Sunday, November 7, 2010

Up Close and Personal: DT Style


Today I want to write about something that is near or dear to my heart. It has brought me ulcers, stomachaches, frustration, joy, pride, disbelief, jealousy, anger, and more. It's the DT/publication process.

A bit of background about me: I have scrapped for almost 10 years, but I didn't find the online scrapping community until a bit over a year ago. Having been a scrapbooking junkie for some time, once I found out there was a way to get scrapbook supplies for free, I was sold! As I got to know more people on message boards, I also wanted to join teams where I could get to know these great people who shared my crazy hobby a bit better.

So I began trying--submitting nearly every layout I made for publication, applying to so many design teams I've completely lost count, stalking the Two Peas Pub board for tips and encouragement. And for a long time, I didn't really get anything--I had some guest design gigs and features here and there, but nothing that seemed proportionate to what I was putting in.

I was frustrated. And upset. And jealous at the same names that seemed to pop up everywhere. And then one day, I realized I couldn't go on that way, so I emotionally pulled back a bit from the process. I took submitting breaks. I only applied for teams that REALLY seemed like a good fit.

Then, a few months later, I got some good news. While my new teams were announced in piecemeal on my blog, I found out about all four within a two week period. It was surreal, and still is.

So while I don't feel that qualified to be writing this post, I love encouraging people. So here are my tips for publication/DT success, while maintaining your sanity and general good nature.

1. Wear the Right Headgear

I see myself as having two "hats" with scrapbooking--the "artist" hat that focuses on creating the most true-t0-myself project, and the "marketer" hat that worries about presenting said project in the best light. The marketer hat looks for a great photo--bright, cropped closely, and clear (believe me, I learned this the hard way--it took a comment from a magazine editor and lots of Studio Calico ladies' suggestion to change the way I photographed my layouts, but it was WELL worth it). Once you have a great photo, get it out there, on your blog, message board galleries, etc. People can't find you if your work isn't out there!

2. Join the community

Breaking into the scrapbook industry is like moving to a new neighborhood--you have to hit up block parties and community gatherings to meet people! Online communities, from message boards to blogs, are often very welcoming of new faces, and these relationships can lead to connections later on (not that you should be friendly just to get something out of people, but that genuine friendships can then lead to idea-sharing and opportunity in general).

3. Don't take it personally

Rejections hurt, period. And this is even moreso in scrapbooking, when the product being rejected is something you created with your own hands, with pictures of your family. It can really sting. But the truth is that most companies have more talent than they have space for--too many talented potential team members, too many amazing pages. So, the fact that you didn't get chosen doesn't mean you weren't good enough! It may mean the company is looking for someone with more of an online presence, or to provide personal diversity, or because their customers have expressed interest in a certain style. Again: it doesn't mean you aren't good enough.

And that's all for now--Part II is coming in a second post:)

In the meantime, I'd love to hear YOUR point of view on this topic!

And before I go, a winner for the Ella giveaway:

Stephanie Baxter!

Congrats Stephanie! Email me at keshet.shenkar@gmail.com and I'll get you sorted out!

30 comments:

  1. .. great tips .. love these topics. Many people are "afraid" to touch. I blogged about this a few times pretty much said the same thing you said and just let it all out. Guess what ended up getting my little feelings hurt yet again especially when you only go for calls of MFR papers you hoard in your home, and those that you truly love to bits and use constantly over and over. I think at times people are tired of being the brides maid and never the bride.

    It is time to start letting talent speak for itself and owners should get more involved in the selection process it would eliminate a lot of the same people being chosen all of the time. It would truly be a diverse industry. Each MFR team would possibly be different. I tell ya, there are SOME talented ladies out there getting passed up every single day.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think you are totally qualified - and thanks for those tips and suggestions. I gave up a few years ago and now just play around the boards & make friends and find inspiration - very rewarding in and of itself... maybe one day I'll submit again... maybe not, and that's okay too. But I cheer you on!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great post Keshet! Ive never gotten any dt gigs but Ive had 2 layouts picked up by ST. I think the layouts in ST are more my style and if you look through a magazine and nothing in it looks like you then maybe you should focus your efforts somewhere else. I totally agree that you should submit everything, its hard to predict what someone else will like. I would like to see some new faces, but maybe that's cause I am a new face, LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great advice Keshet. It is easy to get caught up in the emotion of it all, which makes something that is supposed to be fun, very stressful!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the advice in this post. I dont' even know if I would want to try because of all the negativity involved. I often see all the same names on DT, but yet in galleries there is multitudes of talent being shared. You are so brave to be honest about what you went through. It's a great thing to show people who you really are (although I struggle with this). Can't wait for the next post!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for posting this. Your advice that you've been giving me (through the Studio Calico boards - see, you really do meet great people!) has really helped me. I was getting frustrated, but I stuck with it, submitted to where I felt I would fit in, and I just got my first DT position! Just don't give up, no matter how frustrating it is, and remember that we ALL have been there.

