Design Teams 505

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

If you are going to copy and paste this for other website remember to credit me, the original author - Di Hickman! I have had numerous people copy and pasting this series of articles into various forums with no credit to me, and some blatantly claiming the work as their own! This is highly unprofessional, and goes against everything the articles were intended for in the first place. Give credit where it is due and I would also appreciate a link back to my blog, thank you.



The downside to the industry

I've been fortunate enough to be on almost every type of design team listed in part 2 of this article series, and so I have personal experience of each (except the paper magazine DT, which I'm working on! lol). I also have a few close friends who've been on lots of teams and shared their experiences with me, good and bad. This week I want to share the downside of the scrapbook industry as it relates to Design Teams.

To date I personally have only had one bad experience with a design team. It's been the only team I have quit with full knowledge that I had gained nothing but experience about the shady side of this industry. I will admit it was a dark time, where I kind locked myself away and retreated a little to lick my wounds and recover. If you enter this industry it's possible you will get hurt. Know that before you go ahead with any application!

My incident was two years ago now (ironically almost exactly to the month) but the memories of that time still sting. I'm not sure what hurtmore the betrayal of the person involved or the fact that I believed everything she said, or that I was singled out for crappy treatment after the fact because she saw me as the 'ringleader' of the DT exodus (I left when the majority of the DT quit). There was a messy public "outing" of this person and her actions on a major scrapbook board but I chose to remain silent as I believed that was the professional thing to do, and still only talk about it in detail if prompted. What really annoys me is that when I was selected for this team there was a post on 2peas about the new team and no-one warned us about this woman, yet when she was publicly outed for her actions other designers (previously on her DTs) came forward saying she'd done this 3 times bfore! I've said it before and I'll say it again, not all DTs are equal. Just as there are good online stores, there are bad.

Also don't assume that this only applies to kits and online stores! Manufacturer teams can go sour too. I have friends who've been burned by manufacturer teams too! The difference here is they are owed money, sometimes LOTS of money! So be wary, be cautious, and go in with your eyes open!

Invariably there will be times when you get product you hate, when you lose your creative mojo or when you just don't have time to create. Rather than struggling through TELL SOMEONE. I can't emphasize enough how important it is to let them know. Forewarn them that the particular product isn't your style, but you're trying. That you are having a rough patch time management wise but you hope to catch up. Communication is the key to happy relationships on a DT! And this works both ways! If you're a store/kit owner that is struggling to get out packages let people know! Usually it's the not knowing that frays tempers, if you communicate the problems rather than burying your head in the sand, 9 times out of 10 there won't be an issue!

Another key point to remember is friendships! I've met some great people along the way during my time on DTs, heck I always say that the 1 bad DT I had was worth it for the friendship of my fellow DT members! Friendships can really make the difference between an OK DT experience and a fantastic DT experience. However, there will also be people along the journey that want to take advantage of that friendship, but usually it becomes plainly obvious who these people are,. Just be careful!

I know this all sounds bad, but really in the 15 regular design teams I've been on since 2006 only 1 went sour. That isn't too bad really right? And generally speaking most of the teams I've been on I've held the positions for 6 months to a year! Just know that Stuff happens, sometimes nothing we can do to avoid it, just chalk it up to experience and move on.

I think that about wraps up Design Teams doesn't it? Remember if you have any questions let me know and I'll post an update :)

In future weeks I want to discuss the publishing side of the scrapbook industry which will no doubt be just as long winded, but informative I hope :)

Read my previous DT articles:
DT's 101, 202, 303, and 404


Fabrizio March 3, 2009 at 2:51 PM  

Thanks Di for your article as I felt bad for something that happened to me a few months back. The people were not nasty or anything and were very understanding but I found myself stuck because of a misunderstanding and felt not up to the task, like I was a fraud. I also found them a bit too much enamored of their modus operandi and thought I couldn't abide by the many rules that were thrown at me. I felt basically like crap. I apologised and left. I'm pleased to say I've been accepted on another team and the situation is more relaxed, I can't wait to get up and running with them and the lady running is a sweetie. At the beginning I thought I would give up because someone like me couldn't possibly find a gig. Then I realised it has nothing to do with my disability and just the artistic whim in as much as we're not robots that can churn out our creations in a steady output (well most of us, I admire the others). I find myself having 'waves' of creativity followed by dry runs (my blog is a testament of that). At the moment I'm running this weekly Christmas challenge and since I've created a few cards in advance (Vince too bless him) I trust I can keep this thing going. Di I really admire your doing so many things and keep it all going. Anyway too much me rambling on ! Thanks again for this 'pick me up' article ! Hugz XXXX Fab

Di Hickman March 3, 2009 at 3:01 PM  

awww thanks Fab
trust me I've been there! It's hard to dust yourself off, but for the love of creating I did it. The issue for me was the lady in question said "you'll never amount to anything and you'll be nothing without me!" so naturally for me that was motive enough just to prove her wrong :) And I like to think I did as I took a writing/designing gig a few months later with scrapstreet ezine and got my own monthly column.
I am one of those people that truly believes that everything happens for a reason. It may not be blatantly obvious at the time but later you come to see the reason and the penny drops. Like I said in the article that bad experience taught me a LOT about DTs, and for that I am grateful. It made me re-evaluate why I do this, and where I wanted to go in the future.

hehehe I have so much happening right now I feel like my head is spinning! Lots I can talk about, some I can't, some that will happen in the future no doubt. I sometimes feel like my fingers are in too many pies but I never get bored *wink*

Good luck on the new team!

Mary March 3, 2009 at 8:17 PM  

THanks for the advice. I enjoyed reading about your experiences with DT's. So sorry that you did have one bad experience. Not too bad though 1-out of 15 is a good record.:)


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