Well, it’s that time of year! You’ll find a number of designers gearing up for 2016 looking to fill a few spots with some new and fresh faces on their creative teams!
Awesome and exciting for sure! Who doesn’t love a chance to CT for their favorite designer right?!
Well, I’ve got a few tips that will hopefully help you land a spot on your favorite team! I cannot speak for all designers – and this post is written by a humble old me just trying to give some helpful advice to those who have an interest in pursuing a CT career 🙂
This is the most important aspect when you decide whether or not to apply to a CT Call.
Am I a good fit?
Ask yourself these questions when applying to a Designer CT Call:
Does the designer’s product inspire me?
I would think that this is a no brainer but take some time and look at the designer’s shop. Look at her colors and how she uses them. Look at her products closely and imagine you using them to scrap your photos with. Do they inspire you to scrap, or do you simply regard the product just because they are *pretty*?
Are her products easy to work with?
Have you used the Designer’s recent products? If not, I highly recommend to either buy a recent kit or download a recent freebie. I do stress recent because Designers (myself included) go through evolving stages where their kits change and styles can differ from year to year.
Is the quality and variety up to your standards? Can you easily put together a layout without scratching your head wondering how on earth you’ll use the product in a page?
Does she design in a way that is compatible with your scrap style?
Here is the big one. In the past when I have done calls, sometimes I get applications from scrappers that have styles which are completely not compatible with my products. In this situation, I often wonder if they have ever looked at my products let alone used them. Sometimes some research into the designer’s product may help you decide whether you should be applying or not. Save yourself the turn down and only apply to those who suit your style!
Also, if you are feeling experimental and want to expand your scrap style then great – I love scrappers who are versatile!! BUT – don’t use CT Calls as the time to do that. Experiment with different scrap styles on your own time and build up a gallery including all the scrappy styles you are capable of.
[info ] I have gone through pinterest boards and sometimes I notice a lot of pages are of a certain style which normally wouldn’t grab my attention. But as I scroll through, there are a few that catch my eye which show me they are capable of using varying techniques which is super important. I have selected CT members based on this – showing their range and versatility of styles. [/info]
DO YOU DISPLAY BETTER THAN AVERAGE PHOTOGRAPHY / EDITING SKILLS?
First, there is NOTHING wrong with point and shoot pictures as they happen for regular scrapping. This is real life right? Real life isn’t seen in high contrast or b +w. I get that completely. BUT… let us also admit that we are drawn more to edited photographs which have been altered. Even hiking the levels / contrast a bit is all a photo really needs to grab your attention. OR sometimes you may need to alter the photo to *match* your layout better. Remember, the designer wants to show off her product and with a combination of GREAT design (that’s you) plus awesome photographs / editing skills – your page will stick out!
[info ]1. I haven’t always turned down a CT member for not editing photos. Sometimes the scrap style is so profound that their style out-performs their photo skills. And that is ok too – but that’s me 🙂 2. Hybrid scrappers MUST in my opinion, be a master of photography skills! There are tons of decent advice on the internet as far as taking great photos of your work![/info]
DO YOU TAKE TIME AND CARE INTO CREATING YOUR PAGES or do you dump as much on your page as possible?
For some designers this doesn’t matter. Some feel – the more stuff on the page, the better to show the kit off… And some scrappers are REALLY GOOD at doing this!
For other designers, they look for the little details such as title work, journaling skills, mixed media skills, no obvious template use, outside the box scrapping – things like this. I am one of those designers. I see little things. I like a scrapper that demonstrates raw talent and can think outside the box. I love templates! They are a GREAT starting point. But I really like to see a scrapper take a template and build on to it and make it their own. You can never really completely build a page without adding your own touches to it such as stamps and paint and try adding extra elements that are relevant to the page subject. I look for these things and they are really imporant to me.
Are you dependable, have the time and are Active in the community ?
Before you apply, take a moment, step back and let yourself calm a bit from the exciting news that your favorite designer is having a call. Just because you are their biggest fan and you buy everything they release and this is a GREAT way to get free product doesn’t mean you should apply. Sometimes we may be blinded by the possibility of working closely with those we admire so dearly (myself included!). There are some important things you need to consider before you jump on that boat!
Do you have time? You may be a SAHM, but do you struggle to find time to scrap regularily? Or maybe you have 2 jobs and an active social life – are you going to be able to meet the designers monthly requirements?
Are you dependable? Can the designer count on your to be consistent and produce pages on a regular basis or as required? Do you take your CT responsibilites seriously like you would any other job? Can the designer count on you when it’s expected of you?
Are you active in the community? Are you active in a forum or Facebook group or Instagram and are you WILLING to share news and release information about the designer? Remember, the reason she needs you is because she NEEDS YOUR HELP to promote her designs, spread the word and show off her products. I don’t know of any designer who wants creative team members to just drop off their pages and run.
