Thru the Eyes of a Product Designer

Our February Guest Designer already shared her talents with us through her wonderful free download earlier this month. Today she shares a bit more of herself through a Q&A-style interview. Read on to learn all about Misty Cato of Misty Cato Designs … and be sure to enter our giveaway contest for a chance to win the full version of her amazing new kit!

Name: Misty Cato
Username: mistycato
Location: Everett, Washington

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Please tell us a little about yourself … your family, your background, pets, hobbies, etc… I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, just north of Seattle with my husband of 11 years, Barron, and our two children, Jamin (age 5) and Mya (age 2).  I met my husband while we were both students at Washington State University.  I have a degree in Chemistry and worked in research for bit and then Hospital Administration before leaving the 8-5 world to stay at home with my kids.

Are you a digital, paper or hybrid scrapper/designer? What do you like most about this method? I am a digital scrapper.  I sit in awe of talented paper scrappers and hybrid artists, but scissors and I don’t get along.  I’m lost without an ‘Undo’ button.


How long have you been a designer & how did you first get started? I’ve been designing for over 4 years.  I left a fast-paced job to stay home with my newborn son who ended up being quite a sleeper.  I found myself with a lot of time on my hands and a ton of photos. I started using my computer to put my photos on colorful backgrounds with some clip-art.  I didn’t even know digital scrapbooking existed. It wasn’t long before I found the online digital scrapping community and things took off from there.

Is scrapbook product design your full-time job? If not, what else do you do? Yes and no.  I consider being a stay-at-home mom my full-time job, but if you add up all the hours I spend each week designing products, promoting, and writing tutorials, it is probably in the ballpark of a 40-hour work week. My hours are pretty unconventional.  I get my design time in during naps and once the kids are in bed.  My husband takes over with the kids on Saturdays so I can devote the whole day to designing.  He’s completely supportive of my design work.  I’m a lucky gal.

What software & platform do you use in your design work? Do you use any other special tools? I use a PC and tablet.

"Sending All My Love" Kit

Has your design style changed over time? What has influenced this? Hmmm, I think my style has refined over the years, but I don’t know that I’ve had any major shifts in style.  I’m always learning new techniques and skills, and I try to incorporate them into my work.   

What is your biggest challenge as a scrapbook product designer? It can be challenging coming up with new products week after week.  After four years it often feels like I have done every color palette I can imagine twice over.  There are so many wonderful designers producing amazing products that I often find myself asking, “Does the industry really need another pink princess kit?” (or whatever theme I’m considering).

"Where Fairies Dance" Kit

What has been the biggest reward or most fulfilling aspect of being a scrapbook product designer? I did a CT call a year or so ago and asked applicants to link me up to their favorite page.  I read stories of soldiers returning from war, weight-loss journeys, baby’s first steps, loved-ones who’ve passed on, funny anecdotes from family life … it just went on and on.  Every page was so unique and special.  Some of them used my designs, but many did not. Still I remember sitting there thinking about what a wonderful community this is and how blessed I am to be part of preserving history.

Where do you get your product ideas? Who & what inspires you? Quite often I’ll design a kit based on my own scrapping needs or to go with a specific photo.  I frequent general design blogs, but more often than not, find inspiration in everyday life, my kids or nature.

"First Glimpse His and Hers" Kit

How long does it typically take you to design a full kit from concept to delivery? What is your process? I have an idea file on my computer filled with various color palettes and theme ideas.  When I’m ready to work on a kit, I start with a color palette and a loose idea of the style.  I usually do the papers first and finish up with the elements, but it doesn’t always happen that way.  I used to be able to design a kit in a week, but lately it can take me two or more.  I just don’t have as much time in front of the computer that I had a year ago.

What has been your most popular product? ABC & 123 is probably my best selling kit to date.  I’ve often wondered if it is because it comes up first when my kits are listed alphabetically. 🙂

"Spring Into Boyhood" Kit

What is your favorite kit and why? Probably Spring into Boyhood or Rocky Shores.  I feel most ‘at home’ with my design work when I get to work with muted colors and lots of texture; both of these kits are good examples.  Spring into Boyhood is close to my heart because it is inspired by my son. So many spring kits are about flowers, gardening, rainbows and whatnot.  My son thrives in the spring, but could care less about flowers and rainbows.  With Spring into Boyhood I feel like I was able to capture the best things about spring in the eyes of my son.  Rocky Shores is inspired by the Pacific Northwest.  We have beautiful beaches, but you won’t find palm trees, endless sunshine or white sand.  It was my way of celebrating driftwood, rocky beaches and overcast skies.

