Scrapbooker secrets

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Hey: want to hear some secrets about this scrappy life?

Well okay, they’re not exactly secrets. Just a few things I’ve noticed since I started out on this paper-loving path…

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Nice product helps

When I started scrapbooking – back when I didn’t even really know what it was –  I remember chain-watching TwoPeas videos and wondering to myself: “Does that page look awesome because of the skill of the scrapbooker, or because of the products she’s using?”

I’ve since decided that it’s not all down to the nice stuff… but those pretty things certainly help.

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Getting noticed in the scrappy world isn’t so hard

If you want to be noticed, that is.

Just hashtag your pictures, use your favourite company’s product, create prolifically and be a nice person online.

I’ve not been in this thing very long at all, but I’ve observed talented youngsters rise to the top, because they’re good at what they do and – as they say – ‘cream will rise’.  

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Keep asking what it is that you want

As you progress as a creative ‘professional’, it’s worth re-visiting the question of what it is you’re pursuing.

If you think you fancy worldwide scrapbooking fame, it might be worth approaching a well-known scrapbooker to ask what the reality of that world is really like.

If you’d love to design your own line, talk to a creative who works in that field.

Don’t have these conversations to get ahead, but to make sure you’re aware of the downsides behind the gloss. Because there are always downsides and I’d bet that behind every shiny success story, is someone who has worked their butt off to get there.

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Be careful whose opinions you listen to

I’d definitely warn against looking for trouble.

Oh sure, there are folks out there with views on everything scrappy under the sun, but I have a useful rule of thumb when it comes to criticism, which is this: when considering an individual’s view, ask yourself how much you value their opinion.

I know it sounds harsh, but we can’t possibly take on criticism from everyone – and not everyone can be right about us and our work either.

Choose to surround yourself with positive people and if you need some helpful feedback, approach someone in the industry who is a little further along the road than you, and ask them to be gently candid.

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Keep it fun

The minute it stops being fun, it shows I think.

Take a long scrap break at the first sign of burn-out… switch up your format so things feel fresh again… and take on only as much work as you know can stay excited about.

Don’t fall into the comparison trap: your first chapter isn’t going to look like another scrapbooker’s twentieth. Just walk your road, use your unique voice and enjoy the ride.

This pastime is not generally a great payer and the product pay-off often isn’t enormous either, so unless you find a way to monetise that works for you, it needs to be a passion project that pays in pride.

And passion projects need to both fit in with your daily grind and stay super-enjoyable.

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It’s not a competition

Sure, it can feel like it when you don’t win that Design Team spot or when another scrapbooker gets to design the stamp set or go to Creativation.

But – at the risk of sounding super-cheesy – we creatives function best when we work as family, each member displaying her unique giftings while cheering on her sisters for the work they do.

Which I actually think we scrapbookers do really well.