Have you ever saw a creative team call and applied only to be disappointed you weren’t chosen? Believe me. I KNOW the feeling. While these suggestions won’t guarantee you’ll land a spot, they are some things that I know I and other designers are looking for when we have a call!
1. Do you use their stuff already? If you happen to have a layout or two using one of their products, attach it to the call even if they didn’t ask for it. Designers like to see that when you say you “love our work” it’s because you’ve actually worked with it before. Sometimes your layout might be buried in your gallery so make sure they see it- give it straight to them, linked or attached.
2. Do you give credit to designers when you post in your gallery? Designers will expect you to post links to their product when you post your layouts in galleries so show you do that now, whether or not you’re on the designer’s team whose stuff you used. Leaving credits is just a courtesy to those who look at your layout and love it as well as to the designers who made the product.
3. Do you change up your style? I can’t tell you how many times I look at someone’s gallery and just feel like their layouts are pretty identical each time. I don’t mean completely change your style but if every layout is a pocket scrapper page (unless you’re applying for that spot!) or a tightly clustered minimalistic page it gets a little boring. Make sure your portfolio has diversity! Have some large photo pages, multi-photo pages as well as single-photo pages. Show you can do different things.
4. Could your techniques need an update? Drop shadows? Text? Digital scrapbooking has evolved a lot in the last 10 years and we can push the realism even more. I know it’s mostly personal preference but if you’re wanting to get on a team, avoid very shallow drop shadows and very EXTREME drop shadows. Also, don’t add drop shadows to text. Yes we do a lot of things in the digital world that really wouldn’t happen on paper but the goal is still to have a realistic feel. Take it a step further and add texture to your text. (See my tutorial on that here).
5. Make your photos pop on your pages! I personally don’t own a DSLR but I also don’t let that photo with bad lighting stay as is on my layouts. A great photo can really make a page just as a bad photo can take away some shine from those gorgeous clusters you worked on. Use photo actions or play with the exposure and other editing tools to touch-up your photos for scrapping. Check out my tutorial here for brightening your photos.
6. Show your organizational skills with an easy-to-follow application. Make a bullet list of the requested information from the call. Bold face different categories. Type short paragraphs. Make your call easy to read. It’s almost like a resume! and you know how many seconds it takes for someone to get a first impression on those!
7. Mention anything extra you’ve done for other designers. Have you made freebies for other designers? Do you also answer ISO threads when you see your designer has a match? Do you make blog posts for your other designer from time to time? Anything that can sell you as not just a layout artist but an active and helpful member of a team will make you look good!
8. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! On occasion, I have been “approached” (digitally- lol) by someone wanting to be on my team but I wasn’t actively having a call. I’ve given them spots on the team or maybe a guest spot before! I know I’ve heard other designers do that too! So if you think you’ve got the right stuff, don’t be afraid to step up!
Good luck and I hope you found something useful or encouraging in this post!