Today, the Creative Journey series is continuing with a fascinating story shared by Laura Craigie!
Laura is one talented lady, and I loved what she shared about her experience in the industry:
I really got into scapbooking when I got pregnant with my first son in 2004. My mom had attended a beginner’s class at the LSS, and I decided to give that a go too. I knew right away that I loved it, but also knew that I wanted to do it differently than the basic way they taught. So I sought out ideas on the net. I stumbled across many sites, but always came back to Two Peas in a Bucket as my “home” for all things scrapbooking. It was there I discovered the Pub board and added the task of becoming published and making a big Design Team to my ever evolving and growing life list (Aka Bucket list, but I’m not a fan of that name.. lol). I really wanted to see my kids in a magazine! We are also a smaller one income family and I do not have a large budget for craft supplies, so the idea of designing for a company for product sounded like a dream come true.
In the beginning I tried out for so many things, and would get so incredibly discouraged. I ate quite a bit of consolation chocolate those days... ;)
Now with the bonus of hindsight I can see that my work was just not up to par. I gave up submitting for publication, but eventually I did land a kit club design team which really helped me to grow. It was doing that when I really started to dabble in card making. The smaller canvas just seemed so much easier to work with for me, and on the advice of a friend I tried submitting again, this time with cards. My first month I got 4 cards picked up! I was so incredibly shocked, and delighted. I kept at it, was getting published monthly, and soon was making cards almost exclusively.
Making cards has opened many doors for me, the biggest are that I now design cards for both Cosmo Cricket, and Two Peas in a Bucket. I want to note that with Cosmo Cricket I was short listed the year before I made their team and was quite disappointed. So I made it my mission to better my work over the next year, and to get published with their product so when their next call rolled around I had more to show. It worked, as I made the team that next year, and 2 yrs later I am still designing for them. I think working hard for what you want is imperative in life in general, but definitely applies itself to this industry too.Laura is spot-on about the working hard part. And the "consolation chocolate"--not that I have experience with that or anything:)
Laura also shared some advice with us:
I guess this is the part where I should offer some sage advice or something... ;) Which sadly I don’t have, but I can tell you what I think works for me.
I don’t create for calls, I just can’t get inspired by that… I just make what I love and if it fits, great! If not, I just don’t submit. I think it also helps to know the magazines a bit too and what they are looking for. I know personally I tend to get more “love” from one mag. than another so I don’t spend as much time submitting to the other anymore. Another odd publishing thing is that the projects you really love will sometimes get passed for something you might not have even bothered submitting. Even after a few years at the game I can never tell what will get picked up and what will not. It makes me scratch my head and laugh sometimes, so really, try not to take it personally
Photography is really important… Whenever you can, shoot in natural light, I photograph my projects on a kitchen table with lots of window light from multiple angles. Every image gets a quick edit in photoshop where I adjust the color balance, brighten, crop, resize, and sharpen. If you don’t have photoshop, you can do all of this for free by using a program like Picnik.
Even though I can sometimes be terrible at updating it, I think maintaining a blog is a good idea, you never know who might stumble upon it! Truth be told, I’ve had work requested a few times that I never even submitted, but was seen on my blog. It does happen :) Also, if you have a favorite manufacturer let them know you are out there. If they have a Flickr gallery, Facebook page, blog challenges, etc, submit to it! It can’t hurt.Lastly, I’m pretty much an open book if anyone has any questions, let me know. I’m certainly no expert, but if I can help anyone with anything I would love to!
Thanks, Laura! I've asked her questions in the past, and she really is as sweet and helpful as she sounds:)
Here's one of Laura's classically stunning cards:
I live in beautiful B.C. Canada with my Husband (Andrew), and I am a stay at home mom to our three boys Isaiah (6), Griffin (4), and Everett (8months). When not paper crafting I love to sew, read, write, and just spend time with my boys. I'm addicted to Pride and Prejudice (movies and book), Pinterest, Bubble Tea, and chocolate covered gummy bears. Or heck, anything covered in chocolate, except black licorice. That's just gross. I have been published in CARDS magazine, Scrapbook Trends, Paper Crafts, Scrapbooks & Cards, and Scrapbooks Etc. I currently design for Cosmo Cricket and Two Peas in a Bucket.
Well, thanks for joining me for another edition of the blog series! A question for you--is there something you'd like to see in this blog series and haven't seen yet?