    ReplyDelete
  7. great post keshet! i have gotten some attention here and there over the years and even a small highlight of one of my projects makes my day!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great post Keshet - I love what you said about the 2 hats. I keep this in mind when I sit down at my desk. Feeling like a sell-out is not on my scrapbooking wish list. Making things that are true to my style is something I focus on every day.
    Looking forward to post II :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I agree with you and with Sasha...there are lots of talented folks getting passed by and yes, unfortunately, I'd say at least for the last 4 months, it's been the same names over and over and over. I do feel that there isn't enough diversity not only in styles but in content as well; I think manufacturers need to realize that not all of us have # to buy latest and greatest products all the time. I've only submitted 4 times and have been picked up 3 times (only one who turned me down was ST lol) I get a bit discouraged but then I realize that if I don't keep submitting, the scene will never change. I love the 2 DTs that I'm on and I try not to stretch myself thin being on 50 different boards and such. Great advice though! You are brave; I remember when I posted something along these lines when I first started blogging, I got a lot of hate mail :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great post Keshet. I must confess I don't have many DT ambitions of my own mainly because I don't like the idea of scrapping on someone else's terms (Ella is an exception because I really identify with them). But this is still interesting to read.
    By the way, I think your scrapbook style is so refreshing and I am not at all surprised that you are being grabbed left right and centre!

    ReplyDelete
  11. How did I miss all these posts of yours. Wow goes great with my subject post today.
    I admire the women that work so hard on these DT. But for me its just to much work and to much pressure.
    Love that you enjoy it though, then we can all learn from you :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great post and tips! Your layouts are amazing. I am sure that any DT would be ecstatic to have you on their team.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm happy to be one of your scrappin' buddies and I love to see people encourage each other...makes me smile!

    ReplyDelete
  14. What a great and encouraging post! Can't wait for #2!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh, and I saw your faith layout at Ella yesterday... so emotional because I've had the same thoughts/feelings! Wish we lived by each other!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Love this post, I've gone through A LOT of the same stuff. I don't have any real life friends that are as involved in scrapping as I do, so I rely a lot on the online communities. Oh and the photography tips are also what helped me. I hate to say it but ever since I got my DSLR this summer, I've had several layouts picked for pubs. Can't wait for part 2!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Great advice! Sometimes, sadly, it is WHO you know, too...instead of HOW MUCH talent you have. I've seen some very talented ladies that keep getting passed over, and can't help but wonder if it's because they're "unknowns".

    ReplyDelete
  18. great post Keshet! I couldn't have said it better... and here here to Sasha, KateB, and Marlene. Some great thoughts out there. Glad I am not the only one that feels down and out when you never get picked up ;) but its all good! I just totally love this hobby and the peeps.

    ReplyDelete
  19. We read a book in my English class called "On Writing" by Stephen King. He submitted for a LONG time before his stories were picked up, and he kept his rejection slips on a spike on the wall. This post is your spike. There's a lesson: keep submitting, acknowledge the pain, move on. Plus vent a little sometimes! Then resubmit.

    Says the lady who still submits despite rejections, LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  20. A great post! :) I have been published on and off for the past three years. Clearly I'm not a big name, nor will I ever be. But I continue to submit...though finally I'm to the point where the rejection really doesn't hurt any more!! I always tell people that it's all about what editors/dt coordinators are looking for at that exact minute. You might have a stellar layout that at any other moment on any other day would appeal to them...but maybe not that moment on that day. Just keep trying and have a good attitude! :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Great post Keshet, thanks for the great tips and for touching this topic! I have not submitted much of my work, but basically for fear of rejection...there is SO much talent out there, that I always think my work is not good enough...maybe someday I´ll try it; meanwhile I will just enjoy this hobby and get inspiration from wonderful and talented ladies like you. Thanks again for the great blog post, and congrats on accomplishing your goals and dreams, your deserve to be noticed!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. An interesting post and read Keshet!!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Great post!! I'd love to hear advice on becoming good at photo-ing your layouts! I haven't been able to master that and it's a tough one!

    ReplyDelete
  24. what an awesome encouraging post. rejection hurts, ive been there. now i don't apply anywhere for DT position because I enjoy where I am. :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. I love this post - I feel like in a lot of ways I'm where you were this time last year... applying for design teams...hoping and dreaming...thank you for the hope and the inspiration to break through :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. what a poignant post. I think that keeping a positive attitude is so important through out the whole process. Rejection isn't easy but it doesn't mean failure. Being true to yourself is equally important. Congrats on all your latest gigs! I think you have a rockin style!

    ReplyDelete
  27. What a wonderful post, Keshet; and its so true. You've hit the nail on the head. I've been thinking about jumping back into the game - thanks for the reminder that a positive attitude really, really makes a difference throughout the process.

    ReplyDelete
  28. You said it very well Keshet! I used to try for any and everything, but now just want "sings" to me and what I love!
    I agree that there are tons of fabulous ladies and their work that isn't recognized, which is really too bad. Thanks for the honest post!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I love hearing your thoughts:)