Friday, February 17, 2006

My name in lights?

There's been a lot of talk over on TwoPeas lately about the publishing and Design Team aspect of the scrapbooking industry. (For the non-scrapbookers among you, scrappers can submit to have their work published in the scrapbook magazines and idea books, or to be on a Design Team for a store, magazine or manufacturer. Basically Design Teams produce work to be showcased either in mags, brick and mortar stores, online or at tradeshows etc. Oh and you usually get free product to work with.)
There's a lot of competition in the industry and lately some scrappers have been stating their frustrations with not getting a break, even though they have been submitting their work for over a year. Sadly this leads to them thinking that their work isn't "good enough" and wanting to even give up the hobby. I won't lie, I'd love to be published or be on a DT and I do submit my work, so all this talk has made me think about what my reasons are for scrapping.
Well I originally started scrapping because I needed something to do a few years back when I was out of work, but I quickly fell in love with the hobby. I didn't get much done though because then I started school (MBA) and had very little time for crafts. After moving to France I started back again, but in a hit and miss manner, until I found the about scrapbooking forum, and then TwoPeas, both of which totally opened my eyes to what scrapbooking could be really like.
About a year ago I discovered, a website that lists all the calls for magazines, books, design teams and contests and I started submitting a bit. My approach would be to check what the calls were and then try to create work to suit. The end result of course was scrapper's block and after a while I decided to stop. Then I got caught up with the swapping rage on the forum and for the last 6 months of 2005 I didn't create one scrapbook page for myself.
Thankfully I have crawled out from under the swap pile and already since January I have made half as many pages as I did in 2005. And if I say so myself they are great pages! I have totally changed my approach to creating pages and also to submitting. I still look at calls, but I don't scrap in response to them. I scrap my pages for me and for Lucas (he loves looking at them), and if a page happens to suit a call I submit it, but not with any great hope of being published, or getting on a DT. That would just be the icing on the cake. I feel like I am still learning and growing in this craft anyway, still defining what my "style" is, still trying techniques to discover those I love and am good at. I do challenges that fit in with topics or ideas that I have, and maybe one day, when I am truly in the zone I'll even submit to a contest.
They say we all have our 15 minutes of fame, and maybe one day I'll get mine in the scrapping world. But nothing beats the feeling I get when I complete a page I love, and absolutely nothing will beat the feeling I got at my husband's reaction to the page I created for him for Valentine's Day.


Krista said...

What a spectacular post. I am amazed at how we as scrappers, (I am guilty of it as well) fall into a depression about how are pages are not worthy. But, I think we just need to redirect our definition of worth, then we will be reconnected with the reasons why we do this!!!

Lucas said...

You are the best, babe :)

Adrienne " A little dramatic at times" said...

Love your post! I too feel that way, but Im going to keep submitting! I scrap because I LOVE it, not JUST to get pubbed, but it WOULD be a nice plus!

Francine said...

Yes it would Adrienne, plus submitting does help you to grow I think. Even if you don't get pubbed you can feel proud of what you're doing, because you might produce a page you never would have without that impetus.

Gwyn said...

Everyone's different, but I follow the same approach; love my work, send it if it fits, hope for the best and enjoy it nonetheless. Life is so much bigger than publications and DTs.

SageHen said...

It seems we all go throught the cycle. Scrap for ourselves. Scrap for calls, go back to scrapping for ourselves with a great understanding of what we are capable of doing.

For me having a DT position on a small internet store site has freed me up. Somehow knowing "someone" thinks my work is good has given me the freedom to stop looking over my shoulder and just play.

You never know what will work for you, do you?

Make a Guess said...

I would like to see the page you did for Lucas.

wendymorris said...

Yes, having those 15 min of fame is pretty amazing! My first big break in getting published in the magazine "Scrapbook Answers" April 2006 issue coming out soon. I have a "Germany Style" layout featured on the disk. Can you get Scrapbook Answers mag there in France? It's amazing!!!! LOTS packed in the mag but a CD full of fonts & ideas! Here in the US, it retails for $7.99 - but worth the price. Anyhoo, enough plugging :)

I agree with you getting wrapped up in submitting and losing the focus on the real reason that we scrapbook. I have to admit I'm on several design teams but I've chosen the teams that really are my style and not just to have the label of being on a DT. We never want to lose the focus of why we scrapbook and definitely seeing the joy from family and friends reaction to your pages is just priceless! :)