The last couple of months, I've been thinking more about publications, challenges and my abilities. This is not an "I want reassurance" post...I just wanted to share my thoughts and what I've realized.
I wish I could say that being rejected and losing challenges isn't disappointing. I wish I could be a better card maker/stamper/designer. I wish I could say I didn't sometimes feel intimidated when I see other designers' blogs and how gorgeous their cards are. But I can't. I do feel disappointment, I often make hideous cards (which, hopefully, don't make it onto the blog), and I do feel discouraged at times at my lack of natural craftiness.
With all that said, I made a conscious decision to change my approach to submitting cards for publication and to cut back on the challenges. I thought about what I do well, what I like, what makes me different:
- I'm never going to be a top stamper...technically, I cannot seem to do what other stampers do (even getting stamps straight on the card can be hard sometimes!). But, I have gotten more interested in digital stamps/brushes and digital elements. I'm by no means an expert, but I think I'm getting better at using them. I know a lot of card makers don't like the hybrid world, but I think I've found something that works well for me.
- I like certain colors and patterns. I realized that I was using designs and colors I didn't like just to fit a challenge or a submission. While I really believe in trying new things, I want to make cards I love and will love to give. I hate being stuck with a card I can/will never use.
- I love when I find products I haven't seen or haven't seen often. I'm finding that I'm having better luck at getting projects accepted when I use less common products. Of course, this goes back to my first point...my cards aren't going to be as great as DT folks for big companies who are also submitting, so using unusual products has helped me.
The bottom line is, I work hard enough at work....I don't want my hobby to become laborious, too. I want to make cards I like and can use, and I don't want to get overly frustrated in the process. I've found that I've become happier lately with these realizations about my card making...kind of like when I first started blogging.
With all that said, I wanted to share a card I made for the Paper Crafts Magazine's Stamp It! Cards call that was rejected:
I ran across the "OUTRULED" digital stamp and laughed for a little while over the images (there's a whole series). I asked my bloggy friend Glenda if the image was too outrageous for a publication submission (I didn't want to promote/make fun of violence, but I thought it could make a spunky card). She reminded me why not try it? Yes, why not try it? If it was accepted, that's awesome, but it wasn't, and that's okay, too...at least I tried.
My best friend helped me come up with the sentiment (she came up with some good "out with the old," break-up themed sentiments, too). I don't have a "hello, shopping" stamp, so I made the sentiment in Word. I also made the patterned paper in the background (the dots are stamped onto some paper from Print Candee). Like I said earlier in my post, the card turned out very "me," and even though it's a little out-there, I still love it. And while this card wasn't accepted, I did get some awesome happy mail from Susan Opel. Yeah!
Thanks for indulging me and letting me blather on (and if you didn't read all that, I totally understand!). I really appreciate everyone's support. It's been a great year of blogging!
Have a great day!