"K" aka "Kla" aka "Klala" aka "labelwhore" aka "KC" "Kristina Contes" is an 28-year-old scrapbooker from New York and innovator of the "life art" movement. As an emerging avant garde, she had elevated the timeless qualities of scrapbooking craft into a deeply personal art form, breaking the old molds of traceable snowflakes and wooden buttons. Through an innovative form of self-obsession, she managed to appeal to like-minded baby-booming scrappers the world over. In 2007, she reached the pinnacle of her craft with her induction to the esteemed Creating Keepsakes Hall Of Fame.
As Creating Keepsakes prepared their annual HOF publication, the editorial staff overlooked a rule that Kristina had unwittingly broken. Upon hitting the newsstands, the scrapbooking world exploded into an orgy of rage. Long time subscribers canceled. Bloggers ranted. Editors were fired. Hordes of bored grandmothers would willfully neglect the bastard children left in their care, spending every waking moment in online forums to rant and rave about the scandal. Eventually, Kristina and several other scrappers were unceremoniously stripped of their titles. In the wake of the scandal, an untraversable chasm formed between old-guard doily folders and modern inkjet artists, and a world premised on ripping crap out of your environment and sticking it between the folds of a book was torn asunder by content rights and photo credits.
The Kristina Cortes method of creating Scrapbook Life Art is an supremely individualistic process that delivers unique, unpredictable results. Reliably.
- Get Paper
- Put A Photo On Paper
- Think of a word that fits the photo.
- Type word in large, random font.
- Think of a song lyric or invent a pretentious haiku.
- Type the phrase in a smaller, unreadable font.
- Arrange the text on paper.
- Copy and paste stencil art.
- Add a large stylized "K" (or your own first initial).
Please see this flickr page for more examples.
Fame and Fortune and Failure
Years of persistent, obsessive scrapbooking, along with MySpace, blogging, and forum trolling, paid off when she was recognized in Creative Keepsakes' Hall Of Fame. Unfortunately for Kristina, one of her professional photographer friends demanded a photo credit for some of the photos. The editors at CK went ahead and added the photo credit to the version that would be included in the Hall Of Fame book, not realizing that one of the contest rules had been broken: Submissions must be solely the contestant's work.
When the book hit the shelves and readers noticed the photo credit, Creative Keepsakes found their message boards under siege from thousands of outraged scrappers. Kristina crossed a line that many other scrapbookers had undoubtedly crossed before, but credit for the contents of a scrapbook is something not to be shared, especially considering that the photographer in question was a professional.
Scrapper Reactions To Hall-Of-Fame-Gate
"This is a prestigious and life-altering contest."
"I don't think it shows KC cheated - it shows CK cheated which is far worst. They wanted her to be a HOF and ignored the rules for her. If anyone doubts that, they are fools."
"In my opinion, what example does she set for her children? It's okay to lie and cheat as long as we get permission first?"
"CK was going to make Stacy [Julian] a Hall of Famer in the first batch when she was already employed by the magazine. At the last minute they took her out and subsituted somebody else. This contest rigging has been going on since the beginning."
"if it were me, i'd have walked away ... that's what a real woman would do ... long jawed dick suck"
"Hearing all this is kinda like finding out for sure your boyfriend is cheating. You think you wanna know, but then when you do see the bitch in Fujicolor, you realize you really DITN'T wanna know."
"I have tried to get published for the last 5 years. About 3 months ago I won a contest to be published in a major magazine. But, after reading the rules carefully again, like KC, I had broken them. For about 10 minutes I kept thinking "Don't worry about it, nobody's gonna know." ... my kids were going to look me in the eye. How could I, as a moral, ethical, human being pass ideals of honesty and integrity onto my children if I couldn't practise it myself. I wrote ... excusing myself as a winner in the contest. Then I proceeded to cry for about 3 days."
"My subscription runs out this month, and I will not renew. I will also not buy any more of their books or special issues, or any other product/service--including CKU and Conventions... I am still undecided on continued participation on the message boards."