"Rocky Shores" Kit

How do you incorporate “real life” scrapbooking into your personal & professional scrapbooking & design work? This year I’m determined to put meaningful journaling on every page I create.  Eventually I want my pages to feel like storybooks; some reading like family adventures, others like memoirs of a mom, but storybooks just the same. I often ask myself if I could read a scrapbook about my great-great grandparents, what kinds of things would I be delighted to learn about?  Then I make sure I am capturing those things in our scrapbooks.  After all, one day my great-great grandchildren might be reading them.

What fills your time when you are NOT scrapbooking? Exploring the Puget Sound with my kids.  We go everywhere – museums, parks, zoos.  There are some many wonderful things to do here and it is fun to discover them with my two favorite munchkins.  I’m starting a blog devoted to family friendly activities in the Pacific Northwest.  It is still a work-in-progress, but I’d love it if any fellow Pacific Northwesters stopped by 🙂

What advice do you have for fellow scrapbookers interested in pursuing the scrapbook product design field? Do it if you love it.  If you love it, you will grow and will enjoy it no matter what others say about your work or if you make any money.  It’s ok if one of your goals is to make money, but you still need to love what you are doing.

Anything else you’d like to add? Thanks for this opportunity!  I love the mission of Log Your Memory and am thrilled to be a part of it this month.

And of course, the brand new release you’ve all been waiting for … the full version of Adoration created especially for Log Your Memory!

This brand new kit is now available for purchase from Misty’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 you simply adore. One random winner will be drawn from all comments received here on the blog as of midnight (MTN) tomorrow, Tuesday, February 16, 2010. 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.

Please share your thoughts in a comment below …

Comments

  1. Gorgeous. Been a fan of Misty’s work for so long.
    Something I adore – my husband. Especially for putting up with me for the last 9 months 😉

  2. Gorgeous. Been a fan of Misty’s work for so long.
    Something I adore – my husband. Especially for putting up with me for the last 9 months 😉

  3. I subscribe to Misty’s newsletter and that is how I found, Log Your Memory!

    I simply ADORE Misty’s work, which inspired me greatly when I first started designing nearly 3 years ago! Her creativity is endless!

    I, too, love the mission here at Log Your Memory and hope to visit when time allows as I REALLY need to focus more on quality journaling on my layouts! Sometimes I don’t when to stop and other times, I have difficulty getting started!

    Have a LOVELY week! 😀

  4. I subscribe to Misty’s newsletter and that is how I found, Log Your Memory!

    I simply ADORE Misty’s work, which inspired me greatly when I first started designing nearly 3 years ago! Her creativity is endless!

    I, too, love the mission here at Log Your Memory and hope to visit when time allows as I REALLY need to focus more on quality journaling on my layouts! Sometimes I don’t when to stop and other times, I have difficulty getting started!

    Have a LOVELY week! 😀

  5. Beautiful designs! I love Misty’s works and always stalk her blog for fabulous tips and tricks 🙂
    What I adore is snow… how white and fluffy it is. It always makes me happy to see snow falling (not the aftermath’s slippery ground! LOL!)

  6. Beautiful designs! I love Misty’s works and always stalk her blog for fabulous tips and tricks 🙂
    What I adore is snow… how white and fluffy it is. It always makes me happy to see snow falling (not the aftermath’s slippery ground! LOL!)

  7. I’ve discovered I adore digital elements made of felt. I haven’t figured out why yet 🙂

  8. I’ve discovered I adore digital elements made of felt. I haven’t figured out why yet 🙂

  9. OOH, I LOVE misty’s new kit, and if I don’t win, I will be going shopping with the coupon, so thank you very very much for that.
    As for something I adore (well it is certainly not snow, like Sherly before me, had too much for my liking this winter)
    I simply adore my family life! that includes it all, my husband, my boys, my parents, my brother, and everything that goes with it, caring for them all, sharing the good times and the bad, just being together – Family is the best!

