Today I thought I would share a few tips for applying to become a paper craft design team member. Also a few tips on conduct while on a design team. Now, I am by far NOT an expert at this, however, I want to share a few things I have experienced, seen and know. It is such a fun and wonderful thing to become a part of a creative design team family. It's especially wonderful being on a design team for a manufacture, as this extends itself to receiving boxes loaded with wonderful FREE products.
I remember back when I first started applying to be on a design team and not being selected as a member. My gosh, I also remember going back looking at the team that was selected and thinking, "Surely you jest", and "My work is better than hers". I still giggle at the thought of me having the nerve to even think that. I'm sure most of you have thought that about some of the work you've seen over these internets. HA! I've even wondered about some of the things I've created. Come on!! Admit it, we all have created a project or two that has made us wonder. We have to realize that everyone has their own style and skill set, we all create very differently and there is no right or wrong way. Now let's discuss some of the basics.
- Be Yourself - Sounds odd being that you're not face to face with the DT Coordinator or owner of the manufacturer or blog owner. Being yourself means not looking at how their current or past DT created then changing your style to fit their request. This is not being true to who you are as an artist. Be inspired by the designs you see, however, stay true to your true designing skill. Companies frown upon designers that submit designs that are exact replicas or noticeable copies of other's work. Trust me I've seen this happen before and the designer was released from the team. Also, once you're on the design team the true you will reveal itself through your work. Why put that type of pressure on yourself, just create as usual.
- Apply Often - Never give up after applying and being denied several times. It just wasn't your time, it will happen. Again, remember this is suppose to be fun, just an extension of what you've already been doing just with a bonus. Even if you're applying to become a part of a "fun only" design team, where no products are being mailed to you to use. The more your application and work is seen the better your chances are for selection.
- Use products you already possess - Do NOT (unless you just really want to) hop online or run out to your local LSS trying to purchase the manufacturer's product just to apply to be on their team. A good DT call really wouldn't require that of you. The company may suggest if you own their products, they would like to see how you utilize them in projects, however, it's not a requirement. The DTC should really be more interested in your creative style, rather than requiring you to turn in designs using their products. With all the DT calls out there, seriously how many design team calls have you seen in the past that were brand spanking new... Imagine the volume of products you will accrue that will eventually become a part of your "Crafters Hoarding Nest".
- Blog Often - Show off your work as much as possible. When you apply for a design team, you will be required to attached various pictures of your work. The owner or coordinator of the design team will also require other information about you including your blog address. You want to make sure you blog often because most companies will be looking for that, along with other work you didn't include in your application. Your previous work can help increase your chances of becoming a part of their team.
- Time Management - Know for sure you have the time to devote to a design team. Being on a design team isn't just creating and posting to the blog. Remember the purpose of a manufacture or blog owner having a design team is to get their product known world wide. You are essentially employed by they company to promote their goods. You must make certain you have the committed time to create, photo, write, and post not only to their blog but to your blog as well. You also will be required to post sneaks, photo's, links to various social media sites and respond to other potential buyers and fans, as well as correspond on what ever conversational platform the company use (eg. facebook group). This is a major part of your duty as a DT member.
- Photography - Capturing great photos of your creation is a must. No one wants to see fuzzy, shaky, dark or even orange looking photographs. No one is inspired by bad pictures...NO ONE. After your art has been completed, you should want it captured in the very best light to show off your dedicated and detailed work. This not only helps the viewers see the products used, it also makes them come back to see more of your fabulous work. Take the time to capture the very best photo.
- Attitude - I can't express enough how important it is to have positive, polite, kind and meek attitude. This will carry you far and long with any DT and people for that matter. There is absolutely no reason to ever be snippy, short or just plain inconsiderate to others. I've seen this type of behavior over and over and I can't quite understand the utter rudeness and disrespect of people. I've watched design team members speak very rude and ugly to company owners and I've seen them go all out to blast them on their person blogs. Completely unnecessary! People like that never get far and it leaves a lasting impression on your personality and credibility. No one knows you like you do, so if you have horrible people skills being on a design team just not be for you. Again, this is suppose to be a fun and relaxing outlet. A show of your God given talent and skills, so allow your blessings to show. Remember, you are now a part of a design team FAMILY, be nice to your group show support and love to fellow designers. You may meet a great new friend!
- Follow Instructions - Pay attention to and follow instructions PERIOD. This goes hand in hand with time management (above). You must must must follow the directives of the owner or design team coordinator. You will have deadlines to meet and guidelines to follow. This can be a major deal breaker in your success as a DT member.
I hope this snippet of information will help someone decide to apply for a design team or help you become a better design team member. Remember, God has blessed you with a beautiful talent, use it to inspire others.