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Tips for Design Team Auditions & a Giveaway!

Tracey Locher Guest Posts this interesting article which contains tips and tricks for auditioning for a Design Team call.  For more on Tracey, read her bio below and you can also visit her blog here.

Tracey Locher designs for Rusty Pickle and her LSS, Ever After Scrapbooks. Her work has been published in Creating Keepsakes, several online publications and she had several featured articles published in Magazine. She loves to teach, create, and is excited to open her own Etsy shop on October 8th. Keep up with Tracey on her blog, Wooooo Hooooo.

“Auditions and Contests and Entries, Oh My!” 

It seems to me that we are in the middle of “audition season” in the Scrapbook Industry!  Over the past several months, there have been auditions for several manufacturer Design Teams such as Cosmo Cricket, Fancy Pants, and Chatterbox and top industry contests such as Creating Keepsakes’ Scrapbooker of the Year and Memory Makers Masters Contest.  Before we know it, the 2009 Hall of Fame Contest Rules will be announced swinging us into a new year of contests and calls.  Whether you participate in these auditions or not, everyone seems to feel the tingle of excitement as the various “call days” approach and we help celebrate with the new designers when their names are announced and their toots show up around the web.

I recently wrote an article for Magazine called “Auditions from the Inside” about my recent audition for the Cosmo Cricket Design Team.  The article includes a few tips about submitting for design teams, contests or publication calls.  You can read the article here.

I am so inspired by the following designers… I mean, really, just look at their work! They have a few tips/stories to share to help get you focused on your next big audition.

Becky Chabot

“WOW them! The response to DT Calls is huge, in the high hundreds. Do your absolute BEST work specifically for that call, challenge yourself and spend a little bit of time and thought on your projects to develop a design that will showcase their product with a big WOW to get their attention and make you and your work stand out.

Submit GREAT photographs. You’ve worked hard on your submission projects, now take the time to photograph them well so they look attractive and catch the judges’ eye. Photos should always be IN FOCUS. Use a solid light background to minimize distraction and get your project to pop. Take multiple photos to highlight any interactive or dimensional features.”

Beckie Dreyer

“A funny story about the Rusty Pickle Amazing Race (three week, crazy, non-stop DT audition)… We moved into our new house the day before it started!  Forget the beds and cutlery, my hubby was setting up tables and organizing scrap stuff so I was ready to start.  While I was scrapping away for the next three weeks he was unpacking hoards of boxes!  Not only am I grateful to Rusty Pickle for accepting me on to their design team but for getting me out of unpacking!

My advice for submitting is just go for it!  Life is way to short to umm and arr!  I have submitted to a few places and not gotten anywhere but I’ve enjoyed the challenge of giving it a go!”

Kathie Davis

“I look at contests as a way to challenge myself and try new techniques, sometimes they work and sometimes they DON’T!!! After the contest I look at my entries again and sometimes think ‘what was I thinking’ lol….perhaps a little less coffee and late night scrapping next time!”

Note: Giveaway is now closed

GIVEAWAY! I would love to hear from you! What are your thoughts on entering the DT Calls or the big annual contests like HOF, SOY, or MMM? Have you entered? Do you have any advice to share? RUSTY PICKLE will be sending a RAK with yummy products to one (1) person that comments on this topic by Thursday, Sept 25th.  A winner will be selected via an online number generator and announced on Friday, Sept 26th!

- Tracey Locher

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  1. Lynn Judge
    Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I havent submitted (though i have often dreamed) because i still feel so unworthy in my scrapping – there is so much AMAZING talent out there!! Maybe one day i will get up the courage to just leap and get my wings!!

  2. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I’ve only submitted to a few DT Calls and it’s sooo easy to be discouraged and decide to never try out again! I guess it’s just a matter of sending in the right work to the right call at the right time.

  3. txscrapaddict
    Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I submit to calls. But I do it because I love the challenge as much as the hoped for outcome! I only submit to a call that I feel fits me. What’s the point of gettin accepted to a position if you don’t care for that company or site’s products?

  4. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I have not entered any DT calls, I would like to one of these days. I have not entered any real “big” contests, I tend to tense up just knowing how many entries there will be and I draw a blank! However, I have entered monthly contests at various sb sites. They range from manufacturer contests to themed contests. I have won a few of those here and there. I find I become more creative and inspired from these smaller contests posts.

  5. Trace Geworsky
    Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I submit to almost anything that interests me…I have dealt with a lot of rejection, but thats part of the scrapping industry, and it helps me to pay more attention to what I could improve.

  6. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I surprised myself recently for actually sending in my work for MMM. I didn’t win with them but I won with me because I was so proud of myself for actually doing it and not just thinking about it. I know that you will not always win but getting the work done is a challenge won itself. I plan on entering more and more in the future.

