Hi everyone, today we would like to talk CTs. I know a lot of you either are on a team, have been on a team in the past, or have been thinking about joining a team. Vi and I are really interested in the dynamics of creative teams. We strive to provide a fun and inspirational environment for our girls in order to avoid a high turnover, frustrations or drama. We are constantly looking at the professional and human interactions within teams to gauge what works for us and what doesn’t. Today, we would like to share some of our observations with you, as well as give a few ideas (both coming from us as well as our CT girls) on how to land that CT gig you’ve been wanting.
For those of you who might be new to scrapbooking or to the community, a Creative Team (CT) is a group of scrapbooking artists that create layouts, art journal pages or hybrid projects for a specific designer in exchange for their products. The scrappers’ works are then used to showcase the product and in any marketing effort the designer might have in place. Members are normally added to a team through one of three ways:
(1) a call posted to the community by the designer; (2) a private invitation from the designer or; (3) a “cold-call” from the scrapper to the designer.
Now the questions are: How do I get on a team? What teams are best for me? What if I’m rejected?
Here’s what the two of us and the girls came up with:
1. KNOW THE DESIGNER. Show your designer that you actually know her/his work. Visit their whole store, think about whether their work really suits you. If there are only one or two kits that you like from all their work, chances are you might not click and you will find it hard to work with the products. It might be that during the call is the first time you come in touch with their work (that’s what happened to me and Christina Renee back in the day), and that’s fine, but before you apply, familiarize yourself with their work, download some freebies if they are available or even purchase a product. If you do your homework on learning about their style, not only will you increase your chances of getting picked for the team, but you may also avoid frustration to both sides later on.
2. PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE. Applying can be intimidating but you have to remember that there are lots of girls doing the same thing. If you don’t try, you will never know.
3. SHOW WHAT YOU GOT. Tell the designer why you would like to be on their team, and most important what you believe you can offer. For us, a scrapper that believes in their work, scraps from their heart and shows their soul in their pages is worth a million. Techniques can always be improved. Browse through the designers’ CT work, do you have something new to offer? Do you believe you can open a new “niche” for that designer by bringing to the plate a scrapping style that you think works for the product but is not being explored by their current CT? Do you think the pages could be even better promoted and you know how to? Tell them. Even if you don’t think you are the best scrapper in the world, it is your uniqueness that might trigger the designer to pick you over others.
4. BE YOURSELF! Be funny, serious, spontaneous, organized, disorganized, funky, classic, whatever it is that YOU ARE. Do not try to present the designer with someone you think they want to see. Pretending to be someone you are not in a social environment such as a CT is bound to backfire. Besides, the real you is one thousand times better than anybody your mind could create anyway
5. BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF about your commitment. If you know life is often getting in the way of your scrapping plans, don’t apply for a team that has a million requirements, no matter how much you like that designer. Different designers have different requirements and you will be a lot happier choosing one that fits your own schedule. If you can’t commit to what the designer expects, you won’t be a good CTM which will lead to resentment from the designer and maybe hurt feelings on your part.
ps. Sometimes designers change their requirements AFTER you are already in a team. If that happens to you and you think it no longer suits your commitment level, let them know sooner than later.
5. ACT THE PART. If you are intending on becoming a CTM and representing a designer with your work, remember that you should act the part. Most designers I know do not like to deal with drama and expect their team to represent them in a professional manner. That’s not to say that you are not free to express your opinion or be yourself in forums and blogs around the community, however you are probably expected to do so in a respectful manner. If you are disrespectful to other members of the community, chances are the designer is wondering whether you should be given access to their “back room”.
6. DO NOT GIVE UP. If you don’t get into a team right away, don’t be discouraged and don’t settle for a designer that doesn’t suit you either. Keep on working, you might even ask the designers you applied for what you can do to improve on your work… You might find out that you are closer than you think. And believe me, there is always another chance.
I should also add that in spite of what some believe, a CT is not comprised of a clique of think-alike women who are out there to destroy digital scrapbooking with their bombarding of meaningless pages throughout the community. I have to say that during our almost 5 years of designing, not one such person has crossed our paths. Actually, I don’t think our team could have more different personalities if we had hand-picked them ourselves in real life. Yet, we do all share the same love for preserving thoughts and memories and for creating.
In summary, if you enjoy being yourself, love creating and preserving memories, could use a few products you love in exchange for your work… CT’ing might just be for you.
What are YOUR views about CTs? Any experiences you would like to share? Any questions you have? Any points we left out? We would love to hear from you
VIVA’S CT CHALLENGE!
All this CT talk got us yearning for some new talents! We will be adding 2 guest CTs for the month of December and 2 for the month of January to our team. If you would like a go at it, please create a page with all ViVa products (freebies count!) and post it to this thread by Nov. 25, as well as a little something as to why you think ViVa is the team for you. We will be choosing 4 girls to join us (2/month). Spots will be announced on Nov. 28.
Here are your benefits and requirements if you make it into the team:
1. access to all of ViVa products for the month you are guesting
2. access to all past ViVa products as long as you create something with whatever you take
3. create at least 2 layouts/projects during your month with us
Simple as that. We can’t wait to see your fabulous work.
Hugs & love,
Vivienne and Vanessa