Monday, 12 November 2007


Hi there readers (if I have any left), I came across this article courtesy of Scrap Smack blog as I was browsing the web this morning and I really felt the truth in this article. It is a sad truth. I wish enough scrappers, 'life artists', would go on some sort of strike until they could win more appropriate compensation for all the hard work and talent they pour into their pages.

I think this article really highlights a truth in this industry that for some reason people within it, are reluctant to discuss. To be very blunt...I think it sucks but until all the artists already on DT's and all the scrappers aspiring to be placed on DT's, boycott it, it ain't gonna change. Unfortunately!

I feel strongly about this issue, I honestly think it does border on slave labour and puts women's rights back about 100 years. We need to value our efforts, our creative talents far more than we do. If we are good enough to promote these companies products, then we are good enough to be adequately compensated. I am in total agreement with the point made in the article regarding the fact that in any other area of design, any position that required promoting product to a competitive industry, would indeed be very well paid for their efforts.

Having said that, I do understand the powerful pull of the thought of being recognized for our endeavours. There is something to be said for the honor of having your work recognized by the industry we love so and by, in many cases our extremely talented peers. Still and all at the end of the day, you, (we) are still working at selling the products of other designers and working hard and often under tight time constraints, usually whilst trying to hold down a 'real' job to pay the bills and pay for our product. I guess my point of view is that designing scrap layouts, ephemera, etc, for Scrap Companies should be the 'real' job. Meanwhile these companies get bigger and richer off the back of your (our) talents. Anyway it is, if nothing else, food for thought and I admire the writer of Scrap Smack for bringing it out of the closet a little more. I don't know an easy answer but I do believe that if enough people/scrappers/lifeartists got on board we could change the industry for the better. That is a might big IF though!

Here is the article from the Scrap Smack blog. It received more than 700 comments! Obviously a lot of strong opinions on this subject out there. What do you think?

I have been reviewing different design team commitments, and reimbursement. The whole thing has made me think, why bother? No one who is on a design team could seriously consider it a real job, this latest DT contest from DaisyD is a perfect example - the winners are compensated in paper and product and are responsible for paying for shipping their projects to the company and to magazines for submission. Shipping runs a minimum of 4.95 for a priority box - which you would need for a 12x12 layout- possibly more for altered art items due to weight.

Free product- Is it free? Is it yours? Aren't you turning around and using the product to produce designs that will be used by the company for marketing? If they are returned to you [Daisy D's site says they will return items ONLY if requested.] are they in good condition.

Designers and marketing people in other industries are compensated for their work with paper, too - but it's green and has pictures of dead presidents on it, not pretty little flowers. But they are also professionals with marketing and graphic design degrees - the scrapbook industry as a whole has decided to take a different route and use their customers for this. Could you see Pottery Barn, Gap or Target asking their customers to design their end caps, shoot their photographs for their catalogs, or design their windows? They have taken our desire to be published, our want of validation and turned it into a form of slave labor.

We [the collective DT, we] design the layouts, that sell the products, that we again turn around and purchase, we design the layouts that are published in the magazines, that we in turn purchase for the main reason of viewing layouts. We design the layouts in the ads used to sell the scrapbook products. Do they reimburse that designer the same way they would a graphic designer who did the art work for the latest toothpaste ad? No, the DT designer is just happy to see her layout used for the ad work, she's happy for a copy of the ad to frame so she can hang it in her studio, she's just happy to have something to toot about at the pod. Is this unique to this industry? I don't know, but I think so.

Scrapbook designers will never be taken seriously as professionals, why because they don't see themselves as professionals, they are not compensated as professionals, and there are no entry level job requirements - plus, if you don't want to work just for the "honor" of being published, someone else will.

1 comment:

  1. I am at a different computer over the holiday and so at last able to comment...Found this topic very interesting--Had no idea the corporations were exploiting folks like that...Sending love to you all.