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Old 03-16-2012, 03:55 PM
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Default need some honest constructive criticism

I have applied to 3 ct call so far this year and not made any of them. I applied to around 4 or 5 last year and again didn't make it.

so I guess my question is "what am I doing wrong?"
here is a link to my open gallery if you dont mind would you take a quick look at my pages and feedback and why I cant seem to make the cut

http://www.mesoscrappy.com/gallery/s...rname=winipeg1

Just to point out I have applied to very well known designers (julie billingsly, traci reed, thatty borges, Kelly bell, cindy schneider, nettio, suzy q scraps) so I understand that the amount a girls applying must be huge but after having another rejection email today Im feeling a little deflated!

Do designers look for how many pages there are in your gallery using their kits?
I have only applied to designer calls of the designs I really love.

I just need some advice on what is going wrong for me.
Thanks
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Old 03-16-2012, 04:03 PM
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The only advice I can give is keep trying. I have been blessed to be on some awesome creative teams and I got plenty of sorry/not this time rejections too. Also try not to take it personally. The designers look for all sorts of things when looking for new ct members and your layouts look to me like they showcase the designs really well. So just keep trying!!
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Old 03-16-2012, 04:04 PM
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Oh and make sure to post your layouts in the designers galleries too because some designers never have calls they just take notice of who is posting in their galleries and make an invitation for you to join because they like what they see.
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Old 03-16-2012, 04:04 PM
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I think your pages look great composition-wise... the one thing that I think you could work on is your shadowing...

Sheri just posted a really great tutorial about getting some depth in your shadows and making them look realistic HERE
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Old 03-16-2012, 04:10 PM
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Helen to be honest, I'm a big browser in the gallery at MSS, and I've looked at a couple of your pages, because I like your style. So at a first glance nothing wrong with your layouts. Maybe just like Heather some shadowing techniques could bring them up a bit, and make designers go wow...I know I do
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Old 03-16-2012, 04:12 PM
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I agree on the shadowing thing - messing around with shadows can REALLY make your page pop - it's amazing! I think you could easily make your pages jump with some darker/bigger shadows, but it's always a fine line and there are AWESOME tutorials out there! (not that I am a shadowing expert by ANY stretch of the imagination!!)

Just keep putting yourself out there - I know how disheartening it is to keep getting the "thanks but no thanks" emails - I have gotten soooo many of them myself. And you're right in that a lot of it is just the sheer volume of people applying, BUT I would really recommend ONLY applying to people who you really would love to create for and not just settling for anyone. Only because I think it shows in your pages if you aren't really feeling it, and plus it's just way more fun to scrap with kits you love rather than it feeling like a job, and scrapping should be fun, right??

Oh, and I agree with Jessica to totally put pages in the designers gallery so she'll see them! Sometimes it's just a matter of time, improving your skills over time, improving photography skills over time, and finding your style.
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Old 03-16-2012, 04:17 PM
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I think your pages are wonderful and really tell the story of your life. I think brushing up on your photography/photo editing skills will help increase the 'wow' factor of your layouts. I'm no great photographer myself, but I know a great photo will make a page jump out from the gallery and that is what you want to have happen if you are aiming for those super-competitive CTs.

Good luck to you!
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Old 03-16-2012, 05:55 PM
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Oh I know... I've been there... I think I've went through 10 rejects before I got my first yes! My only advice is to continue to create pages that YOU love... they are your memories and your stories... your heart will come through on your pages and designers will see that! Don't fret... it will come... just keep putting yourself out there.
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Old 03-16-2012, 06:01 PM
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Well since you mentioned little ol' me , here would be my two bits of advice for you...

1) Focus on giving your pages that WOW factor. For me this means not only understanding the basics of good design, high quality photos and shadowing, but also understanding & embracing what makes you an awesome, unique scrapbooker and showcasing that in your layouts. Ultimately when you're on a CT, your goal is to get people to notice your layout in a crowded gallery, so ask yourself, what are you doing to make your layouts stand out from the crowd? And if you're not sure, then take some time browsing the gallery to find layouts that catch your eye. What about those layouts do you love? Then try incorporating those elements (whether it's photos, shadowing, etc) in your own way in your layouts.

2) Interact & get to know the designers. One of the awesome things about this hobby is with a small amount of effort, you can connect with pretty much anyone. So if you really love a designer, take the time to show it! Send/link them to your layouts with their products, interact on their FB page, leave comments on their blog. Don't be spammy about it but if you really love what they're doing, that will shine through. I know I gave extra attention to those ladies who regularly commented on my blog because they showed they loved and supported what I was doing even without being members of my CT.

Anyway, hope that helps a little! Hang in there, we've all received those no emails before so I know how tough it can be!

