I have been so enjoying reading everyone's thoughts about the creative journey posts. My purpose in organizing this series was to remind everyone (myself included) that most experiences in the industry aren't a straight, quick shoot to the top. Instead, the roads are long and windy and fraught with self-doubt and rejection. But don't let that stop you, because it doesn't mean that you aren't good enough. It just doesn't.
Today, I'm going to share a few of my thoughts about this topic. I hope to get another set of guests on in a month or two to continue--if you know someone who would fit or are interested in being profiled yourself, email me and let me know! So excuse me while I interview myself!
So Keshet, tell us about your scrapbooking journey.....
When I first started scrapbooking, it was when I discovered a bag of Creative Memories product in my basement. Even though I've moved away from Creative Memories since then, I'm so glad I started that way, because it was a narrow universe of scrapbooking and not too overwhelming. The first time I saw a "mainstream" scrapbook layout in a magazine, I was actually horrified--there were dozens of flowers, one photo, and nary a mention of which baby the layout was about! Despite my initial reaction, I slowly began using traditional products in my Creative Memories albums and mixing up my techniques.
I scrapbooked on vacations only in high school and college, even though I read magazines here and there and wished I could spend more time with my stash! For about 8 years, I didn't even know the online scrapbooking world existed, let alone have any aspirations to submit to magazines, etc. When I moved to New Jersey and didn't have scrapbook stores close by, I discovered online stores like Two Peas, and through that discovered message board forums and blogs. I also joined Studio Calico as a subscriber, which introduced me to a whole community of savvy online scrappers.
As soon as I found out there was free scrapbook stuff to be had out there, I was hooked--ha! I began submitting to magazines and was really upset when my first submissions were not picked up. I also still remember my first two design team rejections and how much they hurt. Over time, I started investing less emotions in the trying, waiting to get excited if I actually got accepted to the team. After at least 6 months, I had a layout accepted in Scrapbook Trends, and after about a year of trying I made my first design team. A few months after that, I had a crazy two week period when I got four teams. The fact that I get to work with such fantastic companies and people is still surreal to me, and I feel very grateful for it.
Well, that's very nice Keshet. But do you have any actual ADVICE for people??
Advice--that's the key part, huh? I don't feel very qualified to give advice (that's why I got GUESTS for this, people!), but here goes.
1. Don't give up
As you know from my last post, I'm on the Elle's Studio team. I usually make my gallery layouts without realizing it, that's how much I love her products. What you may not know is that this was my fourth time applying for the team. Yep, you heard right--fourth. I almost didn't apply this last time thinking that it was a lost cause, but I figured if I still loved her products (which I do), I wasn't going to let fear of rejection stop me. I read the email about 200 times to make sure it wasn't a mistake:) It just goes to show--you really never know when your chance will come.
2. Be a good marketer
To matter how lovely a layout is, an editor won't search for its inner beauty behind a dark and grainy photograph. Try to take the best photos you can of your projects to show them off! (And Gabrielle, I'm planning a tutorial on photographing layouts to answer your question!)
3. Do what you love and love what you do
Try not to worry about if your layouts are "good" and REALLY really don't compare your work to others! Just create things you love, pour your heart into them, and the rest will fall into place over time.
And there you have it--my take on the creative journey. You can also find more information on publications and design team advice on this post and this post.
If there's ONE QUESTION you could ask about publications/design teams/"the industry," what would it be??