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Dash of Inspiration: Big Stock ONLY Design Challenge May 2017

May 1, 2017


“And now, here’s something we think you’ll really like!” Rocky and Bullwinkle

Just to keep things interesting, we will now be tossing Big Stock ONLY challenges into the monthly design challenge themes for something a little different; and hopefully to inspire you to really stretch those creative wings of yours. If you have never tried Big Stock card creation (aka: Stock Card Creations) before, this is the time to learn – and – don’t think that just because you are using a stock image that it’s easy peasy and boring. That’s very far from truth.

As with all creative processes and creative tools, there are idiosyncrasies to become familiar with and technique development to fine tune your skills, and the GCU Big Stock Card Creation Tool is no exception.

Before we get to the specifics of this month’s challenge, please note that we have added a Big Stock Creations page on the GCU Community Blog, snuggled right next to the Artist Resources, where we’ve collected all the great tips and tricks from blog posts, so that you may read up on using this creative tool – and – it’s HIGHLY recommended that you do exactly that!


Theme: Let Them Eat Cake


  • ONLY Big Stock cards will be accepted in this challenge.
  • Cake has to be a strong element in the overall stock image you choose. So think cake! Any and all uses are acceptable so it should be ‘a piece of cake‘ for you to create the perfect image and verse combo that ‘takes the cake‘ and wins the challenge!
  • Write your own verse/message, be creative. Find an image that speaks to you.
  • The judges will be looking for professional quality text layout, typography placement and font combinations. Your added value needs to wow the judges!


Entry Deadline: Wednesday, May 31st


How to Enter: Post the PID (card number) and the URL (public storefront link – please WAIT for the card to be available in the public marketplace, please DO NOT post a link to your Manage Cards area) as a post in the challenge blog. We’ll forward your entry to the jury.
NOTE: Submissions will appear immediately in your Private gallery as they await review.  If approved, the reviewer will move them to the public gallery – they will then become ‘live’ in the marketplace within 24-hours or so just like regular submissions. Be patient and wait.


Category: Research the category you intend to submit to before creating your card to make sure what you have in mind is different that what is currently being offered and is as good as if not better than current cards in the category. With that said, any category is accepted for this challenge as long as your card is a strong contender.

Note: Utilize the Notes to Reviewer field to include any helpful notes to the reviewer AND to indicate your intended category since you cannot select a category during submission.
Tip: Choose and work with an image that you feel a) fits with your vision and b) will meet GCU’s Submission Guidelines and c) is as good as or better than what’s being offered in the category of submission.



  • Submission must meet GCU’s Submission Guidelines and be Approved through the usual Review Cycle. Big Stock creations are automatically identified as Fast Track – please add in the Notes to Reviewer: May Design Challenge Submission here is the link to the blog post: (include THIS blog post URL)
  • Only ONE card per artist per challenge.
  • Submissions must be NEW, no existing designs.
  • Your entry must meet the Challenge Requirements and Theme or it will not be included in the challenge.
  • Big Stock Card Creations ONLY will be accepted.
  • Your designs should differ from those already offered in the categories above to offer shoppers a variety of choices, not more of the same.
  • No BLANK cards will be accepted.


BLIND Judging: We hope each of you enters every month! Entries are submitted anonymously for judging by the GCU Challenge Jury which means that before and during the challenge, judges do not have any way of knowing what artist is behind each entry. This eliminates any and all concerns with ‘favoritism’. Results will post on the Community Blog. The jury will judge the entries on the following criteria:

  • How well the card meets the Challenge Requirements and Theme.
  • How well the card speaks to the Category the artist chooses for the card submission.
  • Creativity, Execution and Marketability. Your overall ‘added value’ determines this.


Winners: 1st Place:

  • The winning designer’s card and store will be featured on the GCU Public Blog – the blog which customers view and follow.
  • As well as featured on the GCU Public Facebook Page – nearly 46,000 followers, now THAT’S exposure!
  • The winning card will be Design of the Day following the announcement of the winners (within 48-hours).
  • The winning card will be added to the Greeting Card Universe Design Challenge Winners Pinterest Board – currently GCU’s Pinterest Page followers: 2K!
  • Winning card will be included in a marketing email to over 100,000 customers!
  • GCU will create a Meet the Team board for the winning artist under the Pinterest GCU account where the winning artist will be able to pin and promote her own storefront and all that makes them a unique card designer and one of GCU’s artistic community team member.
  • Winning card will be posted on GCU’s Instagram with 2,000 followers and counting!

2nd Place:

  • Your submission will be Design of the Day the following week of announcing the Challenge winners (within 7-days).
  • Your card will be added to the Greeting Card Universe Design Challenge Winners Pinterest Board.
  • Winning card will be included in a marketing email to over 100,000 customers!
  • Winning card will be posted on GCU’s Instagram with 2,000 followers and counting!



Visit all the available tips, tricks and guidelines offered on the Big Stock Creation blog page!


from Exclusive Creations at GCU by Doreen Erhardt

21 Comments leave one →
  1. Laurie Schneider permalink
    May 2, 2017 7:24 pm

    Hi, Doreen, yes, Rocky and Bullwinkle do love this one! However, Sugar Bear wants you to know he loves cake too! 🙂 We love all your challenges, they are a lot of fun, thank you for having them. We are trying to come up with one for this one, but still just working it out in our heads! The boys sleep a lot so I have to work around their schedule, which isn’t easy! Laurie

  2. Laurie Schneider permalink
    May 15, 2017 10:35 pm

    Hi, Doreen looks like I’m the first one out of the gate 🙂 Here is my entry pid#1476754,
    You’re so right it is not by no means easy peasy and boring! Mine isn’t very fancy, but I just enter for the challenge and fun, not to win. 🙂 Good luck to all that participate, Laurie

  3. juliat2 permalink
    May 17, 2017 7:37 pm

    Hi Doreen!

    Here’s my entry for this month’s challenge!

    PID: 1477192

    Thank you!

  4. May 21, 2017 1:09 pm

    Good Morning, Doreen!
    Please find my entry for the Bigstock challenge below. Good Luck everybody!

    • May 21, 2017 2:43 pm

      Hi Betsy! What a fun card, however it really does not meet the challenge requirements:

      “Cake has to be a strong element in the overall stock image you choose. So think cake! Any and all uses are acceptable so it should be ‘a piece of cake‘ for you to create the perfect image and verse combo that ‘takes the cake‘ and wins the challenge!”

      We get that your mind was thinking along the same lines, but there simply is not cake imagery in this submission. It’s a keeper for sure, just not for this challenge. You still have time to create another!

  5. May 21, 2017 3:01 pm

    What a dummy! That’s what I get for not going back over the requirements for a reread!
    Sorry about that! I guess I get the Pie in the Face award for stupidity this month!
    Back to the bake shop I go!

  6. PamJArts permalink
    May 23, 2017 10:10 pm

    Hi Doreen,
    I was instantly inspired and then I have been waffling about submitting it, but here goes. PID 1475894

    BTW, Betsy, LOL! Your card may not qualify for this challenge but I am so happy you posted it, I cannot stop smiling over that one!

  7. May 29, 2017 1:35 pm

    Happy Memorial Day!
    Hi, Doreen,
    Here is my entry for the challenge. I am still on the dieting theme as I have been inspired by 2 of my nieces who have had great dieting success in the past year. Hoping I can pick up their willpower!

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