Ok, maybe it’s because when I hear “the rules of this hobby” my skin crawls, or I’m just a natural rebel, but when I followed the link to this post from Simple Scrapper’s post today, it really bugged me. Those of you who’ve spent time with me know how I feel about this already, but I think it’s time I speak out.
For those newbies with us who may not be aware, it is customary – no, often required – that when you post a layout online you post “credits” also. The post I referred to above suggested that in order to give “proper” credit, you should note the source of everything on your layout down to the “tiniest button”!
Some galleries will only let you post layouts made with products from their site. Others will require you to credit the designer, but not allow you to mention the site where you purchased the product if it is not their site.
How on earth is a girl to keep track of all these “rules” – and be CREATIVE??
Let’s look at the subject from another perspective, shall we?
I’m also a seamstress, having spent more hours than I care to remember working in various costume shops and one memorable backpack factory. I have made my own patterns, and even made all the dresses for my wedding including my own!
Sewers work with many materials: sourced from one retailer, several retailers, or taken from a long-held ‘stash’. They start with patterns (templates), and make changes small and large to the design or cut. They use fabrics (papers) with copyrighted prints by name designers, and add trims and fasteners (embellishments). They’ve formed communities and proudly share photos of their work in galleries (galleries!).
But where are the credits? Occasionally someone will link to a pattern they found online, or mention a favorite fabric designer. But I’ve never seen a listing that said:
Fabric: Fabulous Flowers by Sue Ellen Textiles, Thread: by Coats and Clarke’s premium sewer line, Zipper: from YKK home-sew collection, Lace Trim: handmade from GothMom at Etsy, Hook and Eye fastners: Sew-Rite at JoAnn Fabrics, Hem binding tape by Sew-Rite also at JoAnn Fabrics.
It would be laughable.
We purchased those supplies, and the entity that sold them to us understood that we would use them to make something, and call it our own work. Fabric manufacturers wouldn’t DREAM of requiring people to credit their work when they post to online communities. Browsing the gallery at JoAnn Fabrics – one of the largest sewing supply retailers in the industry – one is hard pressed to even find a reference to a pattern, unless it’s a post from JoAnn’s staff. In other words, unless it’s ADVERTISING.
So here’s my question…
When did we decide that it was ok to let the manufacturers of the products we pay for bully us into doing their advertising?
I can see requiring your Creative Team members to post credits – you’re paying them (if only in product) to do so. But to require – REQUIRE! – your customers to go out of their way to provide free advertising for you? I’m not buying it.
5 REASONS NOT TO POST CREDITS
- It’s a pain in the butt to keep track. This is clear by the sheer number of different ways people attempt to do this.
- It deters people from sharing. Don’t tell me there haven’t been times you’ve decided not to post a layout somewhere because you didn’t note the credits and can’t remember where you got the supplies.
- It discourages newbies – they often find the complicated rules overwhelming and get discouraged from sharing. These are the people who are the future of our industry, I think discouraging and intimidating them is bad policy for business.
- It limits our range. People choose a site and stick with it because they know the ‘rules’ and don’t have to stress about what they can post. While this may appear good for business, it’s bad for the industry. Sites get ‘cliquey’ which puts off newcomers, people aren’t exposed to new ideas and styles and artists, and they actually spend LESS when they’re limited to the same designers over and over.
- It stifles the creative process. People often just scrap from one kit, to make credit-keeping easier. This results in layouts that are so much less than they could be. I noticed a while ago that the scrappers I admire the most ALWAYS pull from multiple kits to get just the right piece.
3 REASONS TO POST CREDITS
- You found something you really love and just HAVE to share! It’s wonderful to be able to turn your friends onto a product you love.
- You want to promote a particular site or designer – whether it’s to support a friend or you’re being paid as a Creative Team member.
- You want to head off questions. There’s a particularly unique font, element or paper that you know people are going to want to know about.
As a matter of fact, I think that’s where this thing got out of hand. I think people started posting credits because they realized they were being asked where they got things and thought they’d head off the questions. Then designers said, “Hey! I’ll get people to post layouts with my stuff and tell everyone where they got it, and they’ll all flock to my store!” and Creative Teams were born. Then sites decided to ‘protect’ their designers and started coming up with more and more restrictive ‘rules’… and here we are.
2 TIMES YOU SHOULD POST CREDITS
- When you scraplift or start with a template. It is assumed the layout design is yours unless you specify otherwise, whereas it is NOT assumed you made the paper or other supplies. So to avoid claiming credit for someone else’s work, you should always credit a scraplift or template source.
- When you made something yourself! It’s never wrong to toot your own horn. Be proud of what you’ve learned and inspire another scrapper to try making papers or elements by claiming credit. Especially if you can link to a tutorial or other source and share the knowledge!
So…? What do you think? Do you get annoyed by having to post credits? Do you think it should be part of the purchase contract – that any time you post for public view work made with these items you must credit the designer/store? Anyone belong to other artistic galleries for other mediums, and what are their crediting requirements?
Tawk amongst yerselfs. I’m gonna get some cawfee.
PS – look in our gallery for our posting rules. You won’t find them. All I ask is you be kind, be honest, and don’t overload us with ‘advertising’ by CTs.