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Entries in portfolio (9)

Thursday
Nov272008

Tips for a More Perfect Design Portfolio

Trying to put your best foot forward in your portfolio is a task all designers strive to improve at. Here's a guide to get your started.



Select the best of the best. The number of pieces in your portfolio will vary from person to person. However many pieces you decide to include, make sure they are all great work. The order counts too, make the first and last pieces the best ones to start and end on a good note. The first and last impressions are the ones they'll remember most. Don't put in things just because they are your personal favorites. If they are not appropriate for the reviewer to see, they should be removed. In the end, you will be better off having seven impressive and appropriate designs rather than twelve pieces at different quality levels.

Look at the work of other designers; don't live in a vacuum. We all want to be original, but you need to know the trends of the day. You need to know what's going on in the world. Be both critical and encouraging about what other designers are doing and reflect on that when you put together your portfolio. Imagine that these are the designers applying for the same gig as you and how you would tell an interviewer that your approach is the best.

Consider something unexpected. I've included paintings in my portfolio to emphasize that the computer is just a tool and that I have some insights about composition and scale that other designers might not have. Consider showing a skill you have and be prepared to explain why you feel it's appropriate to your portfolio and to the position you are applying for. You might have sketches that provide insight to your process. Maybe a very professional photograph that you took. Or just something with such a great concept that you can show off and show that you are just that creative. Just remember the earlier tip that anything in your portfolio should be as perfect as possible. If it's sketch it should be a great sketch that would hold up to anyone else who had one.

Creativity is good, but don't let the portfolio itself overshadow the works within it. You want your portfolio to be clean and present the pieces you have to display. Whoever looks at it should feel the clear focus on the individual pieces and not how they are presented. However you choose to display portfolio, make sure you choose something that you can easily edit. You'll want to add new pieces and take out a few too depending on who will view it and what tasks and skills you are emphasizing.

Everything is more than the sum of it's parts: each work displayed should show a greater understanding. A piece might show your understanding of a particular business, depth of research and other skills that aren't directly related to design. If you are showing your portfolio to a medical related magazine that you want to work for, that freelance dentist project might be the one that clinches it.

The perfect portfolio is impossible. Your portfolio is an ongoing and evolving collection of works. Accept that it won't be perfect, but continue to make it the best that you can.

More information


You might want to check out Building a Strong Design Portfolio, a question and answer session with Nomi Altabef, Associate Education Director at DesignMentor Training.
Tuesday
May202008

12 Social Websites for Artists & Designers

[[Social network service|Social networks]] aren't just great for connecting people with their friends and family. They're great ways to find content. Myspace has been a great platform for connecting bands with their fans and fans with musicians. The power of social networks is being harnessed to help artists and designers come together in new ways. Community is one of the major features of a social network. People go to where the people they want to contact are. So if you want to meet designers, these niche sites might just be great tools for it.

If you've used any of these sites or know of any that I didn't mention, please post your comments!

Design Float


Not unlike the more generalized social rating site Digg, Design Float aims to help the design community share websites of interest with each other. It's especially useful if you're looking for specific topics such as photography. Digg has a more generalized audience.


The Outer Post


The Outer Post is a nice and friendly site where you can create art portfolios featured in your profile. In most other ways its like a lot of other social networking sites. The community is uniquely artists and that changes the landscape of how you can really use the thing.

VIRB


VIRB takes your interests and turns them into a more visual experience. The keyword and list oriented profiles of myspace and facebook are contrasted by VIRB's focus on sharing your generated content. So basically, you post up your photos, link up your blog, post your videos. There is a ton of art, design and photography featured to look at. The best thing about it for me is that it aggregates your rss feeds into your profile if you don't want to have to do everything a million times like on other sites.