  7. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I don’t usually enter contests, and generally don’t seek out DT’s examples unless I’m totally stuck on what to do with a certain paper line. I find that most of the time the big contest winners (MMM, HOF, SOY) do not scrap in my style. I’m very simple and linear. I do enjoy looking at other peoples’ work, whether they are on a DT, a contest winner, or neither!

  8. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    …I have submitted to various calls and DT calls, and have been acepted in some places…;-) However I think, being international most of the times is an extra challenge. Some calls dont exept internationals at all, that does not help very much. Its not so easy to stand out of hundreds of entries, and sometimes I wonder why it is that some names appear eveywere. I mean, I know they are great, but are they really the only ones??? I hope this does not come over too bitchy, it´s not meant to be! Well I guess one can only see this as a game and try again and enjoy the journey, right?

  9. Amy vanderkooi
    Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I have entered contests in the past, but only ones that really speak to me. I have never thought about entering any of the BIG contests. I do not feel I am ready for that yet. I am starting to think about DT calls for different places but it is nerve wracking. I have tried three kit clubs but did not get chosen. THe discouraging thing is that a lot of DTs seem to have the same people on them – and their style awesome, but is also very different from mine. I do not want to change my style to get on a team – cause I will not be able to keep that up when on the team. BUT I will keep trying!!

  10. Cherrie
    Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I have only submitted to one Manufacturer’s DT call, still waiting on that one – but I have tried my hand at a couple BIG contests. I think being challenged really increases my scrapbooking abilities.

  11. stephanie ackerman
    Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I enter contests and challenges to challenge myself – to perhaps try a technique I may not have tried or a product I may not have seen before. The challenge is what gets my creative juices running wild. To win a major contest would be a huge boost to anyone’s ego. As they say, you can’t win it if you aren’t in it. Just go for it.

  12. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I’ve submitted to a lot of DT calls, until I got accepted in 2! :) I love being challenged by DT work…

  13. Angela Webster
    Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    Since I just started scrapping in April of this year, I have not entered any calls. Maybe when I get some time under my belt! When I do though, it will be to companys that I love and love their products!

  14. Faith23
    Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    Being part of a design team is one of my many dreams but I haven’t really tried joining auditions. I feel that I am not ready yet. I still have a lot to learn. Hopefully in the near future i will have the abilities and the confidence to join.

  15. ann corbiere-scott
    Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    i whole heartedly agree with kathie-it’s the challenge!
    your work only gets better with every challenge.
    so in the words of my friend across the pond-
    give it a go!
    great article tracey!

  16. StampinCathy
    Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    This year I’ve just started to do some challenges on some of the blogs out in blogland. I’m hoping to move up some day and try joining a DT or send my projects to companies out there. Thanks for a chance at this sweet giveaway.

  17. Jami
    Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    This is such a great article!! Thanks for all the invaluable tips and for sharing your experience.

  18. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    Great Article Tracey!

  19. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    Tracey, wonderful article and food for thought!
    As for me, no big contest or DTs yet…maybe one day.

  20. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    YAY Tracey! I mean “woohoo!” what a great article! You rock! Don’t forget to HAVE FUN WITH IT!

  21. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    Great article with awesome tips, Tracey!

  22. ca longhorn
    Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    Thanks for the tips! I have tried smaller calls, but not the big manufacturer ones because it seems like all the same “high profile” ladies get selected to be on the dt’s. I understand why…they all do amazing work. I just wonder how they have the time to do it all!

  23. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I’m used to feeling not creative and stylish enough to enter a call, but since I really want to get into a great DT, I’ll just give it a try next time I see an interesting call :) Actually this post really inspired me to..well..just give it a chance! Thanks!

  24. Regan Tomlin
    Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I have actually entered a few calls, but still have yet to be chosen for a Design Team. The funny thing is, even though I haven’t been chosen, I have made some really cool things that I otherwise would never have thought of. My advice is this….whether you are doing it for a Team position, or for yourself, stay true to your style!!!!

  25. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    i think it’s a great idea to submit project & layouts! :)
    you never know unless you try & you really have nothing to lose…
    i also like the idea of trying new products & techniques for specific calls. :) i really enjoy learning new things! :)
    thanks for the RAK opp! :)
    shari :)

  26. Nicole
    Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I submitted LOs and stuff for a few contests, but I wasn’t picked for anything. I may be the scrap queen in my neighborhood, but I’m nowhere near the caliber of lots of scrappers out there. Still, every once in a while I’ll submit a page to a call. Hope springs eternal, right?

  27. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    Thanks for the great article! I have submitted to a few things, but so far I haven’t gotten picked yet. I figure if I really want to get picked for something, I probably have to submit to hundreds.

