A look into the future....

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A look into the future....

Post  Lisa on Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:35 pm

I thought I'd take a minute to let you girls know how things will be metamorphisizing for me and my designs for 2012, and what to expect before then, as well.

I'd made a pact with myself that if I made X amount of money during the DSD sale, I would continue giving this my all -- as in lots of late nights, 60 hour work-weeks, pushing myself harder and sacrificing my personal and family time, in order to design. Because these things seemed worth it to me, if I was able to provide a better income for my family as a trade-off. But, as of late, I feel that the time I'm putting into designing is not being compensated appropriately. At the very least, my goal has been to break minimum wage--about $8 an hour. In that respect, at least it would be a way for me to make a comparable amount of money as a regular job, but get to be at home and set my own hours. However, after the DSD sale, I totaled everything up and I fell just under a hundred dollars sort. Sadly, I'm making more like $2 an hour. mybad

There are a lot of factors to consider...the market is very over-saturated with probably MORE designers than scrappers at this point....not every design style appeals to every scrapper, so you have to find your niche and gain a following--which I'm still in the beginning stages of......money is tight for lots of people right now, so less disposable income to play with.....the industry as a whole has lost it's 'newness' factor, and so only the die-hards and the newbies really remain. I've worked really hard this year to revamp my brand and my products and gain a foothold in the industry. So, to walk away at this point would waste all of that, and that's not something I want to do. But I also don't want to miss out on my life, slaving away with promos and collabs and marketing strategies--oh, yeah, and designing!-- that I forget the whole point of this buisness--celebrating your life!

With that, I've decided I have to scale back, in order to gain some clarity and find some balance. This will probably not ever be a way to seriously supplement my family income, and so I just have to change my perspective, and look at it as a way to fund a hobby I once loved. Since I started designing, I've barely ever scrapped for myself. And so, I'm going to take more time to participate in digi-land as a scrapper, and remember why I design in the first place! And in turn, I think that will refresh my approach to designing, and alter my perspective. This isn't--and shouldn't be-- a job. It's a way to connect with other like-minded scrappers, to share our artistic talents and to celebrate our lives in a common forum. So, I will be producing less....my goal for next year will be one big kit per month, along with one font, and one other misc. item. I won't spend more than 20 hours a week on it, and I will ENJOY the process.

I will also be changing my approach to how I design my products. My perfectionism is really a huge reason why I put so much time into this, and it has to stop, LOL! I've spent some time recently really looking through other designers kits, and noticing that they don't pay attention to every little detail, like I do. And when you look at a page, overall, you aren't gonna see the fine shading and texturing that I obsess over. They're kit components are simple, but offer a big impact when combined with the other ellies in the kit. So, I will be spending more time on the content in my kits, versus fine detail. And I'm working on stream-lining a basic formula to apply to all my kits, with a set amount of papers, types of embellishmenst, etc., similar to how a paper line works. For example, when KI Memories comes out with a paper line, they offer X amount of papers (some with similar patterns--just altered with the new color scheme), a chipboard alpha, quote blocks, glitter stickers, matching brads, and a set amount of ribbons. I'm hoping to do something like this, to really simplify my workflow, and take that extra work involved in recreating a kit's contents with each new project, and apply it to developing the style & theme of the kit itself.

I think that with this new perspective, and embracing the whole 'less is more' concept, I will find more joy in the process, and hopefully free up my creativity that's been stifled under deadlines and promos and the constant pressure to produce more. Ultimately, this really won't affect you all very much, other than you'll have less to worry about each month from me. I will, however, be offering you girls some 'challenges' to create projects other than LOs. Over at CatScrap, there is a LOT of talk about changes...the designers are all sort of in a place that I've been in (running in a rat race, so to speak) and so we see the need for change. And it is going to be SO exciting!

We want to broaden digi-scrappers horizons and really push the boundaries of this hobby, and make it more! We're going to (hopefully) start offering a vast array of classes and workshops for everything from the newbie beginner to peeps who want to learn how to design, and everything in between. We'll teach technique, project-based, hybrid, and non-traditional project classes, writing classes, software classes--the sky's the limit. I am very passionate about educating and sharing my skills with others--when I was eye-ball deep in paper scrapping, I was constantly teaching classes. So this is a fun transition for me, and I'm looking forward to the changes it will bring--to designers, and to scrappers who want to improve their skill set and take this craft to the next level.

