Sunday, May 6, 2007

Paper Crafts' Gallery Idol Contest Musings by a Newbie

paper craft's gallery idol contest was fashioned after the current american idol contest. so i was thinking, in accordance with the spirit of AI, maybe only newbies or amateurs should have participated. would have been nice to have this contest as a venue to discover budding artists, just as AI, its "progenitor" designed its show to be.

don't get me wrong and hope the pro finalists don't get offended. there were many talented artists and i've tremendously benefited from seeing various styles. but being a "cyberpaperchic," i'm very techie and subscribe to many blogs and online shops (altho i'm a newbie myself) and found out that many of them are designer team members, published, hall-of-famers, and even do this for a living! now that doesn't seem like a leveled playing field.

okay my motto is, don't just be a part of the problem, but the solution as well. so here are my 2-cents worth of suggestions, if you would indulge me:

  1. have a gallery idol contest for amateurs and have expert practitioners in the contest's moderating panel who are charged with giving feedback to finalists on what the former liked about the finalists' creations and what can be improved upon;
  2. have another contest for pros only which will have a more challenging format; maybe readers/amateurs could have a side contest to suggest challenges - e.g. design a card with a $2 budget or something;
  3. make it mandatory for contestants, esp. the pros, to post all materials and basic steps - we're here to learn from their expertise;
  4. what about contests that pair a newbie with a pro? i mean a newbie puts the project together, but the pro/mentor provides ideas/constructive criticisms.

    i think if the industry leaders or entrepreneurs want to halt the decline and stagnation of this industry (have you heard of ch 11 bankruptcy filings of major companies who did not anticipate the market's analogous boom bust?), opportunities for collaboration, sharing of passion, technique/style improvement should be afforded by them. personally, i don't want to see this industry go bust - why? just like the stock market analogy i've alluded to, yours truly has made significant investments in scrapbooking stocks (aka stashes) and i'd like to get some ROI (return on investment) by making sure products i like don't get discontinued, my fellow "paper passionistas" don't dwindle so i can find more scrap buddies who will nurture my passion, and maybe get something published at least within 10 years (lol! we all can dream)...of course, my most significant ROI is the keepsake i have created for my posterity which will long endure after i'm gone.

    what do you guys think? would like to hear from both newbies and pros! ok, nuff of my didactic rumbles. can u tell i was a teacher/principal before?


Katie said...

Hi Grace! I wanted to say that I totally agree with you. I have enjoyed seeing all of the work in the gallery and think that everyone has done a wonderful job but I can't help but be a little frustrated. As you said, most of the ones who were chosen have published numerous times, some in PC mag and I too feel that this particular contest should have been targeted towards, as you said, budding artists. Thanks for your point of view! Great blog! Katie

Anonymous said...


I saw your posting on the PCMB and came to your blog...You cracked me up with the ROI...

Anyway, I completely agree with you. So many of the magazines and contests have become so unapproachable to hobbyists. I've entered one contest ever, because it seems they already have their favorites in mind. Have you noticed when Hall of Famers are chosen the ads from the scrapbook companies in that issue? Most will have something along the lines of, "XYZ scrapbooking company would like to congratulate its design team member on winning the Hall of Fame.

I know these are done anonymously, but come on...Layouts have photos on them, and the magazine editors know what regular contributors look like!

Silly me, I thought the gallery contest would be a pretty even playing field.

Oh well, I have enjoyed viewing the entries and I still read those magazines.

Nice blog, by the way!

Susan (Reidy2099)