Scandinavian Festivus for the Best of Us!
Not enough *this week* in *this week*

I had a farm in Africa

I'm quoting, of course. I've never actually had a farm in Africa. Who (whom?) am I quoting and from what movie? Michelle, get your Google on!

It's just a little over a week until I leave for South Africa and I've been working, working, working to get my class presentations finished up. It seems as though there are a million things to finish between now and then but I'm sure I'm just exaggerating. There are 999,999 things, tops. Heh.

One of the things that I am supposed to include in my main class presentation is something about Scrapperware. So here's what I did: I took the new CHA catalog, which has all the current (non-discontinued) products and consolidated the Scrapperware images into a few slides for the presentation.

2006_current_products_1_1 2006_current_products_2 2006_current_products_3   

Now I don't normally use my blog as a platform for promoting my brand. Scrapperware is relatively small, not particularly splashy or universally recognized, and generally consists of embellishments, although I did branch out into a few thematic paper designs over the last two shows. It's a basic no-nonsense brand, striving to provide that little something extra for a layout. I figure the products speak for themselves - either you like them and throw them in your basket or you walk on by, but you're not going to start buying them by the truckload just because I gush about them on my blog. It still comes down to theme/color/design and personal preference.

I'm not trying to be minimalistic or modest - far from it. I posted these scans because I am so darn proud of myself! (Yes, I'll say it!) Something about seeing all the products together makes my heart swell. Three years ago I had no clue what I was doing. I fell into product design by being in the right place at the right time with the right idea. (Bradwear) It's been a wild ride and a grueling education. I've designed my share of duds. (OK, so maybe more than my share, but I'm constantly improving!) I never would have guessed that after a decade of building highways I'd be trading in my hard hat for a process color manual. That I'd be swapping Photoshop and Illustrator tips with other designers. That I'd be using my CAD skills to draft die lines. That I would walk into a scrapbook store and see products with my name on them.

It's not something that you do for the money, at least not with licensed art, unless you have a ton of products or a ton of licenses. I was doing a Make n Take at a store last weekend and a lady picked up one of my papers and asked; "If I buy this - what do you get? A few cents?" to which I replied; "Why yes, if you're rounding up." <grin>

With licensed art it's all about volume. And right now this industry is saturated with product. Store owners say that they don't reorder. They buy a product once, sell through it, and then replace it with something new. The life cycle of a product is now measured in shows, not years. It can be pretty brutal for a designer. The practical side of me wonders why I devote so much creative energy into something that lasts for such a short time . . .

. . .but the inventive side of me knows the answer.

Because it's thrilling. Simply thrilling!

I also want to post a public service announcement about my dear friend Kristi, who had a brilliant idea and went for it. She's solving the industry problem of discontinued products and overstock with her new company Dollar Scrapbooking , offering older (but first-run quality) products for a buck! You can get some of my products there (including Bradwear) as well as a lot of other CI artists, and I know that she has a bunch of other manufacturer products coming. Bookmark it, because you won't believe the bargains!

So just for today, I thought I'd talk business and then get back to the task of being funny and entertaining. (Oh yes - I know why you tune in! I'm on to you! Ha!) I appreciate all the comments and although I may not have time before my trip to respond to each one personally, please know that I read them, I cherish them, and the new friendships and re-connections that I've made through this blog have been a blessing!

*SWAK*

TPBQOTD ("It won't be easy, Sire."  "Try ruling the world sometime.")

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