  28. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I have entered several contests and DT calls and also submitted for publication. I’ve been passed over on some and welcomed on others. I say, do what you like, do it well and share it. If they don’t like it, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not good or worthy… maybe just not what they were looking for this time around. I do agree that some might consider international or other distant location (Hawaii) as a negative in considering you, but they won’t consider you at all if you don’t try.

    Good Luck! oh, and make sure you read the rules carefully!

  29. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I really enjoy DT calls because it gets me scrappin’. I really like how the constraints of using just one manufacturer can get my creative juices going. And, a deadline doesn’t hurt either! I’ve only made one team and an honorable mention on another but, I’m still trying. So, that’s my tip…enjoy the process, create for yourself and keep trying! :D

  30. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I love hearing who’s won a DT position. I’ve entered a couple but not since. I’ve always wanted to enter a big contest, like HOF or SOY but have been too chicken. But, I get so much inspiration from DT’s so I’m usually happy with my decision.


    (Pattie’s passion)

    I Scrap So All Moments Are Remembered!!!

  31. Grace Tolman
    Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I don’t think I’m the one to give advice about this topic as I’m not an “expert” on getting in. *wink*
    One thing I do have to say is when you submit your entries for DT positions, try to explain a little about the projects/layouts you submit. This way the “judges” can get a feel of your creative process and maybe see the details that might have been missed if you didn’t mention anything.
    Thanks for the great article.

  32. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I think it’s good to try for DT posts and contests, whether or not you get in, because it pushes you to try new things and create better LOs.

  33. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I have never entered for a design team or anything like HOF and SOY. I have thought about it and I am still thinking about it. Right now the only thing holding me back is that I am waiting for my work to improve some. I want my work to be a little better before I try for something like that. I do plan on entering the 2009 HOF though.


  34. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    Great article Tracy! Thanks for all of the inspiration from fellow designers as well.

    One thing I’ve learned through submissions and auditions is to BE YOU. Enjoy what you make and throw yourself into each of your projects. Try not to over-think what you think the judges will like. In the end, when all is said and done the layouts will be in YOUR scrapbooks for YOUR family to enjoy. Wow the judges with your amazing personal take on scrapbooking, and love what comes from it. :)

  35. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    To be honest, I have yet to submit for any calls. I scrap for myself and don’t want to get into the pressure of having to do it to please other people. I also don’t want to deal with the inevitable rejection.

  36. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I am SO bad with rejection, so I rarely submit to calls – I would just LOVE to work up the courage to enter HOF — next year may be the year for me!! xoxo

  37. Pauline Clark
    Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I haven’t done any design team calls or challenges…partly out of fear I guess and partly due to the time factor–especially for some of them, if I were to win? When would I do it?
    I do like reading the challenges though and sometimes doing a personal challenge to myself based on those.
    (And winning a Rusty Pickle pack would be awesome! I love Rusty Pickle and am going to BUY one of those trunks filled with stuff at one of the shows one of these times!)

  38. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I have submitted and have been both accepted and rejected. The two most important things to do is 1.) Read the instructions and requirements, then read them again, then hand them to someone else to read them to you, and then read yet again. 2.) Stay true to your own style, and dont try to be like everyone else.

    Everything that you see in the magazines, etc. was once new, then copied to death. So be the new one that stands out instead of the copied version. All scrapbookers are worthy, try out you might be surprised, do not doubt your style or ability, that is the best part of this craft, you can be you!

  39. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I would also love to be a manufacturer DT member. But the problem is, I’ve never been published elsewhere. Does this mean I should start somewhere small such as an LSS or a kit club? And since I don’t have all the time in the world to scour pub calls, I end up not submitting at all.

  40. Holly Costello
    Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I have never submitted anywhere. I always have good intentions, but then the deadline sneaks up on me and I don’t get it done. I am hoping to complete my first submission by the end of this month and I have one of three projects done already so we’ll see………

  41. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    hi! i haven’t submitted to any dt calls..cause there is just sooo much talent out there…but i do enjoy challenges and the big contests!my advice is to stick to your style of scrapping and have fun doing the challenges!!if you are stressing over it it is not worth it! be creative and have fun! jen t.

  42. Georgia
    Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I haven’t submitted to anything yet, but think and dream about it! I will as soon as I feel I can compete with all the wonderful creations out there!

  43. Julia Muscari
    Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I have a friend who has won several contests recently, and she is most deserving of those wins…. Her style is clean and simple, but interesting. In every case, the design highlights the photos.

    I’ve noticed that the winning layouts most often have printed journaling, rather than having handwritten journaling; any layouts of the winners that are hand-written are generally printed and very neat.

