Team Tim

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I have had a few blog readers ask if I will talk about meeting craft industry “celebrities”. I do have a few good stories and today I thought I’d share one that is pretty darn special to me.

The first few times I “met” Tim Holtz would have been as a local store manager attending (as a buyer) trade shows. I remember thinking he was straight up awesome + really good at teaching about his product.

 In April of 2005, I met up with Tim at Scrapbook Territory. When I say “met up” I mean I spent what was to my budget a good deal of money to take a class from him. It was worth EVERY cent. Truly the best three hours – and my first ever break from then 2 month old Elizabeth. (In the picture you can see Tim holding up her current photo… wild. She’s starting Kindergarten this month!!

This layout celebrating that meeting/class makes me cringe – but darn it I was trying SO HARD to find my style and do my own thing. If you want to read more about my creative journey you can see the posts so far here. What did we make in class?

The class was all about distress inks, and much of the knowledge I gained (as well as at least 10 ink pads that I purchased) are still with me and working today. I totally loved how grungy and vintage his style was – and I really started to get that I too am a lover of vintage style.

What really got me about this class was how he taught. The play and variation, the personal expression that he encouraged, and especially the boxes of treasure to sort through and use. Rather than a kit, we could play and enjoy a huge variety which resulted in everyone having a totally custom little book.

It was an important creative day for another reason – I had a major breakthrough on this day. You see I’d recently announced that I would not be returning as a store manager but instead stay home with Elizabeth. I still wanted to work creatively, but my confidence had taken some brutal beatings.

 But something happened in this class, something that would stick in my mind and become an anchor that kept me going, tiny as it was. I turned a screw around.

You see how I have one screw facing each way in my binding? I will never forget what happened as Tim was walking around in class. He picked up my book and asked how-why – just how had I thought to do something so cool and funky? My response was that it had seemed obvious I liked both sides and wanted to see both front and back. The kind words and creative praise I received as he continued to look at my book meant the world to me. Truly – it was EXACTLY what my confidence and creative spirit had needed in that moment.

I kept that praise and positive experience close in my heart and as a part of my confidence as I tried to make it as a freelance designer in this industry. I would remind myself that I had GOOD creative ideas in my brain and keep going, chin held high.

Over time I needed to lean on that memory less and less, to the point that it faded into more of a fond memory than anchor to my creative confidence. My respect and admiration of Tim Holtz grew nearly as much as his product lines. The way he stands behind everything he does, produces excellent quality items, and truly is passionate about what he does has always been admirable to me. Every trade show rolls around, and EVERY time I think “there’s no way he’s got something new and cooler than last time”… and yet he does. EVERY year.

I’ve seen Tim demo here and there at trade shows, and I even got tomeet up at Winter 2010 CHA – which was extra fun. I tell you he sold me on everything… even a die cut machine. (I know that’s SHOCKING for me – more on that some other day). He also challenged me to try his scissors (which I now consider my #1 pair) and I found myself noting that over time, even with all his success, he’s still very much “Tim” and is still very much a person I’d want to hang out with.He’s still doing things his way and I still consider myself very much a fan.

So imagine how I felt when he e-mailed me and asked me to be a part of this…

My reaction was first to wish for a time machine, travel back to April 2005 and tell that low-confidence new mama (me) to keep up the good work and give her a wink. Then I did a dance. Then I looked behind me to make sure the email wasn’t for the person standing behind me… it wasn’t.

So, that’s my Tim Holtz (celebrity crafter extraordinare) story so far. Now I get to work with even more of his stuff – and can reasonably e-mail him a bit more without being considered over the top fan or crazy lady. Excited? That doesn’t even begin to cover the range of emotion I’ve got going on – I think INSPIRED is a better word, because at the root that’s how I really feel.

Inspired to chase down my craziest ideas. To create. To do things MY way because it feels right. To be me. You’ll be seeing more projects from me right here too – so it’s a great thing all around.

Thanks to Tim – for being more of a part of my past than he knew, and for this fantastic opportunity… and new chapter in my creative journey.

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61 responses »

  1. Wow! I am so proud of you and happy FOR you, May! congratulations!!! You are soooo great with sharing and teaching. We appreciate YOU very much!

  2. WOO HOO ! I saw your name on his DT list and have so wanted to know all about it ! Thanks for sharing.

    I was able to meet Tim when he came here to my town, all his classes were full but we hung around and watched him demo all day ! And at the end, I got a hug and photo with him and another with Mario. Tim was so kind all day, answering the same questions over and over again to all who asked. It made my heart feel good to know that he was a good person, not just a celebrity type. (and he sat at that table all day without a break!)

    I’m looking forward to good things ahead , May !

  3. I am giddy for you!!! I totally love everything about Tim’s designs, his techniques and his products–It is a dream of mine to get a class with him but so far I have struck out! I gotta say I am excited that we will now be able to get some of “tim” through you now!!! I know you will ROCK at this new adventure!!! See you over at BPS–

  4. Congratulations, May, that’s AWESOME!!!! And, in some ways, how much more meaningful to be on this particular team because of the stories you told here. I’ve never been to a class or event that Tim taught, but love the videos he does to show us all how to use his products. He seems like a very cool guy.

