Our April Guest Designer already shared her talents with us through her very popular free download earlier this month and her fabulous templates and goodies shared through our Challenge Chats. Today she shares a bit more of herself through a Q&A-style interview. Read on to learn all about Traci Reed… and be sure to enter our giveaway contest for a chance to win the full version of her amazing new kit, “When You’re Smiling”!
Name: Traci Reed
Username: Traci Reed
Location: Northern California
Retail Outlets: Sweet Shoppe Designs
Please tell us a little about yourself … My name is Traci Reed and I’m a Northern California native, wife to Patrick of 5 years and mother of 2 sons, ages 4 and 5! I have one pet puppy, a mini pinscher mix named Abby that we rescued from the shelter last summer. I started out life as a photographer in a studio at 15 and it’s my first love. In addition to scrapping, I also like to cook, knit, crochet, read and garden. I’m a full-time student in addition to all this and I’m one semester away from my degree in Graphic Illustration.
Are you a digital, paper or hybrid scrapper/designer? What do you like most about this method? I am a digital designer and scrapper. I prefer this method because of its ease of use and the fact that I, personally, am able to make far superior layouts to my traditional scrapping (since I can’t cut a straight line, ha!)
How long have you been a designer & how did you first get started? I’ve been designing in this industry for 5 years. I started when there were very few digi scrappers back in 2004! I’d been using Photoshop since I was a kid, all through high school and into college. After I had my first son, it was the perfect way for me to be able to work from home.
Is scrapbook product design your full-time job? If not, what else do you do? It is my full-time job. My husband is currently only going to school full-time to be an RN so I’m the family breadwinner! In addition to this, I also go to school full-time.
What software & platform do you use in your design work? Do you use any other special tools? I switched to Mac last year and you know what they say, I’ll never go back! I use Adobe CS4 for my designs (mainly Photoshop and Illustrator). I actually HATE using a tablet so I’m a regular old mouse girl.
Has your design style changed over time? What has influenced this? Oh yes, greatly. I entered the market at a time when everything was digitally done and (to put it nicely) just wasn’t that great of quality. Over time, the industry standards have changed and *I* have changed through my education in this field. I can say however, that the overall style is pretty true to what I did 5 years ago. I still prefer the “paper scrapped” digital style in both layouts and kits.
What is your biggest challenge as a scrapbook product designer? My biggest challenge would be keeping my finger on the pulse of the industry. I do a “create-a-kit” contest every year to combat this so that my customers have a chance to tell ME what they want to see.
What has been the biggest reward or most fulfilling aspect of being a scrapbook product designer? While I LOVE the fact that I get to be a part of people preserving their memories, I‘m not naive enough to believe that they’ll remember who designed the background for their pages 10 years from now, so the greatest reward for me personally is that I’ve found something I LOVE to do, can earn a living at and works around my schedule.
Where do you get your product ideas? Who & what inspires you? Color typically inspires me. I let the colors lead the way unless I’m working on a specific theme, such as my recent Sesame Street-inspired kit.
How long does it typically take you to design a full kit from concept to delivery? What is your process? I’ve actually learned to be a pretty quick designer. I can brainstorm a kit on Monday morning, and assuming I have uninterrupted work time (which I NEVER do), I can be done with it by Monday night or Tuesday morning. I always work on papers and illustrations first. I like to see how the colors come together in the patterns before I start committing to elements. Alphabets are nearly always last.
What has been your most popular product? My Bad Sewing Machine line of products does extremely well, specifically the 3 sets of page borders I’ve done. Kit-wise, my most popular are Kissable, 10 Things, Pieces of Me, and a few others.
What is your favorite kit and why? Gosh my favorite changes every day but I LOVE 10 things and Pieces of Me. 10 things represents everything I love about my family and Pieces of Me truly is a kit that represents me.
How do you incorporate “real life” scrapbooking into your personal & professional scrapbooking & design work? Every layout I do is “real life” so I often use my own kits for my layouts or I nearly always use a colleague’s kit from The Sweet Shoppe.
What fills your time when you are NOT scrapbooking? School, housework, studying, cooking and my kids.
What advice do you have for fellow scrapbookers interested in pursuing the scrapbook product design field? I honestly tell people when they ask me this that before jumping into the market, I REALLY suggest working out your skills and brand. Make sure you’re technically sound, have the ability to make your own elements so you don’t have to rely too heavily on CU and figure out what makes your designs your own.
And of course, the brand new release you’ve all been waiting for … the full version of When You’re Smiling created especially for Log Your Memory to coordinate with Logbook Weekly Challenge #16!
This brand new kit is now available for purchase from Traci’s store, but one lucky Log Your Memory blog reader will win the entire kit for FREE in today’s Guest Designer Giveaway. To enter, simply leave a comment below sharing something that makes you smile. One random winner will be drawn from all comments received here on the blog as of 10 p.m. (Mountain) tomorrow, Tuesday, April 20. Our winner will be announced in Wednesday’s Story Board post. Good luck!
Get the inside scoop, be the first to know about new product releases & get special discounts by subscribing to our new weekly newsletter, the Log Your Memory INSIDER. Delivered directly to your INBOX every Sunday afternoon.
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