    This was a very interesting entry — thanks for sharing!


  44. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I personally hate DT calls, it makes me begin to question my style and wether I am ‘good enough’ or not, if I am not picked I really begin to pull my layouts apart in my head and question what I could have done differently, or better.
    BUT they are good too cause it gets you to push yourself, you might concider scrapping a photo you were saving for ‘just the right moment’ or use a product differently, or for the first time.
    I dont know if I have any tips though, except dont take it personally if you arent lucky enough to be chosen.

  45. Carol
    Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    i’ve never submitted to any calls. right now i’m still trying to develop my own personal style and with school and stuff i don’t really have the time i would need to enter into the contests. i hope one day that i might be able to enter.

  46. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I’ve read that article in and that is really helpful!
    My thoughts are commitment, I advice that you only apply if you can commit to the responsibility once chosen. It’s a two-way street ;) Since I have a job, I answer calls that would fit into my schedule, maybe a few projects in a month rather than a weekly assignment. And of course no hard feelings if you’re not chosen, remember that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder :) so keep on trying! Haven’t tried applying for the biggies but would love to try someday!
    Goodluck to all of us trying out on DT calls :)

  47. Peggy Forshee
    Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I’m to shy, I think to enter a DT call.

  48. Brenda
    Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    Since I’m so new to scrapbooking (only about 6 months!) I haven’t yet screwed up the courage to submit anything. But what I HAVE figured out is that before submitting anywhere, I need to follow several of their challenges and see what type of ‘feel’ they look for. Each publication is different – some go for ‘flash’, while others look for a more mellow design. I’m sure that when I finally DO submit something, having this knowledge before hand will really help!

  49. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    i admire these ladies who have the courage and perseverance to join. it takes a lot of work to complete the requirements and even more patience waiting for the results. my dream is to be able to submit(and maybe win). :)

  50. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I love entering contests and have participated in some manufacturer DT calls this year – Hambly, Chatterbox, etc… The competition is stiff, and it’s fun to see who gets chosen. Now I’m working on choosing a guest designer for my own company, Gauche Alchemy, and it’s a completely different side of things. I’m not completely sure how to make the decision with so many fantastic entries, but I know part of the fun (at least for me) is using the call as a springboard for your own creativity.

    BTW, our guest DT call ends Friday 9/25 at midnight if anyone wants to sneak an entry in! :) You’ll get to work with our October Edgar Allan Poe themed kit if you’re chosen – fun, fun, fun!

  51. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I would say be yourself, if you don’t get pick then just oh well. They are your scrapbooks & if you get published or win a contest that is a bonus! Also, read the rules! It would suck to do all that hard work & then miss something important in the fine print :)

  52. Shawna
    Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I have submitted to the LSS hoping to be able to teach classes or be on their DT. I think that you need to be true to yourself and your style and then make a commitment to go for it. Everything else will fall into place.

  53. Veronica
    Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I have made a few projects taht were inspired by DT calls but I have been too intimidated to submit them. One of these days I’ll be brave enough to hit SUBMIT. :)

  54. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I’ve tried out for varous calls… made some, and haven’t made others. I feel inspired, when I try out. I end up learning, and pushing myself beyond where I am currently… and I love that. I find that I grow most, during the times I try out for contests and Design Teams. I am inspired during those times. Great topic!!!

  55. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I have recently thought of applying for something like this. I am on a DT for an online store and just love it. I would love to be part of designing for a company I truly like and would feel right designing for. I would not want to compromise anything by not being true to my style or tastes for the sake of a DT spot!

  56. julia carter
    Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    Thanks for these tips, I have been wondering how to get involved with design teams and this article was really insightful. I just discovered this site and it is a new favorite! Thanks for all the cool projects and inspiration.

  57. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I’m trying to get my courage up to submit but boy, some of these gals are so good ! It’s hard to think your good enough. I love that the calls are listed here.
    [email protected]

  58. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I have not entered any of the big ones, and have only submitted a couple of times for design teams. I have taught several classes locally using my original designs, though!

  59. Linda
    Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    I enter often…my husband’s comment is
    “You can’t win it if you ain’t in it”….corny, but true! LOL

  60. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    No, I have not entered any big contests or DT calls. I have a problem with getting myself to create useless one-photo layouts without any real message, just to show off some product. And since those LOs seem to be what the industry is looking for, my chances to win would be zero anyway. I rather use my stash for something I can relate to. It is hard to get good scrapbooking supplies here in Germany, so I tend to treasure it instead of using it in a generous way.

    Ramona in Germany

  61. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago | Permalink

    Design Teams are not for everyone, decide what’s best for you. To be a part of a “Team” You’ll need a positive attitude, an upbeat personality and creative flair.

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