    Thanks again for a chance to win
    Hugs
    Kerri

  10. OOH, I LOVE misty’s new kit, and if I don’t win, I will be going shopping with the coupon, so thank you very very much for that.
    As for something I adore (well it is certainly not snow, like Sherly before me, had too much for my liking this winter)
    I simply adore my family life! that includes it all, my husband, my boys, my parents, my brother, and everything that goes with it, caring for them all, sharing the good times and the bad, just being together – Family is the best!

    Thanks again for a chance to win
    Hugs
    Kerri

  11. Thanks so much for the coupon!

  12. Thanks so much for the coupon!

  13. oops! Forgot to put something I adore. That would be my family. Thanks again for the chance to win.

  14. oops! Forgot to put something I adore. That would be my family. Thanks again for the chance to win.

  15. I adore Misty’s products and would love to win!!!

  16. I adore Misty’s products and would love to win!!!

  17. I adore my family. I am blessed with a wonderful husband and two beautiful girls who mean the world to me.

  18. I adore my family. I am blessed with a wonderful husband and two beautiful girls who mean the world to me.

  19. Thank you for the coupon. My adoration not only goes to my husband and kids but to my mother. She is the one person that has influenced me throughout my life and taught me so much. I simply adore my mom in the power she has to be strong, loving, and kind.

  20. Thank you for the coupon. My adoration not only goes to my husband and kids but to my mother. She is the one person that has influenced me throughout my life and taught me so much. I simply adore my mom in the power she has to be strong, loving, and kind.

  21. I adore my family and simple things. Really love when we have an evening with everyone at home and can spend time together.

  22. I adore my family and simple things. Really love when we have an evening with everyone at home and can spend time together.

  23. I adore my husband…totally and completely.

  24. I adore my husband…totally and completely.

  25. Today I adore days off – YEAH!
    I also adore my three growing boys and wonderful husband.
    Thanks for the opportunity.

  26. Today I adore days off – YEAH!
    I also adore my three growing boys and wonderful husband.
    Thanks for the opportunity.

  27. Bernadette says:

    I adore my handsome hubby, gorgeous girl & beautiful boy!

  28. Bernadette says:

    I adore my handsome hubby, gorgeous girl & beautiful boy!

  29. I adore my family, especially on Sundays, which is a 100% family day!

  30. I adore my family, especially on Sundays, which is a 100% family day!

  31. I adore my wonderful husband and my 2 crazy kids 🙂 Thanks for a chance to win 🙂

  32. I adore my wonderful husband and my 2 crazy kids 🙂 Thanks for a chance to win 🙂

  33. I adore the changing leaves in the Fall. All the different shades of red, orange and yellow simply amaze me. In fact, that was one reason we moved from NM to IA. In NM we could see a few aspens changing near the Rio Grande, but in the Midwest I nearly cry watching the changing of the seasons.

    I really like the boat layout. I find it quite difficult to make good male-oriented layouts. But this one is simply inspirational!!! Thank you for sharing.

  34. I adore the changing leaves in the Fall. All the different shades of red, orange and yellow simply amaze me. In fact, that was one reason we moved from NM to IA. In NM we could see a few aspens changing near the Rio Grande, but in the Midwest I nearly cry watching the changing of the seasons.

    I really like the boat layout. I find it quite difficult to make good male-oriented layouts. But this one is simply inspirational!!! Thank you for sharing.

  35. I absolutely adore our 5 grandchildren! They bring such joy and happiness to our lives. What beautiful kits Misty creates – wow!!

  36. I absolutely adore our 5 grandchildren! They bring such joy and happiness to our lives. What beautiful kits Misty creates – wow!!

  37. I adore my family, of course, that’s a given…so I’ll go w/ something I adore outside of family/friends.

    I absolutely adore sitting outside on the porch sipping on a cup of coffee. The sound of the leaves blowing thru the trees, the sound of the birds chirping, the smell of fresh air, or ESPECIALLY the smell of rain…. I adore taking a “time out” just to think about my day…or thinking about nothing at all. I guess I just adore a few minutes of peace and quiet….our everday lives are so filled w/ many things, it’s nice to sit back relax and have a few minutes to think about why my life is special! I adore the simple things.