Are you applying just to apply?
It’s true. Some scrappers know that the product isn’t the best fit for their style, but try to get on as many teams as they can just for the sake of *making it*. I discourage this practice highly. This really will just wear you down over time and you also cannot truly and effectively promote the designer when you are promoting 10 others at the same time.
Or some scrappers are wanting to be on a team because the designer has made a name for herself and that would look GREAT on a CT resume.
There may be a few scrappers that are aspiring designer looking to be mentored. Which is ok, but you might want to be honest and explain that you are looking to learn more from her WHILE helping her promote and create for her.
So, are you applying for all the right reasons?
[x size=”18″ color=”#23b10b” ] You love her products!
[x size=”18″ color=”#23b10b” ] Her kits are SUPER easy to work with.
[x size=”18″ color=”#23b10b” ] You have lots of time to spare making a couple pages a month and help promote her designs in galleries, facebook, pinterest and instagram!
[x size=”18″ color=”#23b10b” ] You have epic (insert graphics program here) skills and can create a mean layout!
[x size=”18″ color=”#23b10b” ] You are looking to join a team where you can inspire and learn from each other.
If you said yes to the above points, then I say GO FOR IT!
DON’T FORGET – YOU HAVE RIGHTS TOO!
You know that right? You don’t have to drop everything and be at your designer’s beck and call (unless of course you want to be)! You have a life too and the relationship between you and the designer should be a fair one and one that is understood upfront.
If after the details of the CT term / contract come out and you realize that you don’t like all the requirements, don’t be afraid to back out. The same applies to changes the designer makes DURING your term. Sometimes she may decide to add extra duties or ask you to do extra things for her. You DON’T HAVE TO do anything above and beyond what was agreed upon when you began. Don’t feel guilty and don’t feel bad! You get paid with free product but most of the time that is the only payment you get – so you have to decide if the position (paid in free product) is worth the level of committment that is required of you.
It may also be a great idea to speak to a current team member of the designer to get their opinion. How happy are they on the team? What is it like working for the designer? Do things run smoothly or are they chaotic at times? Is the designer organized and do they communicate well with their team? Does the designer often dump product last minute or do they release ahead of schedule?
- Pinterest Gallery – If applying to CT Teams are something that is important to you and you do regularily, try to use Pinterest to store your layouts. It’s easier on the Designer when she has TONS of applicants to go through. Pinterest is a quick way to eliminate distraction and navigation and create focus on your beautiful scrap pages!
- Don’t forget to be friendly – tell them about you. This is not only a business relationship but often times becomes more than that!
- Compliments are nice, but don’t go overboard. While we love to be admired for our designs – sometimes it can seem too much. It may leave a bad impression or seem that you are *kissing butt*. If you are going to compliment a designer, do so but also give them a specific reason as to WHY you love them as much as you do! Tell them how much you love their whimsical templates, or how they make their flair so shiny.. you get the point:) It seems more heartfelt that way.
- Cut Down on your CT committments with other designers. You cannot be a loyal and good CT member if you are CTing for x amount of designers. The designer may begin to notice you may play favorites and feel hurt that you don’t put forth the same amount of effort for her.
- Don’t wait! I have hired a number of CT members during *in between* times because life happens! I lose people during the year and although I don’t actively do calls every few months, I certainly consider random applications! I have even looked through previous years applications. So feel free to reach out to a designer with your intentions – you have nothing to lose! (**Some designers may not agree with me on that one, but at least they may be able to encourage you to apply during a call time and may even warn you when that might be).
SOMETIMES IT IS JUST A NO BECAUSE…
When applying to CT Calls, rejections ARE a part of it. Be prepared for it and don’t let it discourage you!
There are a kajillion reasons why a designer has decided not to accept you to her CT. And unless you are willing to (sometimes) hear some hard truth, don’t ask why. You could ask for specific feedback so you can work towards getting to a point where the designer would accept you (if it is that important to you), but don’t let the rejection ruin your love of scrapbooking.
Remember too, this may be just as hard for her to reject you as it is for you to hear no. It’s a sensitive thing to do. I know I feel terrible for every no I have to say!
AND WHEN IT’S A YES…
Remember that YOU MADE IT. I have encountered a few times where my team members might compare their skills with other team members and feel less confident about their scrapping style / capabilities. STOP THAT. The designer choose you for strengths that are specific to you, so stop comparing yourself to others please. Instead, be inspired and be willing to grow, but don’t forget that you were choosen in the first place!
Please remember that these points are specific to humble ol’ me and the points are based on how I feel. I’m sure there are many designers who think the same way I do. There are probably a number of points that other designers would consider when looking through CT Applications as well so let this be a loose guide for you!