15 September 2010

How to Become a Creative Team Member

Do you find yourself using products in your digital scrapbook and hybrid digital/paper crafting that come from a few designers or a certain store? You might have noticed samples of layouts and craft items in their store gallery or on their blogs that are created by a member of their creative team (CT), aka design team (DT). How did they get there and how can YOU join in the fun? Here are a few tips and ideas gathered from the designers themselves.


A creative team is a team of artists that is put together by an online store or digital designer to help them showcase their products and designs. CT members are usually required to create and post a certain number of digital layouts or hybrid creations in exchange for free product and/or other benefits.

Typical Requirements

The main job of a CT member is to promote the designs of the designer or store in as many ways as possible.

  1. Create 1 to 4 layouts or hybrid projects per month. Sometimes you can use a combination of products from other designers, but you should try use at least 80% from the product you are showcasing.

  2. Participation in the store forum and gallery. This means posting comments and ideas, participating in or hosting challenges, chats, etc.

    TIP: A good thing to remember when commenting on someone’s design in a gallery or on a blog is to make a constructive comment. Don’t do ‘drive by’ commenting such as “beautiful LO” or “nice job.” Really look at the LO and say WHY you like it or kindly suggest something that could be done differently or more effectively.

  3. Post LOs and projects in 2 or 3 other online galleries, blog about projects/products, and post via Facebook and Twitter.

    Standard credits for your gallery postings should include the designer and kit names for the following

• Papers
• Elements
• Actions/styles
• Font(s)
• Technique(s) - optional

TIP: Do not link your credits to any designer’s store unless you are posting in their store gallery. This is a common store policy.

Sometimes a new CT member will have a ‘probationary period’ before they’re an official member of the team. This means that for the first couple of months, both you and the designer or store will be seeing how well you work together. They want to know if you’re trustworthy and will do your job on time and not just take your free products and/or share with others (unfortunately, it’s happened before). You may also find that your schedule doesn’t really fit with the CT responsibilities or your style just doesn’t match the kits you’re given to work with. It’s ok to step back and say, “Thanks for the opportunity, but it just isn’t working out right now.”

Before you Apply

Just as you would do when applying for a paying job - do a little prep work.

  1. Post samples of your work using their products in your favorite online gallery. This is your portfolio and is very important. Why would a designer want to hire you for their team if you don’t even use their product? Choose a gallery where you have posted most of your work.

    Don’t delete those early LOs…even if you don’t like them anymore. Designers want to see a variety of samples and love to see how you’ve progressed as a scrapbook artist.

  2. Research the past work of the current CT. When you create your portfolio LOs, don’t copy the styles of the current CT members. Be yourself. Designers want to see your personality shine through your work.

  3. Be active in the forums and gallery at their store. If there is no store forum or gallery, be active at any other store or general scrapbooking forum and gallery like DST or frequently post comments on the designer’s blog. Designers want to see that you have a track record of participation.
Answering the Call

Just because you’ve never been on a CT before or maybe you never seem to get chosen, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apply. Some designers even cruise through the galleries to find LOs that ‘speak’ to them and then send out a personal invitation! Remember, some CTs rotate members annually…be patient, do your homework, keep applying.

  1. Apply to an official call.
  1. No call for the designer you like right now? Send an e-mail inquiry anyway. Real life happens to all of us and maybe a CT member needs a break or a designer is looking to add another one and just hasn’t gotten around to advertising.

  2. Be realistic in your choices. Don’t apply if the designer’s style and your style clash. For example, if the designer makes country-kitsch designs and you love grungy, fantasy creations, you probably wouldn’t be a good fit for their CT.
Good Luck!

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