Creative Teams 101


If you are new to digital scrapbooking, you may be curious about creative teams. You will have see talented scrapbookers with signature blocks indicating that they “create for” a variety of designers. But, what does that involve? Today, let’s go over some of the basics about creative teams.

In the world of digital scrapbooking, many product designers host a team of scrapbookers called their creative teams (CTs). The creative team member (CTMs) create beautiful sample pages showcasing the designers’ products in exchange for free access to those supplies. It’s a win-win for the designers and scrapbookers.


How does a scrapbooker get on a CT? Occasionally there is no application at all! Sometimes a particular scrapbooker will catch a designer’s eye because of their complementary style or how they are already working with the designer’s products. In this case, the designer will send out a private message to the scrapbooker and invite them to join their CT. That’s a fun message to receive!

Many designers host CT calls. Usually there is a requirement to fill out a small application. This can include providing:

  • A short bio
  • Why you want to be on this particular CT
  • A listing of which teams you are currently on and their requirements
  • A link to your most complete gallery

There are also guest CTM calls. A guest CTM is just like a regular CTM, but for a specific duration of time – perhaps one or two months.

If you’re interested in applying to a CT, Sweet Shoppe designer Traci Reed put together an article you might find useful on How to Knock Your CT Application Out of the Park and Get On All Your Dream Teams.


Before a scrapbooker is accepted onto a team, they usually have to agree to the team requirements and rules. For example, most teams require that each scrapbooker work with a certain number of products per month and post their work in a certain number of galleries. Some teams have requirements for writing a number of blog posts, hosting challenges or commenting in the designer’s gallery that are in addition to creating sample pages.

The rules on CTs are common sense. For example, if a CTM downloads a product, they should use it within a reasonable timeframe and provide a sample page to the designer. CTMs should not post sample pages until the product is actually released in the store, unless asked to by the designer. The designer’s product Terms of Use (TOU) also applies to CTMs – no file sharing, no claiming as your own work, no using Personal Use products for Commercial Use, etc.


Once a scrapbooker accepts the terms of the agreement, they’re on the team! The designer will set them up in the team forum. For an individual designer this can be a private site completely separate from the designer’s store or it can be a “hidden” forum within a store’s forum. I remember when I first starting CT-ing, I was amazed by all that went on in store forums, almost literally behind the scenes!

Team forums usually include sections for:

  • New  and archived products
  • CT pages
  • Team preparations for events (like Digital Scrapbooking Day, for example)
  • Team chit chat

The team forum is a very supportive place for the designer and CTMs. For example, team members share when they receive a Gallery Standout with the designer’s products and leave praise for each other’s pages and the upcoming new products.


CTMs receive free access to the designer’s products, or the entire store in the case of store CTMs. Individual designers usually issue coupons to their CTs for products. Some upload their products to a file sharing service and provide access links to the CT. Store CTs are usually set up so that the CTM’s user account provides them with free access to the store. (And yes, this is seriously awesome.)


Designers try to provide the CTMs with as much lead time as possible before the product release date so that the CTMs can create sample pages showcasing the product. Time also needs to be allowed for the designer to incorporate all the sample pages into the product previews, their newsletter, the store newsletter, and their blog.

Creating pages with gorgeous products is the best part about being on a CT! It also stretches CTMs creatively – the CT can be scrapping with an ultra-girly kit one week and a dog theme kit the next. It’s all part of the fun!


Once the product is released in the store, CTMs are asked to post their sample pages to the galleries as soon as possible. Most designers require that the CTMs post to their store site and a minimum number of other open galleries. Open galleries are places like MyScrapbookArt, DigiShopTalk, and ScrapStacks that allow users to post pages using any designer’s products. (In contrast, closed galleries only allow posted pages to contain their own designer’s products.)

And that’s a quick look at creative teams!


PS – The title graphic was made using Smart Aleck by Sweet Shoppe Designs