early-bird registration WITH DISCOUNT opens this Weds, Jan 9,
but you must register to get early notice and discount code

get constructive feedback

I met several of the women I now work with at Get It Scrapped and Masterful Scrapbook Design because we were in a critique group together over 5 years ago.

Celeste Smith, Doris Sander, Betsy Sammarco, Paula Gilarde and I used to post our pages for each other (and the rest of our group) with a request for feedback. If that sounds scary to you, read on to find out why it’s actually an empowering and enriching experience.

In a well-run critique group, the goal is not to tell a designer what’s wrong with a piece. Rather, it is to give the designer the opportunity to “see” his or her work through the eyes of others and find out if and why it appeals to them. What draws the eye first? How does it make the viewer feel? What is the story the viewer takes away? What might she or he change if it were their page?

the critique group

Participating in a critique group allows you to:

  • understand the impact your work makes.  You (hopefully) understand how a piece of your work affects you, yourself ( you know how  you look at it and what you take away from it). But what grabs others? Where does your viewer’s eye go first on the page? How involved in/interested in the page are they? What do they think it’s about? What mood/feeling/associations did it evoke for them?
  • learn how to weight and use criticism. You get multiple eyes on a piece and voices weighing in. This creates a mechanism for deciding which advice to take and which to decline. Every critic comes at a piece with some degree of subjectivity and personal preference, but with several opinions you’ll find there are always some words of advice repeated and, thus, important to consider.
  • gain objectivity about your own work for the re-visioning process. As you get repeated feedback you learn to see in new ways. What’s more, you learn how to step back after finishing a page and consider it with less subjectivity. You learn how to spot things that should be changed on your own.
  • hone your craft. Seeing your work and the work of others considered by a group over and over again, you will see visual design in action and internalize the principles and elements so that they become second nature – so that your eye and your hand are confident.
  • evolve your style and try new things. You will go new places with your craft when you’re in a critique group as a result of several aspects of the experience including: the assignments, seeing what others create that you like and the changes you make as a result of feedback.

the guided study critique group (getting a leg up)

The quality of your experience in a critique group is directly affected by the level of proficiency your fellow group members possess. Thus, many of us looking for feedback find ourselves in a “chicken-or-the-egg” situation. How do you get into a critique group with skilled groupmates if you, yourself, are still learning?

A guided-study critique group takes care of this challenge. In a guided-study critique group, you not only get feedback on whatever page you made this week, you study focused topics together with your group and create assignments around those topics.

Additionally, you are led by experienced designers who keep you on track and guide everyone in getting questions answered and assimilating feedback and opinions. As a result, you and your groupmates develop the skills to give solid feedback, yourselves.

two guided-study critique groups (12 seats each)

this winter at Get It Scrapped

This winter at Get It Scrapped we will offer a guided-study critique experience. The session will last 4 weeks with the first round of feedback going out on January 24th. There is an absolute maximum of 12 seats in each group. (We’ve got 2 groups so that’s 24 seats total–no more!)

When the 4 weeks are complete you may continue workshopping with your group or a subset of it using Get It Scrapped private facilities at no charge. (We will also offer a second round of guided-study critique focusing on other design elements and principles, and you will have the first opportunity to grab one of the limited number of seats in it.)

participants in our fall workshops say:

This is the most unique online class I’ve ever taken since I began enrolling in online classes 5 years ago. It feels like I am taking a professional level design course, which I am! The readings are informative, the assignments are specific, and the feedback is delivered in a useful and encouraging manner. I would highly recommend this experience to anyone who wants to sharpen their design sense and learn to see their work in an objective manner. – Sue Althouse

I’m loving it. I’m applying it. I’m dreaming it. And I want more already! – Ronnie Crowley

I have enjoyed other online scrapbooking classes, yet I consider this experience to have been superior.  Having a live discussion of 12 layout examples each week that demonstrated a design principle reinforced those concepts in my mind.  It is a method of learning that really suited me.  And, sensitive Scorpio that I am, I didn’t get my feelings hurt (not even once). -Susanne Brauer

Having access to some brilliant creative minds is the beauty of this online class. The creative team’s capacity to support and nurture participants through the creative design process is seemingly tireless and inspirational. This class has given me greater insight into my own processes and has supported my development in understanding design components and their application to not only scrapbooking pages but also art journaling and any other creative process. – Celia Meehan

As a teacher, I can appreciate the planning and preparation that has gone into the delivery of this course: the resources are excellent- well-written, clear and concise; the structured lessons deliver the content effectively; the application tasks are very relevant; and the feedback is timely, generous, and constructive. For me, this has proven to be of great value, and well worth the time and money I’ve invested. If the course finished this week, I’d be satisfied. You’ve packed in a lot of learning in a few short weeks! – Kelley Fewer

This class has been just the kick-start I needed and I finally feel like I’m sinking my teeth into scrapbooking instead of just dipping my toe in the water now and then. – Sandie Conry

The course is definitely chock full. What I am amazed by is how concepts are coming together for me now. I sort of had a grasp on things. Now I see them more clearly, and I am feeling a lot more confident about some concepts now. – Christy Strickler

I came into this class thinking I already knew a fair amount about design, having spent the last few years reading about/listening to/watching design info for scrapbookers and others.  What I was hoping to get, and am getting, is feedback on how well I’m actually using what I know in my designs.  What I’m also getting is a deeper understanding of what I thought I knew.  What I love about GIS and MSD is the sheer wealth of information you put out there.  So much to absorb and digest, and this class is no exception.  – Laura Kaplan 


We will open registration first to those who let us know they are especially interested in the program by clicking on the link below and providing an email address. Note – there will be only 24 seats total. If there are still seats after the early-bird announcement, we will open up registration to our general mailing list 24 hours later.
This early bird announcement and access to registration will happen on Weds, Jan 9th.

Are you interested in getting first notification when registration opens? If so, click here to get on the early-notice list. (If you get an error while signing up for the list, it’s probably because you signed up in the fall and are still on the list. Email debbie@debbiehodge.com with any concerns.)

All best,
Debbie Hodge