A Reflection…

 Many, many years ago, I was lucky enough to stumble onto Suzanne Dean’s youtube channel and discover the world of rubber stamp images and copics. I was mesmerized by the art of coloring and from that point on, I became a voracious student of coloring images!  I found other “copic superstars” and inhaled all their wisdom in an effort to better my work!

When I thought my work was worthy of sharing, as many of us do, I started a blog- how exciting for me to enter contests, challenges, and read so many wonderfully kind comments. Then the next progression, being asked to join design teams. Oh, my, how wonderful to be asked by some of the most creative and generous artists to join with other artists- many of whom became longtime friends- and create together! Truly a dream come true!

     Life dealt me a few blows over the years and sadly I had to resign from some of the teams, and my departure was always met with gratitude and I was sent away with prayers or good wishes to resolve whatever issues prevented me from staying on.  As many of us know, our home and creative life can often clash!  Yet, working on design teams has always been one of the most positive experiences of my creative life.

      I found myself thinking deeply about what separates the really great design teams from others that are fraught with drama?  I came to many realizations and decided it would be worth it to share.  

  •    Good Design Teams are the heart and soul of  a company and can bring images and dies and papers to life. They create inspiration for all to see and emulate and hopefully in the process, help the designer gain a following and an artist (or company) gain sales!  A win-win for both!  
  • Good design teams inspire its members to challenge themselves to grow creatively, to take risks and to contribute all they can to “spread the word” and build a company’s following.  
  • Good Design Teams are comprised of people from different parts of the world with different life experiences who become a “family” and they support one another personally and creatively. As such, disagreements are worked out, without fear or reprisals, in the open with input from all.
  • Good Design Teams are about give and take.  When team requirements and rules are changed, they are openly discussed with members and members have an opportunity to share concerns which are heard with respect and consideration.
  • Good Design Teams are led by someone who understands the position is not a paid job and therefore values and shows appreciation for the time, cost and energy of promoting the products.
  • Good Design Teams allow members freedom to choose whom they wish to share a friendship, they do not mandate who a person can and cannot talk to.  
  • Finally, the best design teams are about sharing the ups and downs of life.  They are about sharing laughter and tears, children being born and others moving away, relationships gained and relationships lost, illness, loss, change with people who are genuinely caring.. all while talking color combinations, favorite design papers and the latest tools!
     If, like me, you have been lucky to know many of the finest artists, design team owners and stamp company artists in the industry or work for and alongside someone in any of those categories, count yourself truly blessed for having had the experience
     However, when disturbing and negative situations erupt, it makes you question how something so simple like playing with markers and inks and papers can turn some people so ugly, and whether or not you want to remain a part of it… then you remember the people who encouraged you and mentored you.. you remember the fulfilling experiences shared with the most giving people you met, and you  have faith you will find your way to them once again.  
     I have always subscribed to the belief that the “universe” puts you exactly where you are meant to be, even when it feels you are standing alone. In time, you come to see that with great clarity and gratitude that it was for the best especially when you know you have not forfeited an ounce of your integrity in the process.
     For now, I take a deep breath, cut loose all toxic people and situations, and turn the page.  I have replaced the negativity with positive energy, and the kind words and supporting validation – true gifts- from so many friends have helped me put this experience in my rear view mirror!  
   I look forward to sharing some new adventures and new projects with you…Have a great day!
Sentiment: Create by TLC 
Design Paper: Shabby Vintage Rose, Michele Roos

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Sharon

    Such lovely and true words Ann Marie. I love the blogging community and have met some wonderful friends and like you have been and am on some fabulous design teams of which I am truly honoured.
    There are some bad influences but thankfully the good in this community far out way the bad.
    Have a lovely week.
    Hugs Sharon x

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