Rejection, card style & balance (submitting tips)

Hello there!
Hooray for the weekend right?
So, today I am going to talk a little bit about getting your projects rejected from a magazine call.  In no way am I the end all to know all on how to get a project picked up for publication, I am just sharing my own personal experience, and passing that information to you all.  First, I would like to stress, to not to take rejection personally.  There are so many reasons a project isn't picked up.
A few are:
**Beautiful card, but old product.  If you are going to submit with "older" stuff, use it in a way that has never been seen before.  You want to "wow" the editors.  For this reason, I try to only use the newest of the new stuff out there.

**Beautiful card, but it doesn't have a good page mate.  In most publications, your card is paired with another card, so there needs to be some kind of flow when you open the page.  This is just the luck of the draw really.

**Beautiful card, but someone might have used similar (or the same) stamp or paper, that the editors like better.

**Beautiful card, but they already have 10 birthday cards.  Look at your product in different ways.  Also submit the less common occasions.  Do you not have the "right" stamp?  Create a sentiment on your computer, and print it out onto card stock.  There are several designers who do not stamp, and create their own custom sentiments in the perfect font they thought of in their head.

These next few items, are more of personal advice.

When submitting a card, or making a card in general, make sure that the card is as balanced as possible.  If there isn't a natural flow to your project, and there isn't anywhere for your eyes to land.  Something is wrong with your project.  You know this when you are making it, you have the "something is missing, but I don't know what" idea flash in your head.  When I have that thought, usually my card is really unbalanced.

Stay true to your style.  Editors get to "know" your style, and will start to recognize your cards.  You will create your best work under parameters in which you are the most comfortable.  For instance, if you are working on a card and it just isn't coming together.  Put the card aside and come back to it later or the next day.  Sometimes I put a project aside for several days, until I come up with a solution that works and that I like.  Or, just start over.  Sometimes forcing something will just get you a hot mess.

Use the things you are hoarding and are saving for that "special" project.  That special project is now.  Look around at all of your supplies.  I bet you are thinking, "why didn't I use that?"  Am I right?  I think that all the time.  So I try my best to use my most favorite items, that make me smile by just looking at them.

Again, do not take it personal.  I get cards rejected all the time, and I just don't let it bother me.  Of course I wonder why a certain card didn't get picked up, but I only let myself think that thought for just a moment, and then I move on.  Is there a formula to getting your cards picked up?  No.  If you know of one please let me know lol.  I have heard several people say "its about who you know" that is untrue.  If that was the case, why did I ever get a card picked up?  Or anyone else for that matter?  I think some will say that, to make themselves feel better when they have tried so hard and are frustrated, or cannot handle rejection.  Which is totally understandable.  For many, seeing a project in print is a dream come true (for me too), just don't let it define you if you are still waiting for that moment.  If you keep on trying, something will get picked up...the odds are in your favor.  
Also, look at the publication you are submitting to.  Does your style fit the style of the magazine?  Sometimes, people are just submitting to the wrong publication.

With all of that said, I will show you a few cards that were rejected from the Go to Sketches call from Paper Crafts (this call is now closed).  I still think both of them are really pretty.  Almost 3000 cards were submitted to this call, and only 288 were picked up.  In this case the odds were not in my favor lol.  Plus,  from what I hear, designers really stepped up their game for this call and made amazing work.  Neither one of these are amazing.  One is pretty and the other is cute, but they are not the caliber they were looking for this time.  And, I am okay with that.
Now all I have to do is wait for someone to die or get sick to give these away lolololol.  Sorry bad humor, but it made me laugh lol.
Have a great weekend!!


AJ said…
funny- please just use the my apologies one because you pissed someone off instead!! ;)
such GREAT advice!! I agree with it all-
Anonymous said…
Thanks for all of this amazing advice, Latisha! For newbies in the publications world like me this kind of posts are a treasure :)
And I love bot cards!
Kelley Eubanks said…
This is a great post Latisha! :) And I think your cards are great! :)
Queenie said…
What an excellent post!!! Lot's of people will find great encouragement! Sometimes, when I've had something rejected I submit to another call. One time I had three cards accepted by one magazine RIGHT after they were rejected by another!!

