Today we get to enjoy an inside look at the life & designing career of our November Guest Designer Charmaine Mode of Wyld Web Designs. Read on to learn all about Charmaine… and be sure to enter our giveaway contest for a chance to win Charmaine’s beautiful new kit “Thankful” created especially for Log Your Memory!
Name: Charmaine Mode
Location: Southwest Washington
Retail Outlet: GingerScraps
Please tell us a little about yourself … your family, your background, pets, hobbies, etc… I have been married to my sweetheart of a husband Stephen for almost 7½ years now. I moved from Canada to the USA to marry him. We have three beautiful babies together. Lilah is my pretty little princess, she is 6 and loving first grade. Casey is my middle child, he is my rough and tumble little buddy and a lover of all things cars and Legos. He is 4 and keeps me very busy. Quentin is my baby, he is 20 months old now though! He is the busiest of all three of them… he started crawling earlier than the other two did and gets into everything, but has the sweetest curls and dimples you ever saw on a child!
Are you a digital, paper or hybrid scrapper/designer? What do you like most about this method? I am pretty much 100% digital now. I started paper scrapping years ago before I was married, but hated the mess and the “can’t go backwards” feeling of sticking things down on the page. After having my second child, I discovered the beauty of digital scrapbooking! I loved that I could scrap and the kids couldn’t do anything worse to my supplies than turn off my computer by accident! I’ve done the odd hybrid project, but dislike the mess and fuss of getting my hands dirty!
How long have you been a designer & how did you first get started? I started designing about 2½ years ago with a friend when we entered a design contest together. I quickly fell in love with the process and have continued since then. I love to learn new things and it is so fun creating “something out of nothing.” I doodle a lot… those doodles are usually featured in my designs.
Is scrapbook product design your full-time job? If not, what else do you do? No, sadly, design is not my full time job, though I do wish it was many, many days! I work full-time outside the home as a pharmacist. Scrapping and designing is my relaxation and outlet from that stressful job.
What software & platform do you use in your design work? Do you use any other special tools? I use Photoshop CS5, Illustrator 3 and Art Rage on a PC. Don’t ask me anything more about my computer; I turn it on and reboot it occasionally; other than that, my husband just “makes it work” for me thank goodness! I also use a Bamboo tablet for my doodling and I love it!
Has your design style changed over time? What has influenced this? I think my style has grown to be more influenced by my drawings. They are often the inspiration for an entire kit. I love the look of doodles in a kit, the originality and whimsy that they bring.
What is your biggest challenge as a scrapbook product designer? Finding the time to design! I wish I could pack more hours into the day!
What has been the biggest reward or most fulfilling aspect of being a scrapbook product designer? I love seeing my designs on other people’s scrapbook pages… that is so exciting. It is very gratifying to know that I helped someone capture and document an important memory in their lives.
Where do you get your product ideas? Who & what inspires you? My kids inspire me, and the photos I take of them. I also get inspiration from fabrics and colors a lot. I will see an attractive color swatch or piece of fabric and think, wow, that would make a great kit!
How long does it typically take you to design a full kit from concept to delivery? What is your process? It takes me HOURS. I am faster than I used to be, but I still take hours, which for me then translates into days! I wish I was more prolific, but I am very careful about the quality of my designs and want to take the most care that I can to deliver a quality product to my customers.
What has been your most popular product? I think it is my 100 Great Memories Template:
What is your favorite kit and why? My favorite kit is my “So Much Cooler Online” series. I spend a lot of time online and it really was a labor of love when I made this one!
How do you incorporate “real life” scrapbooking into your personal & professional scrapbooking & design work? One way I try to do this is by putting a photo of my kids in my previews! Often the picture that is on my previews is what was the inspiration for the entire kit. I also host challenges at my store from time to time and I always scrap a page as a starting point for my challenge.
What fills your time when you are NOT scrapbooking? Cooking, cleaning, running after my kids and messing with my iPhone and iPad. Wait, those aren’t hobbies!…. 😉
What advice do you have for fellow scrapbookers interested in pursuing the scrapbook product design field? Learn your program and practice, practice, practice! There are lots of design competitions and challenges out there to help you learn. If you can find an experienced designer to mentor you and critique your work it is a HUGE help. My designs have grown leaps and bounds when I had the opportunity to get constructive criticism from seasoned designers.
Anything else you’d like to add? Thanks for letting me share my story with you this month! Come and say hi over at GingerScraps!
And now, the kit Charmaine created just for us to go along with our November Challenge Theme “Appreciate Life: Gratitude, Mindfulness, Attitude” from the 2011 Memory Logbook.
This kit will soon be available for purchase from Charmaine’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 one thing you are thankful for TODAY. One random winner will be drawn from all comments received here on the blog as of 8 p.m. (Mountain) Sunday, November 20th. Our winner will be announced next week on the blog. Good luck!