    Thanks for the chance! I have been a fan of Misty’s since her designing debut! She is fabulous and she is adored by sooooo many people! I love how she shares so selflessly on her blog. i have learned so much from her!

    Hugs,
    Candice in Colorado

  38. I adore my family, of course, that’s a given…so I’ll go w/ something I adore outside of family/friends.

    I absolutely adore sitting outside on the porch sipping on a cup of coffee. The sound of the leaves blowing thru the trees, the sound of the birds chirping, the smell of fresh air, or ESPECIALLY the smell of rain…. I adore taking a “time out” just to think about my day…or thinking about nothing at all. I guess I just adore a few minutes of peace and quiet….our everday lives are so filled w/ many things, it’s nice to sit back relax and have a few minutes to think about why my life is special! I adore the simple things.

    Thanks for the chance! I have been a fan of Misty’s since her designing debut! She is fabulous and she is adored by sooooo many people! I love how she shares so selflessly on her blog. i have learned so much from her!

    Hugs,
    Candice in Colorado

  39. Well, of course I adore my family. (That’s kind of a given), but something else I really adore is music. Sometimes I feel like music is my savior. If I’m having a bad day or need a pick-me-up, I needn’t look any further than my iPod. It’s amazing how the right song can just totally transform my mood or take me back to a certain place and time. I absolutely love it and would have a really hard time living without music in my life.

    As an aside, Misty…YOU ROCK! Seriously, I’m such a huge fan of your work, and I really appreciate the coupon and the chance to win! 🙂

  40. Well, of course I adore my family. (That’s kind of a given), but something else I really adore is music. Sometimes I feel like music is my savior. If I’m having a bad day or need a pick-me-up, I needn’t look any further than my iPod. It’s amazing how the right song can just totally transform my mood or take me back to a certain place and time. I absolutely love it and would have a really hard time living without music in my life.

    As an aside, Misty…YOU ROCK! Seriously, I’m such a huge fan of your work, and I really appreciate the coupon and the chance to win! 🙂

  41. My God and the most precious blessings of all He’s given me…My adorable grandchildren!

    Thanks for the opportunity to win this gorgeous kit, Misty I have several of your kits and I love them. They are high quality, and beautiful, and very versatile. I use them over and over again!

  42. My God and the most precious blessings of all He’s given me…My adorable grandchildren!

    Thanks for the opportunity to win this gorgeous kit, Misty I have several of your kits and I love them. They are high quality, and beautiful, and very versatile. I use them over and over again!

  43. I adore my son! Thanks for the opportunity to win the kit. It is beautiful.

  44. I adore my son! Thanks for the opportunity to win the kit. It is beautiful.

  45. Melissa Rhodes says:

    I love this kit! I have too many things I love but my family most of all! They make me who I am!

  46. Melissa Rhodes says:

    I love this kit! I have too many things I love but my family most of all! They make me who I am!

  47. I adore my children. They make me laugh & smile.

  48. I adore my children. They make me laugh & smile.

  49. I adore my 2 grandchildren. They are the biggest blessing in my life. The new kit is gorgeous, thanks for the chance to win it!

  50. I adore my 2 grandchildren. They are the biggest blessing in my life. The new kit is gorgeous, thanks for the chance to win it!

  51. The thing I adore the most is my gorgeous child, Nicholas. He is the light of my life.

  52. The thing I adore the most is my gorgeous child, Nicholas. He is the light of my life.

  53. I adore my kids. I adore my little girl’s cheeky grin and soft curls, and my baby boy’s sweet smile and sloppy baby kisses! Gorgeous kit, thanks for the chance to win 🙂

  54. I adore my kids. I adore my little girl’s cheeky grin and soft curls, and my baby boy’s sweet smile and sloppy baby kisses! Gorgeous kit, thanks for the chance to win 🙂

  55. I adore (among other people) my siblings, and wish I wasn’t so far from them!
    Love that people paper chain – I can just see using it on a page about me and my sibs. 🙂

  56. I adore (among other people) my siblings, and wish I wasn’t so far from them!
    Love that people paper chain – I can just see using it on a page about me and my sibs. 🙂

  57. I adore my family. I can’t imagine a day without my husband and children. Each day I thank God for my precious gifts!