Last edited by Nettio; 03-16-2012 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 03-16-2012, 06:03 PM
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I think your pages are great. A couple things jump out. Your photos could use a little lightening and a little boost. Try the Pioneer Woman's actions - slight lighten (you can change the opacity) and boost (I usually take it down in opacity to 50-60%) also, avoid the flash if you can or buy a lightscoop or external flash to bounce the light.
Are you sharpening your layouts for the web? I notice on the older layouts that I didn't sharpen I lost a lot of the shadow detail. I believe there is a tutorial in the tutorial section about this.
It takes forever to get noticed don't get upset - your layouts are lovely! just keep trying.
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Old 03-16-2012, 06:19 PM
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The two things I see on your pages are #1- shadows and #2- photo editing. Neither are bad, but both are things we are all constantly learning and tweaking. A really great edit of a photo can make a page stand out, and shadows add so much movement to your pages as well.

And like Lynnette said, find that WOW factor. Embrace what makes your pages you, and focus on that. It's totally different for everyone, and once you are really comfortable with scrapping for you, and how YOU want it to be, I think it makes it easier for designers to notice.

Good luck! Just keep trying, I don't even want to guess at the number of rejection letters I have gotten over the years, but it makes the acceptance letters so much sweeter when you do get them.
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Old 03-16-2012, 08:27 PM
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I just wanted to say I understand where you are coming from. I have been scrapping for almost 6 years and I still get tons and tons of rejections. To be honest, I am considering no longer applying to teams. I have gotten way more rejections lately than acceptances and while I don't normally let that get me down, its starting to which makes me feel its time to quit. Especially since I really like my pages, I don't want to start questioning myself. So, just another thing to consider.
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Old 03-16-2012, 08:29 PM
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Thanks for posting my tutorial Heather

Helen, I know it can be discouraging when you don't make teams. We have all been there. Like Rebecca said, the most important thing is that you are scrapping for yourself and preserving memories! The most important critic is you!

My only advice beyond what has been given would be to try stretch your comfort level. Most of your pages are based on templates -- which are totally lovely, but your personal style doesn't show through as much. Try making a few pages where you develop your own composition without the aid of a template. A good place to get inspiration is through challenges (monthly portfolio). That way when you do use a template, your personal style will be more apparent.

You have a great gallery!
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Old 03-16-2012, 08:32 PM
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Also, something that doesn't have to do with pages, I tend to bring on team members who I see around the forums a lot...probably because I feel like I already "know" them.
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Old 03-17-2012, 03:47 AM
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thanks girls for all the great advice.

I know my shadowing is a little reserved- this is because when I first started my shadowing was all over the place, to big, dark and everything was just awful when I had those pages printed. So I toned it down (perhaps a bit to much)

Photo editing- I will work to improve this at the moment I just auto balance everything. So I will spend more time in editing my photos

I do always use templates, but I just don't feel comfortable making pages with out them, I have tried and I hate them so I start over with a template

Good points about posting in designers galleries and to interact on blogs etc.. I will do this!

I really love my pages at the moment-my earlier ones not so much but my current ones Im really proud of. I do create them to preserve photos of my little girl for my little girl and I think thats what I have just got to keep reminding myself of.

thanks again to you all, there are some great tips that you have made me more aware of.
I really appreciate your time
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Old 03-17-2012, 10:09 AM
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I agree with others....keep trying and don't lose sight of why YOU scrap!! Get active in the forums too!! Find your style and stick to it. I know it is frustrating to get that "no" letter (I have gotten MANY) but you just have to keep trying and keep improving. There are a few teams that I applied to 2 times before I got a spot on the CT.
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Old 03-17-2012, 08:25 PM
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I was just saying the same thing You've got some great advice and I'll be following it as well I know posting in the forum is a big one for me. I read and read but don't always post so I'm trying to become more involved cause this is a great group of people.
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Old 03-17-2012, 08:53 PM
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Even though I didn't ask the question, I will be taking the advice. I've only tried out for one team and while I didn't really expect to be chosen, it was still disappointing. I did go back and look at all the galleries of the ladies who were chosen and thought that good choices had been made, so I didn't beat myself up too much or for too long.

For me, I am always awed by how prolific the CT members are. You ladies scrap so fast and I am not fast. Makes me think that being on a CT might not be for me, but I still yearn to be on one. Someday...
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:13 PM
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If what you feel comfortable with is templates then stay with them, just try making them more your own. Try rotating them, or removing the elements, shrinking them, or even mashing two or more together. As it is now your pages really resemble the templates you used.
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MommaTrish View Post
If what you feel comfortable with is templates then stay with them, just try making them more your own. Try rotating them, or removing the elements, shrinking them, or even mashing two or more together. As it is now your pages really resemble the templates you used.
Because you mentioned templates and that you really love using them...I just want to say that I totally agree with Trish here. I too love templates and rarely make a layout without them. I don't always want the template to be the focus though...and a lot of the times you can't even tell which template I used. I just use it more as a starting point...and change it as I go along. Other times it will be more obvious what template I used, but I still try making it my own.

Another thing..just scrap for yourself and please don't get discouraged. It's not all about making a team!!! Your gallery is lovely!

oh...and I'm not really good at shadows, but I do love Jenn Barrette's here!!! If you don't have them yet, I highly recommend them!!

