Help lol - where do I start?

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Help lol - where do I start?

So, I have no idea where to start with this venture. For now, aside from my previous years making websets, being in Scrapbook Land is like being in a foreign country! I've been browsing here and other sites to try to learn some of the terminology, cu/s4h/pu, etc., so I know I'll get that eventually. But I literally don't know where to begin or with what.

Do most of you create your own images, use kits made by others, or both? Do you mix them? If you make your own, do you set aside days to make papers, elements, etc.?

I know I'm more interested in creating quick pages, kits, or templates for others to use and sell (eventually) than scrapping for myself, if that info helps at all.

So, where do I begin here at PS to begin being able to upload something to the gallery? Make some papers? Assets? Templates? I'm still learning what all goes, or should go, into kits.

I just need some direction. I've been scouring the forums, but am still clueless.

Thanks if you've gotten this far. smiley

Hi Lisa ... check the forums and go to 'get started' ... then jump in and get your feet wet...there are a variety of different types of scrapper here .... some that create with other's kits, others that design and scrap. Check out the tutorials as well as download some of the free templates and work with them ... they will get you started. Careful though ... it's addicting smiley

Hello Lisa!

" I've been browsing here and other sites to try to learn some of the terminology, cu/s4h/pu, etc., so I know I'll get that eventually"

Basically, PU is personal Use, CU is Comercial Use and S4H is Scrap for hire - what means you can use the kits to make projects to sell by individual costumers. But the definitions of what is allowed on each of these licenses varies from designer to designer - so, you must always read each term of use if you aren´t using a page for a personal use project.

"Do most of you create your own images, use kits made by others, or both? Do you mix them? If you make your own, do you set aside days to make papers, elements, etc.?"

The average scrapper makes pages using a single kit made by others. The majority of people don´t mix kits. But there are some people who recolor stuff for their personal use, do accents for pages using brushes, custom shapes, etc, and there are designers who do kits or minis for every single page they do.
The designers´working process varies a lot. Some of them make all the papers for the kit, then the elements, some make papers and elements at same time, some start by the wordarts and doodling stuff... There are designers who make a little everyday, there are designers who make all their work for that week in 2 evenings...

"So, where do I begin here at PS to begin being able to upload something to the gallery?"

I couldn´t find now the number of community points you need to apply for gallery access, but I guess you already meet the requirement. Type "gallery" on the help section (there´s a link to it on the white menu on the top) to know more about it. The Gallery Guidelines are, as Susan mentioned, on getting started section (here). Please, note that the Pixel Scrapper gallery is only for finished LAYOUTS, i.e, digital scrapbook pages. No paper/element/journal card/QP/etc, can be uploaded to it. when we say layouts (or LOs) on scrapbooking, we ALWAYS mean finished pages.
For now, the only people who are able to post papers/elements/actions/styles/Quick Pages/and other downlodable stuff to this site are the Pixel Scrapper designers. If you want to know who they are, click here.

Make some papers? Assets? Templates? I'm still learning what all goes, or should go, into kits.

To be a good digital scrapbook designer you´ll need to be, at least, an average digital scrapper first. You need to have at least a notion on what make a kit good and easy to use and what make them difficult to use. If you want to make templates or Quck pages, you will do them based on the pages you made for yourself. Although you´ll probably have some sort of Creative Team someday, You´ll still need to make some layouts either to promote a kit, or to make sample layouts for challenges/speedscraps/etc you host on the site you sell at to promote them.

So, first of all: Browse the gallery, see some layouts you like, and pin them to Pinterest or save their link to any other way. Then, go to freebies section, or to the blog train list, download and unzip some kits. If you can have some bought full kits (since freebies are, most of time, minis), it would be good to.

Then, open a photo of yours and a layout you liked with one photo. Now, do a scraplift of that layout: pick a paper that somehow looks like the background paper (if it´s a solid, use a solid, if it has some subtle pattern, grab a subtle-patterned paper, etc) and put on the background. Place your photo in the same place the photo on the layout is. Then, try to substitute every single thing you see in the original layout for something similar in the kit you choose. Finally, try to mimic the shadows the person used. Then, answer to yourself:

-How many papers you use? How many of them were solid, how many had a subtle pattern and how many had a contrasty pattern?
-Which elements you saw in the original layout that you didn´t have in that kit? there were any good substitute for them?
-How many elements did I use? They looked good together?
-Was it easy to use that kit to make this layout? Why? Why not?
-If I was designing this kit, what I should include that wasn´t included?

