Some Humble Thoughts for Scrapbook Designers, Scrapbookers Wanting to Be Published, and Be On Design Teams, Etc.
Although I've only been scrapbooking for four years, I jumped right into the industry from Day One. I've never done it for the money, I do it for the love of creating and sharing. I have shared tips I have tried, used and have heard about from others. I've considered myself fortunate to have been viewed as being high-profile by a few although I'm not really sure what that means and if I'm always high-profile or once-in-a-blue moon high profile.
I've sold my creations on Ebay, Etsy, to magazines and book publishers. I've been on online store design teams, LSS design teams, manufacturer design teams, paper design teams, digital design teams, hybrid design teams, on etsy design teams. I've had my work shown on QVC, at CHA and Memory Trends. I've been interviewed and I've been quoted. I've even been fortunate enough to publish others and give them spots on design teams or creative teams. I've been to crops, conventions, training seminars, and classes. I've won some contests and I've miserably lost some contests. I've taught online, via publications, and in person.
All in all, though, I hope that most of the time I'm flying under the radar. I hope that my work is respected and my reputation is trusted. Just read my blog and talk to those who have seen me work in person.
I've had more than one person email me to ask me how I deal with the negative parts of this industry - whether it be people gossiping on message boards, disagreements, or even those smack blogs. Usually my advice is to "not read those things - don't visit those message boards, don't read those blogs, and most of all, never dignify them with a response."
I also have seen some talented scrapbookers sort of disappear from the whole scene and I wonder what happened. I wonder if they became jaded by the whole circus of it all. I could see myself become jaded right about now because of misinterpretations and mistakes. Yet I refuse to go there.
First, I remind myself that I am a scrapbooker because I absolutely love it - I love all of it. I love making the memories. I love writing about the memories. I love having a camera that lets me learn and make mistakes and the software to correct them. I love paper and glue and I also love all the different technology. I love discovering cool new products. I love it when I have a friend who has made something really cool and honoring her (or him) by helping to promote the products. I love sharing my work with my loved ones, with those across the miles via computer, and eventually with those that come after me.
Second, I only take and stay with assignments that I absolutely love and enjoy. Money is never a factor because I have not made scrapbooking my means with which to live off of. The only factor is: does this meet my values, my goals, and my satisfaction? I've turned down many different offers, both that offered an income and those that did not, simply because they would feel too much like work. I don't think scrapbooking should feel like work, do you? I avoid the fatigue of getting involved over-my-head, and scale back quite often.
Third, as I said above, I stay away from those who like to gossip about others because they will eventually gossip about you too. Being gossiped about never feels good, and especially if people do not have all the facts. People often state opinions as if they are true facts and I feel so sad for those who have been hurt by all that.
Fourth, I've worked very hard to create a strong network of scrapbookers that are also my friends. A lone stick may break but a bundle remains strong. Facebook is a great way to network and meet other scrapbookers. 90% or more of my Facebook friends are scrapbookers. It's something we will always have in common, it's a hobby that you don't outgrow if you love it.
Fifth, if you make a mistake, own it but don't be ashamed by it. You'll make it into a crime. If someone turns that mistake around and tries to say you did something you absolutely did not do, then defend yourself with grace. (some of this can be avoided with communication, communication, communications!!!!) This applies to actual relationships, not necessarily to smack blogs. I don't think responding and getting involved in a smack blog conversation is ever a good idea.
Overall, if any of your commitments start to feel overwhelming, a strain, or just not right in any way - then it's time to re-evaluate your priorities and you need to find a way to scale back your commitments perhaps. There is a great workshop at Big Picture Scrapbooking that is called "What's in Your Bucket?" that is useful in determining what is essential and what is not.
Those are my thoughts that I started writing at the end of August and just finished writing today. Please feel free to comment and add your own stories of how you avoid getting jaded by this industry. Thanks for reading today!