I had a scrappy friend ask me lately what I thought about being on manufacturer design teams. As I started to answer, I soon realized I had a lot to say about this topic, so here it goes!
The reason I wanted to share this with those that are interested is because I also asked these questions just two years ago and hunted all over the web for answers. I am grateful to those who did share what they knew with me Patricia Roebuck, Izzy Anderson, Elizabeth Hellum, and Janna Werner's online class. Here I am to pass that on to someone else.
I am the kind of person who sets goals and then will pour everything into those goals with practice, research, classes, and whatever else I can find to help me learn more about what I want to achieve. I also really do believe in the power of prayer, I had dreams and who better to go to than my Heavenly Father who made me and knows my heart. You can read more here, about how my scrappy career started and has progressed.
So, here is what I've learned...
1. Don't try out for everyone's team! Pick your favorite company (or three) and work with their products, enjoy their products, and make sure you really can represent them with joy, not the feeling that your assignments are a chore. Not everyone is created the same and we all create in different ways, so don't try to fit into a mold that another scrapper does, be your own person. While I love many scrapbook companies' products, I also know that certain ones just are more difficult for me to work with; so while it might be fun to be on their team, this would become too difficult.
2. Be prepared! I have a whiteboard hanging on my wall with my calender on it that has all my due dates, and it also holds the names of the three companies that I want to design for and the dates that they have their last open design team calls. As those dates approach in the following year, I get my submissions ready so that when the call finally comes I am ready and not throwing stuff together. This way I was able to turn in work that I am thrilled with and that is really me, instead of a last minute submission.
3. Do your homework! No one wants to do homework, why not just wait until it is time... Nope! Get those resumes ready now, get your gallery set up and filled on a weekly basis, work on your blog, see what social media you are comfortable with and try it out. Do a write up about yourself that you keep on file so that you can have the groundwork all ready to send in when you need it. So what should your resume look like? Check out the resumes of those scrapper's you look up to, see how they set theirs up and then make your own, but don't copy.
4. Consider the timing! Even after you've practiced and have all of your ducks in order, consider the timing. Do you really have time in your life right now for assignments? Will you really be able to give your all to the companies? They do deserve your very best. Someone who is overextended and frazzled won't be giving their best. If it isn't time, then continue to practice until the next call. As a SAHM of six and homeschooler, I run my family's life on a tight schedule so that everything we need to do is accomplished. So I know for me, I need to work about two weeks ahead of the schedule so that I can do my very best and be proud of what I've created. I know how many pages I tend to create each month and so I can't exceed that amount or I will be stressed. Be realistic.
5. Practice your photography! One of the biggest things you will need to know is how to take a good picture. No matter how well you scrap, if you can't portray that online, your efforts are in vain. There are many good tutorials out there that show tricks to photograph your artwork well and also how to edit your pictures for the online world.
No matter how much you prepare it still takes time, and an open door, to enter the world of manufacturer design teams. Each team is different, diverse, well rounded, and with many different styles. Teams are made up of scrappers from a variety of walks of life - some card makers, layout designers, altered people, and now even Project Lifers. So don't give up, keep trying and practicing until a door opens for you, but most of all, don't ever forget why you scrapbook!
Stop by tomorrow for what happens when you get your first e-mail with the words, CONGRATULATIONS!