Repeat this exercise LOTs of times, with different kits and layouts. Take notes. Start creating your own pages, istead of scraplifting others. Think on balance, white space, color shcemes... Maybe your trip to scrapbook world will require you to try some paper scrap LOs too - to learn how the elements are layered "in real life" and how are the shadows cast by them when you see a picture of a paper scrap layout, to see the kinds of materials and textures that are used, etc - or maybe not. This will be very useful to build succesfull kits.

Before start creating your own kits, research about the quality standards for digital scrapbook, because they´re very different from the ones for graphic designing or web designing. I know because there are some designs I make that are ok for my husband standards (he´s graphic designer for marketing industry) but wouldn´t pass the QC if I had tried to sell them in a kit. And, after you finish your first kit, ask some designer to QC it for you (there will be lots of mistakes, don´t worry, it´s common!) and, after you fix the issues, find a newbie and ask him/her to make a layout with your kit for you. Seing the ways newbies use your kits, if you´re already used to think on the composition of layouts, will help you identify the weak points of them. smiley

I would love to see a critique area in the forum for us newbies. I wouldn't mind posting something I have uploaded to my picassa album in link form for critiques. I am in the same boat, I am getting the drift of what people are saying you need, but applying it to my own designs, that is a little trickier than reading - do this and that. If there is something like that here and I missed it, please point it out. smiley

@Lorien - you have some excellent tips in your post. Thank you.

@Kat: We do have them. There is this topic for layout critique requests and this topic for desing QC requests...

Susan and Lorien, thank you so much! Lorien, your post should be a sticky thread!! Excellent information and I thank you for the details. Very much appreciated. I need to copy that into a text file to keep handy.

Kat, hopefully, we'll get it! I'm a bit overwhelmed, but hoping to begin sorting it all out.

Thanks for all the great info! I too am overwhelmed and am still trying to figure out Photoshop! I have been downloading tons of things from the web and split the kits apart and put all embellishments together and papers etc.... Then I realized I have no way to give credit to designers if I use and post layouts made with their designs! Rookie mistake! Thanks for helping all of us. I will visit this thread often!

Glad you all liked what I wrote, lol. Must be full of spelling and wording mistakes since I was hosting a Speed Scrap, doing the example LO for it and writing this at same time. I´m hearting this topic not to forget it and will rewrite it properly later, with some drafts I started before having serious issues with my cats (they´re having serious behaviour problems we´re trying to control...) that I hope will be good starting points for people willing to learn how to design.

Note: I´m not a super pro designer, I just opened my first store. But it´s what I learned last year trying to design my stuff, being in some wonderful CTs around the digiscrap land, helping on forum moderation here on Pixel Scrapper, and observing the trajectories of other succesfull designers smiley

Thanks Lorien, for your extensive answer. There are some wonderful tips in there! I know I learned a lot (and am still learning) from collecting and analysing kits I love by other designers. I love your tips on scraplifting over and over until you figure out what works and what doesn't. Thanks!

I know I learned a lot (and am still learning) from collecting and analysing kits I love by other designers.

Me too Melo! I love to observe what goes in a kit, what atracts me the most to a kit, what are the drawbacks, if I can do something with a kit that is not related with its theme, what kinds of kits make me cluster easier, etc.

Okay, so I have a NEW question, but didn't know whether to start a new post or not.

I think I'm much more suited to doing tagger size things since I'm not into scrapbooking for myself. The more I poke around PS and dig into the forums and threads, I'm beginning to think maybe I might be an oddball here lol. I saw some old tagger size question threads and wondered if anyone does that here since nothing in the gallery is tagger size.

Sheesh, I just realized I didn't even ask a question. I guess it would be this ... is PS still a good place to hang out if I decide to learn how to do tagger size graphics?

Obviously, this all still confuses me! smiley

Yes! PS is still a good place to hang out. Period! LOL! ;D

Lol, thank you, Mollie! I will and am learning to use those gargantuan sizes. :eek: lol

The print sizes are pretty overwhelming. I've only dabbled in making papers because I still can't quite wrap my head around the dimensions. I CAN tell you, though, that it gets easier the more you work with it.