DeviantArt


DeviantArt has been around for a while. The community is large and the site is fully featured. It's a great place to just look at art and what people are doing. There's just so many people posting there that you can see tons of stuff. The site puts the artwork in the forefront. The profiles really showcase the art and you can just look at someones profile or go to the art with very few clicks. Some of the other sites take a bit more work to actually see a full sized image: clicking through to searchs, profiles, albums and then finally artwork. While the size of the community can make for problems of its own, I think its still a leader in this space.

Graphic Design Network


The name might imply it or maybe not, but this site has a strict focus on building a community of designers and web developers. It's based on the Ning social network development platform and is built its user base around the existing Estitica Design Forum community.

Amateur Illustrator


Amateur Illustrator takes a the simple and effective approach of putting up art galleries and forums letting you immediately access great content. Like Digg, they've moved away from the importance of the profile. You can still see the artist's information and look at their forum posts and galleries. They let the art speak for the artist. It makes sense.

Sabet TV


Sabet, "a community of hyper-talented folks", gives a feed approach similar to Facebook showing users recent activity and a flash slideshow of works. They also have videos and galleries. There is a lot of content types here meshed together

Pixel Art


Hey why not. It's a community of pixel artists. It's funny that now any type of community platform is now considered social networking. It's strange how terminology suddenly defines something. The best of these new "social networks" are the ones who are less concerned with what they are and more keyed into what they're trying to do. This site does just that. They love pixel art and want to bring together its creators. They showcase the sites best content and make it interesting even to people who didn't know this stuff is cool.

Urbanseeder


While it's in beta right now, it's worth a mention. Urbanseeder is truly social networking. It allows you to connect with people you've met in a sandboxed environment. It's a pretty creative concept, you'll have to look at it and

myartspace


What makes this site interesting is that it connects artists with curators, collectors and others involved in the arts. They also have a blog of interviews with artists on various levels.

Artlog


Artlog aggregates art news, an event and exhibit log, news, museum information and a social layer into what turns out to be a promising product. The focus on the real world of art brings it above the self-love of user-generated profiles. Although they have those too, of course

Digg.com/Design


Users like yourself can rate stories using Digg's interface. The ones which are rated highest end up more visible. It's a simple concept integrated with social features such as profiles and comments. The ease of participation makes it a pretty good place to start.
Sunday
Mar182007

Creative & What else is there

Hopefully you've been checking out the SketcheeBook podcast, but if not please do. I'm hoping to have people submit questions, answers, comments, disagreements and tips to share with the audience. The audience is growing at a suprisingly steady rate. If you haven't checked out the show, it is about keeping productive with your creative stuffs. Especially for busy and dedicated people. All kinds of different tips for illustrators, designers, hobbyists, etc.

I've been pretty busy myself doing the whole graphic design thing six days a week. The goal is to have a new section sketchee.com with my design portfolio and change up the setup for the illustration and painting portfolio a little bit with the highlights. Yeah, this site has a lot of work to get it to where it needs to be. But that's is the dynamic nature of the web, I try to keep it at least presentable.

My latest posts have been from Nakama.ca, which seems to have gone down. My guess is that they got too popular for the kind of server loads that they have to handle. But it's suprising when the site has just vanished so abruptly.
Sunday
Feb042007

Drawing: Space, Form, & Expression

Thought I'd put up another book recommendation entry. Drawing: Space, Form, & Expression is a really good book that helps to expand your artis's creativity. It quickly runs through the basics but doesn't babysit you. It just tells you simply to draw and the general approaches and then let's you explore.

Too many drawing books are overly simplified tutorials that want to break down every stuff of drawing every object. While those books have their place, this one gives you the approach to being the one to discover how to create these things on your own. Learn how to view the world and you can pretty much draw everything. There are lots of excercises to help you explore the space on your paper and it's really just fun to go through. There are some great excercises about drawing from your imagination and turning it into something tangible

The book ends with a portfolio of contemporary and student drawings that explore the principles that you've learned throughout the text. Definitely one to check out, read through and follow.
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