"WOW. I AM A LURKER TO. FOR A FEW MONTHS NOW. NEVER REALLY HAVE TO MUCH TO SAY BUT THIS IS SO SAD. CK WAS THE FIRST MAG I WAS INTRODUCED TO WHEN I BEGAN SCRAPING. I AM ONE OF THE LUCK ONES. IT IS A NATURAL ART TO ME AND I LOVE IT. SO IS TAKING PICTURES. WHAT SCRAPPER, EVER, COULD FORGET WHO TOOK WHAT PICTURE. PICTURES ARE 50% OF SCRAPPING. PERSONALLY IF SHE WAS THAT BUSY THEN SHE NEEDS TO GET A LIFE. SERIOUSLY. IF YOU ARE SO BUSY SCRAPPIN THAT YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW WERE THE PICTURE CAME FROM, THE PRIORITIES ARE A LITTLE OFF. I AM JUST A COUNTRY GIRL. I BELIEVE IN SECOND CHANCES, BUT SECOND CHANCES ALSO HAVE TO BE EARNED AND FRANKLY, THIS KC PERSON(YEH SHE IS FAMOUS, DON'T KNOW HER,NEVER HEARD OF HER,AND NOW NEVER WANT TO AGAIN) HAS NO IDEA HOW TO SHOW HUMILITY,RESPECT,OR EVEN HOW TO ASK FOR FORGIVENESS.THATS WHAT A BIG HEAD WILL GET YOU EVERY TIME. I CAN ALSO SAY I WILL NOT RENEW. I AM DONE."
"Thank You CK and Kristina Contes ... Because of your lack of integrity and your blatant failure to do what was right regarding the HOF Contest I have pulled every bit of your product from the floor of my store as I said that I would if you continue to ignore this situation. "
"I went to Mike's today and looked through the HOF issue...I can now see why it took her only four hours to do her entries."
"I'm also wondering how on page 79 of the new HOF book the woman was able to take pictures of herself competing in a triathlon?"
"CK is a sinking tub full of shit."
"I don't care if she scrapped the Mona Lisa, as long as it inspires me. "
"kristina is probably Mormon, so that makes it ok."
"Dear person in their 20's who thinks that having a tattoo, listening to Imogen Heap, wearing Converses, and collecting Absolut paraphenalia makes you different...."
Kristina did not hesitate to claim that her infraction of the rules was no big deal, and that all of the complaints were coming from bitter old women that were well past their prime. The original blog response is gone, but a few snippets remain out on the net...
"Here's the deal. I absolutely did use Nisa's headshot in my entry. When I made my pages, I was simultaneously working on Dare book stuff and didn't even think twice (or fully read) about the rules (I was WAY more worried about assembling my entry and how to show all the pages of my minibook attached to a piece of black bazzill by a ball chain). Anyway. I never imagined I would actually win, so there was no moral dilemma or thought out plan. I made pages I liked. I sent them in. I didn't expect to win. Period."
"People are so distraught over some technicality, then they are a little imbalanced and need to go spend time with their kids or something and get off the freaking computer."
"When we start getting this irrational over paper and glue and things we don't even know for sure, it is time we get our priorities in check. Scrapbooking is my life..."
""The only reason it's so blown out of proportion is b/c I tend to be a polarizing character in this industry."
"And if I was doing something shady or trying to cheat then you never would have seen the photo credit in the first place (DUH). Wait, I think that bears repeating. DUH."
"Sorry if ... you feel like your work has been passed over."
"This is when CK should have said 'Hey, that's against the rules' and handled it, kicked me out, burned me at the stake, whatever."
"Women prove time and again that they are ridiculous, vile creatures."
"I mean, it's not like I stole someone's boyfriend... This isn't high school."
Of course, all this simply pissed off the scrappers even more.
Ultimately, Creating Keepsakes stripped Kristina of her crown, punished another winner, and re-evaluated all of their contest entries. In the future, all potential winners will be forced to sign an affidavit claiming that all work on their scrapbooks were done solely by the contestant.
Kristina took a short break from the scrapbooking world, but is now back to scrapping for her own enjoyment.