I like to draw and paint digitally, but what I started with and grew accustomed to were dimensions suited for viewing on the web, basically tagger sizes. I honestly never even considered printing any of my art until DeviantART started offering their print service. Then, when I tried to make something at a print size, I was SO overwhelmed by the vast empty canvas, I gave up. It's taken me YEARS to come back to trying anything with those bigger dimensions - in fact, it took finding PS about a year ago to get me back into the idea of it.

I started out by opening one of PS's overlay templates in Photoshop. At that point, I could make new layers and muck around and gently get a feel for the size of things. I've been sans-computer for about 9-months so I haven't gotten the opportunity to play around with anyone else's kits, and I think that, like Lorien said, would be an excellent place to start! Once you get an idea of the pixel dimensions, I think it will start to feel less intimidating. You'll zoom out a bit and it won't feel so huge and you'll be rocking it with no problems! smiley

Also, I'm not heavy into digital scrapbooking, if it makes you feel any better. I like to design stuff and make web graphics for Blogger pages and draw/paint digitally. That doesn't mean that I don't learn a TON from being on here or LOVE being on here - 'cause I DO! SO many of the techniques shared on here apply to graphic design in general. I have learned SO much in the brief period of time that I've been here: new Photoshop techniques (ahem, like masking layers - how did I go so long without it??), choosing palettes, etc. These are things that I can turn around and apply to almost everything I do for fun on the computer... except for maybe World of Warcraft, but we've talked video games on here, too! LOL!!

When you are working in larger formats try adding the rulers ... it helps to keep it real and then bringing the page down by using the 'fit to screen', only going back up when you need to take a look at a smaller piece of your image. I also have my grid marked in inches and use that a lot too. Using the rulers really does help.

Yes you are more than welcome to be a part of our community here if you decide to be a tagger only designer. You are free to use the items and knowledge however works best for you, as long as they are for commercial use. smiley
TIP: But do remember you will not be able to make theses kits larger to sell to a different clientele at a latter date. And most "scrappers" do not use tagger size kits because they do want to be able to print them at a later date. Most tagger size kits are used for signatures, FB, or online only albums. So make sure it's really the direction you want to head before you create too many tagger only sized kits.

Good Luck on your decision! smiley

Thank you for your input, ladies!

Mollie, you and I sound somewhat similar. I love making graphics and wish there was more of a true digital scrapbooking only (or mainly). I love the scrap tags (more of the siggy type). I love all components of scrapbooking - the flowers, the ribbons, bows, etc. The proportion sizes are a whole 'nuther learning thing, too, but that chart someone linked to helps a lot. When I closed my webset site, I figured my graphic-making days were over since I don't personally scrapbook. But boy I've saved many, many ds sites hoping to get back into making things! Masks are great (although they still mystify me) and as for games, it's Farmville 2 for me! lol

Susan, I've tried using rulers and for some reason, they bug me. But, that was always on the smaller sizes (800 by 800 pixels) and only if I was following a tutorial where they used them. I could never wait to turn it off! I'll trying using them and see if it helps with this bigger sizes, though.

Shawna, yeah after posting my question I did more googling and saw where people wished the tagger size designers would just make them big and then size them down. I'm curious about the commercial use comment you mentioned for the tagger sizes. Inform me purty please lol.

Thanks again, ladies, I'm slowly ... slowly, absorbing all these bits of knowledge!

Ohmygosh, Farmville 2, indeed! I just downloaded the Country Escape version on my Nexus 7 tablet last week and I haven't been able to put it down! If I keep going at this rate, it's probably gonna be "blacklisted" like The Sims franchise and Minecraft - I don't let myself play those because they suck me in and I disappear!! Almost literally. lol! smiley

Lol!!! I've resisted getting Country Escape and it helped immensely when I joined PS here. Now, I'm constantly thinking ... FV or PS, FV or PS. lol I'm keeping up the farming, but when I'm anxious to crack open PSP or PSE, farming turns into a full time job!

@Lisa Marie: What I meant is just make sure the items of others you are using to design your kits are made, shared, and/or sold as Commercial Use. Just meaning that you can design with them and give away or sell your items made from them. smiley I was referring to when I said you can use them however works best for you... I was just clarifying myself that I meant CU items and not PU items that some people give away here. LoL -- Sorry for the confusion. smiley

Oh, okay, that's what I was thinking you meant. smiley Wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something. Because that happens frequently. lol