Can you believe it's been three years since my last call? Time moves so quickly, doesn't it? Well enough of this small talk...let's get down to business. Let me tell you a little bit about myself, as it might influence your choice to apply.
I am a 41 y/o mother of two fabulous kids (12 and soon-to-be 17) and wife to a computer geek. While I do consider designing to be my "job," I don't rely on it for income for my family. This allows me the luxury to choose family, health, rare opportunities, etc. over a new release should I feel so inclined. I also work best under pressure and deadlines, finding myself losing focus and wasting time if I work too far out in front of those deadlines.
What this means to you is that my release schedule will likely be inconsistent and frequently last minute. And while I don't expect you to be waiting on your computers for me to get you links for a super quick turnaround, it might be to your advantage in this call if you are able to do that. And for those of you unfamiliar with the schedule, SSD has new releases each Saturday with few exceptions.
I work on an honor system...I give links to a new product, and if you download it, then I will expect a layout from you in a respectable period of time. I require that you upload layouts to my gallery at Sweet Shoppe Designs, but no other galleries are mandatory. Of course, targeted exposure of my products is the primary role of my creative team members, so I would hope that you also share them in other galleries, social media, etc. While it may be subjective, how I perceive your "reach" (views, comments, likes, etc.) will likely affect my choices, as well as WHO you reach (if your work is well-known in circles outside of those already covered by others on the team).
Once you've posted your amazing layout in all your favorite scrapbook haunts, you have absolutely no requirement to share the links with me. As a scrapper, I always considered that such a chore...especially if I uploaded to lots of places. There usually is a thread started by one of the girls for that sort of thing each month, but it's your personal preference to use it or not.
Okay, so we've talked a little about how I run things and your requirements. Let's look at some of the things I'll consider when I'm reviewing your applications. I've mentioned availability and potential marketing reach above. Some other things I will notice are your photography, composition, wow factor, shadowing, journaling and use of templates. A lot of this is subjective, but since I'm the one making the call, I'll tell you what I like.
Photography - Photos straight out of the camera don't usually do it for me. If you aren't sure how to make adjustments to exposure/light/brightness yourself, then invest in some photo apps, Lightroom, or Photoshop actions. Make sure your monitor is properly calibrated, too.
Composition - I am a fan of all styles of scrapbooking, and I will look for a variety of styles when I add to my team. Regardless of your style, there are ways to use the space available that are more pleasing to the eye than others. I have my own idea of what a well-balanced, visually-engaging page should be, and it's probably not something that I could easily translate into words for you to compare against your gallery. Sorry I can't be more specific.
Wow Factor - When I'm browsing the gallery, does your layout make me want to click on it to see it up closer? Did you give me a reason to say something other than, "pretty page?"
Shadowing - It's very subjective, and I'm not going to debate on which angle is best, but I am a bit neurotic about light sources and being consistent within a layout. If you're using shiny things with an obvious light source from the top left, then it looks glaringly wrong to me to see your shadow come from a light source on the bottom right. I am 100% okay with you flipping and rotating to find harmony in your reflective/shadowed elements, but this won't always work (like with alphas). Other than that, I'm a fan of light, graceful shadows, but I'm not going to turn my nose up at darker or dramatic shadows.
Journaling - I'm not here to make a judgment call about why you make digital scrapbook pages. I absolutely do not care if you are preserving a memory, telling a story, or just being creative. Journaling is not required. However, I will try to include a good mix of heavy, light, and no journal type layout artists.
Use of Templates - I don't care if you can't create a page without one. Just be sure it's okay with the template designer to use in your CT work. AND...I really don't want to tell it's a template until I see it in the credits. I look for scrappers who can really make a template their own...make it shine and not look like the 758290572 other layouts with the same template. KWIM?
The last thing I'll consider when reviewing your application is your personality and character. My creative team is a public extension of me, so I will likely look unfavorably if I've been witness to behavior that is commonly acknowledged as inappropriate. This doesn't mean that you can't be yourself or that you have to be all rainbows and sunshine (I'm actually fairly sarcastic and dirty-minded at times)...just that you're respectful of others. Having integrity and knowing how to express your enthusiasm or your disagreements without alienating a whole group of people are essential traits and skills.
If you've made it this far, congratulations! That was a lot of information. I hope you find it useful as you complete the application process. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. I'll be back soon to give you the official application.