I found it a little ironinc that out of the six sketches of mine that were in the call NONE of the cards I made for MY sketches were picked. Others of mine were, but not for my specific sketches. GO FIGURE! You never know what the Editors are looking at. Oh well, I'll submit them again.

Robin said…
Thanks so much for the advice... very helpful!! Both fab cards!
Unknown said…
Latisha, thanks for this post. I decided to submit cards this time and they got rejected. I loved the experience and will keep trying, It's like a great adventure for me. I submitted a total of 6 cards which I'll start showing today.

Both your cards are wonderful, I love your style girl!!

Great blog post Latisha, I always enjoy reading the suggestions of those that have publication and appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

I love that first card, it is amazing. The colors are striking and that flower is very cool. Thanks for sharing with us.
~amy~ said…
Great post...I think your 'rejected' cards are FAB:)
Amber said…
Awesome post! I agree that you can't take it personally but it's great to hear it from a seasoned submitter. Thanks for taking the time to write such a great post. I'm gonna link to it from my page - others would love to read this too!
Leigh Ann Baird said…
Wonderful post! I adore those cards!
Glenda J said…
Great advice and great cards! Thanks for your wisdom and inspiration.
Cassie said…
Great advice! I am so nervous to submit I don't! You are way more courageous than I! =)
Anonymous said…
Such sage advice Latisha - thanks for your words of wisdom!
I do love your cards, and I know you're right, it's often a case of what other cards are submitted for that same call. So you just have to do your best and try to be original, so you stand out from the crowd.
But sadly I'm not speaking from experience, as I haven't been brave enough to submit yet! ;)
Fingers crossed for you next time anyhoo! Hugs, Ruth S
I love reading about this stuff Latisha and I love ALL of your cards! And your 'card' humor is funny! :)
Great tips. I agree with everything you said. My card didn't get picked up this time either. Don't forget though...

Keep submitting!!! Don't give up!!!
Sylvia said…
Latisha, Your post was wonderful!I have not submitted any cards anywhere yet, I get stressed and you know where that leads. I intend to try soon. I love your attitude and just wanted to thank you for sharing this. I have tried sharing the same thought about not having your card selected as a winner of a challenge. It is all very subjective and a learning experience! I greatly admire your cards published, not published!
Stef H said…
and sometimes you just have to wonder what the heck the "pickers" were thinking! because there have been a few where i've seen way prettier and involved and simply just gorgeous and then i look at the page and think.... sheesh, there is absolutely nothing to this one. i know the creator worked hard and put her heart & soul into to and you can't please everyone, but sometimes there's just that fleeting thought.

these 2 cards ARE gorgeous in my opinion and i certainly appreciate you taking the time to post about rejection! you did it marveiously.

hugs :)
Lynnette said…
This is a great post with great advice. Thanks for sharing this. I still get discouraged when submitting. It is definitely true that magazines have different styles. I have had much better luck with some than others. I find that if I start to get too bummed, I take a break from submitting for awhile :) Your cards are fab as always!
Emily Leiphart said…
LOL, thanks for this great post, Latisha! Your cards are beautiful and I think you could use the apologies card for almost anything. ;)
I love your post AND your cards even more! And while I don't take rejection 'personally' at all, I think to me it's more of just a let-down over the time I spend submitting. Being a mom, on DT's, basketball, lessons, etc. (you totally get it-I know you do ;), there is only so much time in a day-after the kids go to bed, I can read ooks, watch TV, bake, sleep, or stamp-and when I spend so much time on submissions it just kind of irks me after a while. But I definitely love your advice and am finding your 'tips' to be true for sure! You're a doll for sharing them w/ the rest of us, talented lady! xoxo
Amylucimar said…
wow. i love this post. i create because i love it but i agree that some acknowledgement in a pub would be amazing and mind blowing. my fav part is when you said "That special project is NOW!" i actually have nerve endings tied to some papers and it hurts to cut into them but i know that i need to use them so lets break them out! thanks!


Diana said…
Thanks for this post. I've been fortunate enough to be published 6 times now (yeah!)and rejected many times. The first few rejections were tough, but I've learned to wait for the next call and start again. Thanks for all the tips!

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