Nope!! What better way for a company to advertise and get their products out to the public and in the hands of people who can really showcase them than by having a Design Team? However I personally feel that everyone should stop for a second and think before applying to just any team that has a call. I know for me personally I had to LOVE the stamps and products a company offered before I would even consider applying (and when I was asked to be on a team it still applied - I really needed to LOVE what it is I was doing b/c otherwise it just gets too stressful and I feel like I wouldn't be honest gushing over something that I truly never liked in the first place! However I have been fortunate to be on teams where I really and truly do not only love the products and stamps the company offers, but the women that own and run these companies are VERY good people and I am honored to be on their teams!!). Just being on a Design Team for the sake of being able to be called a "Design Team Member" isn't worth it in my opinion - you need to love what you do, love what you're working with and be able to commit to a company a certain level of loyalty (an example of this would be say if you were on a Design Team for an online store that sells papercrafting products - well it wouldn't make sense to be on another team for another store that sells similar - if not the same - items! Both companies would then be left wondering where your loyalties lie....) ------------------------------ see I said I could go on and on and on about this one! That's enough for now tho......
4. QUALITY OF WORK - again this applies differently to everyone. What one company/person is looking for in terms of quality of work can and is totally different from the next. However if you find that you've applied to a lot of teams and submitted to a lot of different magazines and are STILL getting nowhere - then maybe sit back and analyze what it is you do. There are all kinds of things people look for - are layers straight and even? Does the card/project look like it was slapped together in 5 minutes with no thought nor reason? Do the colors used go well together? How have embellishments been used - with taste or with a sense of abandon and the need to fill up space on the project (really I'm just coming up with things off the top of my head here LOL!). Do all your projects just lack that extra "something" - that WOW factor?? If any of this is the case my BEST advice is to take a break from submitting and really sit down and play with your stamps and whatnot and start creating for fun - and a GREAT place to get the creativity flowing and help improve your work is to start participating in the challenge forums over on Splitcoast. There's a new challenge every day of the week and I can personally attest to them helping ME to improve my stamping! There's something about following certain guidelines that not only stretches your creativity but helps you to think in other ways and the fact that you KNOW that people will be looking and commenting on what you create makes you think that you need to work a little harder as well!
Everyone's stamping/scrapping style is different - and for a lot of us (I find this really applies to me) it is an evolving thing - take a look at some of the first pages in my Splitcoast gallery at projects I made a couple of years ago to what I made a year ago and then what I make now. My style as well as level of experience and quality of work has changed quite a bit (and I'd like to think for the better *wink*) over the years since I first started stamping!
I LOVE what I do, and I LOVE being on Design Teams and now co-ordinating a team of my own! However at times it can feel a lot more like work and a lot less enjoyable than it seems, and it is at those times that I sit down and really analyze what it is I do and is it worth it? The answer is always yes but I've had to learn that I don't need to be on EVERY team under the sun - even if I LOVE their stamps. I've had to learn to say no to some offers and have had to step down from positions in order to properly balance the teams I'm already on - not to mention the fact that I have 2 small children (my first priority) and a home to take care of along with everything else!
Here are also a couple of different threads on SCS that have a lot of tips and advice (as well as quite a few different points of view) on being on Design Teams and motivation and whatnot:
And if you're still here reading this then congrats! I went on a LOT longer than I intended to but I hope some of it helps you out!! I certainly am not the be-all and end-all of stamping and really all of this is just MY OWN PERSONAL notes of observation and are certainly not industry standards or anything like that - but I do hope that someone out there can gain a little insight and help from all my blah blah blah!!