Please keep this info about CatScrap to our private forum, though. We're still in the planning stages and would hate to have information leak out at this point. But for those of you who are game, I'd love to have you all participate in these changes. I'll need testers to try out my classes on, plus create samples of projects, etc. and so on. If change makes you cringe, and you love keeping it to strictly LOs, that's just fine too! But it's an opportunity to take a class for free, and if there are QPs or templates you create that are used, you could earn a little $ on the side.

So, I'll end my long and unending spiel here. Hopefully you aren't disappointed or anything. I really see whatever changes that are coming as ways to improve this hobby we love so much--and in that respect, change is good! If you have any ideas, concerns, suggestions, or criticisms, please voice them here. I value your opinions a great deal, and love to know what you all think! Wink






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Re: A look into the future....

Post  Mandalue on Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:01 pm

I have so much respect for you designers!! I don't know how you do it! I'm excited to see the new direction that you and Cat Scrap are planning on taking! Good luck with your renovations and getting your house ready for your sister's visit!
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Re: A look into the future....

Post  Ramona on Sat Nov 12, 2011 4:26 pm

Lisa, I totally understand, every word! I was in your place a year ago. I was running a whole site and designing. Between the two, I was working about 10 hours a day-7 days a week. I began getting panic attacks and it just wasn't worth it. I retired, sold my site, etc. I have enjoyed my time off and just getting back into scrapping. I thoroughly enjoy creating templates and blogging, so I have picked that back up. But I will admit, on some levels, I still miss the designing. I wish there could be a happy medium! I think your solution is a good one! I'd love to help in whatever way! Oh, and I am so in love with your fonts! You definitely need to keep those coming-if they aren't too terribly much work! I find myself using your fonts for every layout I do!
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Re: A look into the future....

Post  Tronesia on Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:00 pm

There is never enough time so I understand. It sounds really good to me. Digi can drain you...if you let it. I am glad to see there will be new things coming. I will be here to help out as much as I can. I can warn you now though...I cannot make anything with my hands..lol!!! I am not good with that at all but I am anxious to see what you all come up with. Very Happy
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Re: A look into the future....

Post  zoebearsmom on Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:27 am

Dealing with my own set of stuff going on, I am happy to tag along for the ride, and go with the flow. As per what we've discussed already, I'm going through my own changes, so as long as we can be flexible together, I am really happy to hear that you're trying to find a new way of doing this that suits you better, but don't lower your standards to be on par with others because its what will set you apart in the long run, simplifying yes, but don't go overboard, hehehe. And I'm really disgusted to hear how little you made during DSD Sad That is just awful and I am SO sorry to hear that. Sad Just let me know what you need from me in the future and I'm happy to go forward with this.

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Re: A look into the future....

Post  Lisa on Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:45 am

Thanks for understanding! I didn't do too bad for DSD, but I wanted a (i think) reasonable amount that my sales just didn't quite make it to. The biggest issue is the amount of time I'm *allowing* myself to spend on designing and such, and that's something I can control. It will make me more sane to cut back, and that's always good!

I hear you, Tronesia! I used to be a big paper scrapper and crafter in general when my kids were younger, but these days, I like keeping it strictly digi--it's less messy, and for some reason, general crafting annoys me now, LOL. BUT, I think it would be fun to think 'outside the (12x12) box' digitally. I want to start making simple printables, like bookmarks, organizing charts, frameable art and digi-cards....they're all easy to print, useful, and fun to personalize!
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Re: A look into the future....

Post  Helen on Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:23 am

Sweetie I totally understand you new view on this. If you put so many X number of hours into designing something you could of least expect something good in return. If you sacrifice so much time into something that takes out on family life, making it a job, a decent income in return makes this worthwhile.
I will go with the flow, no worries. I also know that digi can be draining from time to time.
I also agree with what has been said above me.

The new catscrap ideas sound exciting. If I/we can help out just hollar, and I will in any way that I can Smile

I also have deep respect for all you designers. I don't know anything about designing and seeing what efforts it can take sometimes and pulling it alll off *bows deeply*

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