Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Submitting to publications: Before and After!

Hi everyone! Have you seen the latest issue from Scrapbook & Cards Today? It's a special issue called Creative Cards Vol. 1 and it's going to feature over 100 card designs! I am SO excited because one of MY cards is in this publication! 

I wanted to share with you a bit of back story on this how this came to be. I have only ever been published once before in 2011 and it was super exciting for me to get that amazing email from Susan Opel at Paper Crafts to say my card had been accepted! I have called myself a one hit wonder since but it's only because it is intimidating to submit to publications! You have to put yourself and your art out there but then if you don't, you can't complain about not getting published either. haha 

This summer, I decided I didn't want to be afraid of submitting to publications anymore! I wanted to make the time to really focus on finding out about publications calls and TRYING to keep track of the deadlines so I can send in a few cards to each one. I also wanted to reach out to a former editor that I have the utmost respect for and get some tips on what editors are looking for as they sift through hundreds of card designs for their magazine. So, I sent a little PM to Susan Opel and not only did she respond with some tips but that she would also be happy to take a look at my cards and give me some one on one critique before I submitted them. What?! Heck yes! So, I thought it would be fun to share with you the before and after of this card design and even though it didn't get picked, I think you can tell that the design got tons better and I definitely picked up some great tips! 

My card before:

First of all, don't mind the poor photo - I took it with my phone just to send to Susan for a quick look over. I didn't bother with lighting, etc. 

Here is what Susan replied with:

And dont be nervous! Ive counseled MANY card makers on design. Im not an expert, but I know the types of things we looked for at Paper Crafts that made things publishable-worthy. I think I could use some advice sometimes. And my sister is NOT afraid to give it to me. LOL She has a degree in art, so I usually don’t argue.

OK - Here’s my two cents.

  • Cute how you added the bow tie to the onesie!
  • Good color choices. I feel like the aqua background should match the bow tie, though.
  • The sentiment feels like a bit of an after thought. Maybe if you put on a banner that might give it more weight and meaning.
  • The onesie being off-centered feels a little off to me. Like it’s not off enough. I would center it.
  • Honestly, the inked edges look a little dated to me. I always think that popping things up on foam tape gives the needed depth.
  • What if you added a subtle background stamp to the main blue panel? I’m not sure if that would work or not. Just thinking aloud.
  • I’m also wondering what a coordinating patterned paper would look like for the card base rather than the white. 
So, I took all of that awesome advice and redid my card. Here is what I ended up submitting:

I literally squealed as I saw it come together and emailed Susan back! I mean, I loved it so much more than the original card! It felt so much more complete. I feel like I took her advice but it still had me in the overall design. Like the banner, I had no where to put the banner so I stamped the sentiment across the onesie die itself and embossed it. I think it looks more prominent (taking her advice) and not so much an afterthought anymore. 

So, you know what, this card isn't in the up coming Creative Cards Vol. 1 by Scrapbook & Cards Today but another design I submitted is! So, ORDER your copy today!! I can't wait to see all the other awesome cards in this issue and I'm excited to take all I've learned to continue to submit to publications. It's fun and exciting if you just remember to be true to yourself, be fearless and be creative (another piece of awesome advice from Ms. Susan herself!)

As you probably know, Susan is the Creative Ambassador for My Favorite Things. A go to resource for me is the My Favorite Things Educational Series! Definitely check it out for amazing design tips if you want to take your card making to the next level. Susan also runs the challenges for My Favorite Things at the MFT Card Challenges Blog.  

Thanks so much for stopping by today! I would love it if you would click on the button below to subscribe to my blog to let me know you enjoy what you see and would like to see more! 


Susan R. Opel said...

This was so fun to read! I'm glad my advice helped. I love doing that. It's the teacher in me, for sure!

KelliJo said...

How AWESOME to have that wealth of knowledge and talent at your email fingertips!!! SO SUPER AWESOME of her to share!!!!! LOVE the card #2 too!!! CONGRATS you not a one hit wonder!!!! <3

Unknown said...

Love the transformation. Susan truly is the best. Congrats on your publication. :)

Maureen Reiss said...

Congrats!! Super cute card!!