  5. What a fantastic story. Love that Tim is as nice in person as he is online. I’m sure he is thrilled to find out that he had such an influence on your creative journey. We never know when what we say can have such an impact on someone. Thanks for sharing your inspiring story.

  6. Congratulations, May! I have met Tim at numerous trade shows and had the opportunity to take classes and workshops with him many times over the past 8 years. He is truly as you say, “still Tim”. His teaching style is comfortable and encouraging to everyone. I’ve seen many students walk into a class star-struck and walk out afterward feeling like they’ve taken a class with an old friend.

    I am so happy for you (and a bit jealous as well!).

  7. That’s what I so loved about your class this year – your style really hit a note with me. You seem to incorporate all the techniques I love into your scrapping/crafting and it was almost as if you’d looked inside my head to find out all the things I love to do .It really gave me confidence to go with what I liked and be happy with it..
    Congratulations – very well deserved.

  8. Such a delightful story! I saw your name on the DT list. Way to go! Anxious to see where more of his products take you. Looking forward to the Stash class at BPS. We must plan a crop day in the not too distant future. Too bad you’ll miss the 28th at ST.

  9. Congratulations May!! I think you are a great inspiration and can’t wait to see what you are up to on Tim’s design team. Thanks for sharing your story, with us.

  10. What a truly amazing story! Congratulations on making Tim’s DT – I look forward to spending lots more time on your blog which I found via Mario’s tweet!

  11. Oh you lucky girl!!!!!! Other than you Tim ROCKS!!!!!!! I am so happy and jealous of you!!! I know you will be just the designer Tim knows you are! Big congrats to you!!!

  12. I am so excited for you. My experience meeting Tim was similar that I had a revelation for myself. And he is just like you say, encouraging friendly and exactly like he acts in his videos. We are lucky to have such a role model. He is lucky to get you.

  13. AHHHH May this is so EXCITING! Congratulations on working with one of *the* most creative people and his wonderful products! It truly is great to know how “real” people are even with celeb status. I am so happy for you!

  14. Congratulations May! How cool is that!?!?! I got tears in my eyes when I read the part about going back to 2005 and talking to the scared scrapper that you were. I am thrilled for you. I love that you have broken out to become a guiding voice in the industry. Congratulations, you deserve this!

  15. well I have to say THAT has just inspired ME too ! I guess journalling and blogging is really like writing a diary but to everyone who is reading, not just yourself 🙂 what a great story..thanks so much for sharing MAY xx cu later at UYS 🙂

  16. Hi May,

    Love your story and your name – it was my mother’s name!

    Looking forward to seeing what you come up with while on Tim’s Design Team.

  17. What a beautiful story to share and a real inspiration to the many of us still looking for that confidence.
    I am so happy and impressed that Tim asked you to be on his design team, such a wonderful opportunity. Enjoy the ride!

  18. MAY!!
    That is so great! I am so happy for you! You have always been a lover of all things inky and vintage! Tim’s design team is so perfect for you. CONGRATS! xo

  19. Whoot! Whoot! What a thrill May to have you on his creative team. Of course I love Tim’s stuff-and now to be able to see them interpreted through your eyes is going to be awesome 🙂 Can’t wait!

  20. Tim came to South Africa a few years back to teach at a Scrapbook Convention which is held here each year – it was an amazing class (one of the few items I actually finished) and he was a wonderful teacher. I’m so happy for you May – truly awesome 🙂

  21. Congrats, May! A crafter only has to watch a few minutes of a Tim Holtz video to understand how talented he is. Enjoy yourself on his team, I can only imagine what a blast it will be.

  22. Shut!! Up!!! for real?? eeeek!!! im so so so thrilled for you girl!!! this is amazing…what an incredible opportunity!

    you are soooo perfect for this job!! cannot WAIT to see what happens…and thanks for the sweet back story…so cool to know how much this means to you.

  23. CONGRATS! That is so awesome-very happy for you! Isn’t it amazing too how just one little bit of encouragement can take you so far?

  24. Congrats May. I loved the story and you are so very deserving….I was looking through some of my older scrapbooks the other day and found the page you scrapped for me as a prize on the Fiskateers board. It is one of my very special treasures….Can’t wait to see what you create on the wonderful Tim Holtz design team.. Oh I so love everything he does. Would love to one day take one of his classes!!

  25. Hi May~ I only just read this post today and am so very happy for you. Isn’t it so interesting how things just all connect at some point in time? Congratulations and I’m looking forward to see the fun things you do with Tim’s awesome products! 🙂

  26. May that is awesome! I too am a Tim fan! Have been for years! I can’t wait to see what you create! Very exciting! Thanks for the inspiration you give me!

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