Last edited by 4noisyboys; 03-18-2012 at 01:00 AM.
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:47 AM
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Originally Posted by winipeg1 View Post
thanks girls for all the great advice.

I know my shadowing is a little reserved- this is because when I first started my shadowing was all over the place, to big, dark and everything was just awful when I had those pages printed. So I toned it down (perhaps a bit to much)
I have a small gallery and don't plan to apply to any CTs anytime soon or ever really. I have a pretty busy life and have no idea how I would fit in CTing. I have a lot of pages that I haven't posted to my gallery. I tend not to post pages with photos to my gallery. But I pay really close attention to the CT pages created for the designers here as I think they're amazing and I can learn so much from them. Examine those because you'll really see that those ladies do some amazing shadow work.

I would strongly suggest that you read the shadowing tutorials suggested here and also invest in the shadow sets that are for sale at SSD. (I think that Jen Barrette is the one who created them.) Also see Misty Cato's tutorials for text (using blending modes to make your text stand out.) Basically, just check the SSD blog for tutorials and check out each designer's blog for more. (I'm wondering if there's some way that we could have a sticky message with links to all those fab tutorials???) You will be amazed at the difference the shadowing makes, especially when you use the right types of shadows for the right elements.
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Old 03-18-2012, 02:41 AM
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Originally Posted by kim21673 View Post
I agree with others....keep trying and don't lose sight of why YOU scrap!! Get active in the forums too!! Find your style and stick to it. .
YES YES YES!!!!

Stay with your style and scrap for you!!! The rest will come!!!
I love your pages!!!!
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Old 03-18-2012, 04:25 AM
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Thanks this is some really good advice going on in here.
I have had a good think this weekend on why I scrap- 1st reason is for my little girl to look back at when she is older, 2nd I really really love scrapping. It makes a Photo album look so much prettier.

While I will continue to try and improve my shadowing and photo editing. I have decided that I really like my pages.
I think I wanted to be on a team so much I wanted to feel that I 'belonged' somewhere and that someone thought thought my pages were good enough.

Im off to read some tutorials on shadowing
And I'm going to continue to scrap for me and my daughter and not to get on a team
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:23 AM
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I think I wanted to be on a team so much I wanted to feel that I 'belonged' somewhere and that someone thought thought my pages were good enough.
This, totally. I think we all crave the idea of knowing we fit in and are good enough. Truth is though, even without being on a team, if we enjoy scrapping and being part of this community, we are where we belong.
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
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This, totally. I think we all crave the idea of knowing we fit in and are good enough. Truth is though, even without being on a team, if we enjoy scrapping and being part of this community, we are where we belong.
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:43 PM
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This, totally. I think we all crave the idea of knowing we fit in and are good enough. Truth is though, even without being on a team, if we enjoy scrapping and being part of this community, we are where we belong.
Exactly!!! If for some reason I had to quit all my teams, it really does feel joyful knowing I'd still be a part of this community and recording my memories with the awesome designs from the designers here w/o all the extra requirements that come from being a part of a team...

One thing to remember is that being on a creative team means more than just creating layouts with designs from the designers... there is a lot of other effort involved which takes up a lot of time sometimes... being active in the community, linking all the credits and then posting to several galleries, PR work, giving input and feedback to the designers, lifting their spirits when they're having an off time, being an awesome cheerleader... and so much more. I love all the extra stuff that comes with being on a creative team and have grown to really love the designers I create for and have made some amazing friendships... but just like most friendships and relationships take extra effort, so does being a creative team member... something to think about.
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:48 PM
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I've been active here for a bit over 2 years now and just got on any teams here. I was on a team for over a year that required being exclusive to the team, so I had to find ways to feel a part of the communities (the team I was on didn't have one) without being on a team. So I just found two sites that I loved and made a big effort to make myself part of the sites. And you know what, being part of those sites, without having any sort of requirement to do things on the site was wonderful. lol
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Old 03-18-2012, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
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One thing to remember is that being on a creative team means more than just creating layouts with designs from the designers... there is a lot of other effort involved which takes up a lot of time sometimes... being active in the community, linking all the credits and then posting to several galleries, PR work, giving input and feedback to the designers, lifting their spirits when they're having an off time, being an awesome cheerleader... and so much more. I love all the extra stuff that comes with being on a creative team and have grown to really love the designers I create for and have made some amazing friendships... but just like most friendships and relationships take extra effort, so does being a creative team member... something to think about.
So true!!
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Old 03-18-2012, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
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Thanks this is some really good advice going on in here.
I have had a good think this weekend on why I scrap- 1st reason is for my little girl to look back at when she is older, 2nd I really really love scrapping. It makes a Photo album look so much prettier.
Those are 2 awesome reasons to scrap! And they are pretty much the same reasons that I scrap. When I have time, and right now, I don't have a lot of it, I do like to read tutorials to improve my skills, but it's for me. I love viewing all the amazing pages that the CTs here scrap, but I know that they have huge responsibilities and time commitments as CTs. They are working for the kits they earn.
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