  58. I adore my family. I can’t imagine a day without my husband and children. Each day I thank God for my precious gifts!

  59. Thanks for the chance 🙂

  60. Thanks for the chance 🙂

  61. Sharon Kay says:

    I adore my mother … and do not look forward to her moving further away from us as she looks for their retirement home. I also adore my dh and all 3 of my ds.

  62. Sharon Kay says:

    I adore my mother … and do not look forward to her moving further away from us as she looks for their retirement home. I also adore my dh and all 3 of my ds.

  63. I adore my children. I’ve got two boys, age 4 and almost 2 – they amaze me every day! I just love them!

  64. I adore my children. I’ve got two boys, age 4 and almost 2 – they amaze me every day! I just love them!

  65. I adore my family! I won’t be here without them. Thank you!

  66. I adore my family! I won’t be here without them. Thank you!

  67. I adore my four children and love to scrapbook pictures of them. I am learning how thanks to Misty Cato’s tutorials! Great Blog! Thanks for the giveaway!

  68. I adore my four children and love to scrapbook pictures of them. I am learning how thanks to Misty Cato’s tutorials! Great Blog! Thanks for the giveaway!

  69. I adore when my grandson sees me and comes running and gives me a big hug and says Hi damma! It makes me feel sooo good! Of course I adore all my children and watching them grow up, too!

  70. I adore when my grandson sees me and comes running and gives me a big hug and says Hi damma! It makes me feel sooo good! Of course I adore all my children and watching them grow up, too!

  71. What do I adore?? My awesome hubby! He is an amazing man – a great daddy as well. He takes such good care of his girls (me and our 2 year old DD).

  72. What do I adore?? My awesome hubby! He is an amazing man – a great daddy as well. He takes such good care of his girls (me and our 2 year old DD).

  73. I absolutely adore my son. He is the most amazing person. I learn just as much from him as he does from me.

  74. I absolutely adore my son. He is the most amazing person. I learn just as much from him as he does from me.

  75. I adore my husband – he is the best!

  76. I adore my husband – he is the best!

  77. I’d say I really adore 3 boys in my life: my boyfriend, my little brother, and my evil little nephew. LOL They make my life more fun!

  78. I’d say I really adore 3 boys in my life: my boyfriend, my little brother, and my evil little nephew. LOL They make my life more fun!

  79. I simply adore my iPod! lol After my husband and family, of course, but my iPod is right up there! lol

  80. I simply adore my iPod! lol After my husband and family, of course, but my iPod is right up there! lol

  81. suladesign says:

    I’m not sure, whether I’m too late, but I adore my two nieces and my nephew! They are the cutest kids ever!

  82. suladesign says:

    I’m not sure, whether I’m too late, but I adore my two nieces and my nephew! They are the cutest kids ever!

  83. I adore my family! I live far away from them, and have learned to appreciate all of them so much more as a result!

  84. I adore my family! I live far away from them, and have learned to appreciate all of them so much more as a result!

  85. I adore my children – what a blessing they are to me~

  86. I adore my children – what a blessing they are to me~

  87. I do adore family. They are what is important! Thanks for the giveaway!

  88. I do adore family. They are what is important! Thanks for the giveaway!

  89. I adore my daughter … she is 6 years old and full of life. She constantly reminds me that life is full of wonder, amazement, joy and learning .. things that we oftentimes forget as jaded adults.

    Thank you so much for the chance to win this beautiful kit, and thank you for the creative force you inspire in all of us in the scrapbooking community!

  90. I adore my daughter … she is 6 years old and full of life. She constantly reminds me that life is full of wonder, amazement, joy and learning .. things that we oftentimes forget as jaded adults.

    Thank you so much for the chance to win this beautiful kit, and thank you for the creative force you inspire in all of us in the scrapbooking community!

  91. I adore my children! Thanks for a chance to win!

  92. I adore my children! Thanks for a chance to win!

  93. I adore .. free time!

    What can I say, I love my kids, but I do crave a little peace and quiet come evening time 🙂

  94. I adore .. free time!

    What can I say, I love my kids, but I do crave a little peace and quiet come evening time 🙂

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