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Dathamir
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« on: November 29, 2010, 09:52:17 pm »

I haven't been here since... like summer? Well, I didn't had "art" class, more design, web, interfaces and the like. I'll show my works sometime when I finish this semester Tongue

Well, I'm asking for ideas because I want to start building a portfolio. Maybe a web, typography, product design, company logo/identity. I had the idea to redesign a website already existing (ivanov.ch) Do I need permissions or?

I work in Indesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Flash (not too good in flash) and I learned a bit of Catalyst.

A quick list of hints to ideas would be helpfull Cheesy

*Something funny, I just bought a violin (cheap) cause I always wanted to play, and I'll start trying when school is over. I just received it today.... I was in shock, thought they shipped me a kid's instrument... it's soooo SMALL?!?! But it's the right size -__-" It always looks way bigger when I looked at people playing.. now I feel like Hagrid :S hahaha Anyway, wish me luck! Btw, "Nodame Cantabile" rocks!! (anime)

*after thought, I played free strings, it sounded great, but my dog cried the whole time.... poor thing loll That will make practicing hard :S
« Last Edit: November 29, 2010, 09:55:05 pm by Dathamir » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2010, 10:50:42 pm »

The following is what I have gleaned from the Johnny Rum School of Portfolio Building (class of 2009):

Anything you can do to showcase your ability to convey your thoughts on a particular subject in each of the mediums you have listed is always a plus.  Putting them together into a portfolio is the toughest part, and is what will get you hired.

Important portfolio tip #1: 11 - 14 pieces MAXIMUM.   Do not exceed 15 unless explicitly told to do so by the client.  10 amazing pieces has far more impact than 20 mediocre ones.  DO NOT show mediocre work.  Only show the best.  DO NOT put something in your portfolio because you like part of the drawing. They are also critiquing you on your good judgment. When in doubt, keep it out.

Important Portfolio Tip #2:  Presentation, presentation, presentation.  Sir Rum highly recommends mounting these pieces to black foamcore board.  A light dusting of spray adhesive will be sufficient.  10 amazing pieces of work, mounted on identically sized boards in a smart portfolio says "I'm a professional and i f--king mean business."  A mish-mash of everything you want to show, all differently sized, stuffed into a portfolio says "I don't really know what the hell I'm doing with my art or my life."   After much discussion with editors and artists alike discussing what does and doesn't help a person break into the industry, they all say the same thing; Most portfolios sit in a room and collect dust because they don't want to dig through the mess and deal with it. Keep it neat, keep it clean.

My own spin on this subject, or Semi-inportant Portfolio Tip #3:  Narrow the scope of your portfolio.  Think in terms of things that work well together, and build one portfolio, and things that don't into another.  Don't put everything into a portfolio, you will seem to eager, and not focused enough to get hired by someone looking for only one skill set.  For example, I would never put inked drawings into a portfolio for a job that does nothing but pencils, unless the client specifically asked for it.
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« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2010, 07:25:10 am »

Some advice I've picked up here and there, mostly geared to on-line portfolios (get one, keep it updated) for the games industry, but useful nonetheless:


Why do you want to redesign *that particular* website? What's stopping you coming up with a design for a website similar to that one?

More importantly, do you have your own website?
You have a blog which you can utilise to show off designs and layouts on a per-post basis, but that feature generally requires a paid-for hosting service.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2010, 07:31:11 am by Pa_Hsia » Logged

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Dathamir
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« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2010, 06:18:47 pm »

That's just a random website I use often and thought looked ugly loll I could really use any website or create one for myself.

I do have a blog, that I'm not using loll I don't have time to update it and since I have nothing to share. (Well, of course I got stuff to share, but really not enough time to make it stand out).

So you suggest Az that I should work on like, 1 subject and work with it in all kinds of medium I know of? I'll stay away from 'experimental' stuff for a portfolio.

Good thing is I only have 3 classes next semester, I'll have only 2 days of school and plenty of time to work on jobs applications and portfolio. I've worked a bit my resumé, will need more time to make it great.

(they really should get us working on our resumé in typo classes... instead of typo-motion) loll
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« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2010, 07:20:18 pm »

So you suggest Az that I should work on like, 1 subject and work with it in all kinds of medium I know of?

Hmmm.  That would be one way to approach it, yes.  Another would be to divide your work into segments, one for each field you are interested in.  One for web development, one for typography, one for product design, and one for company logo/identity.  Not a separate portfolio per se, but each as a separate page within the same website if you are going to do the online portfolio thing.

Where the hell is rum when you need him?  He is better at this sort of thing than I am.  I'm more of a hire-me-because-you've-heard-of-me kind of guy.  Which explains why I haven't done a design job in a couple of years now.   :Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2010, 08:57:33 pm »

Having just finished my world tour, I return from the mad world of professional professionaling.

So you want to build a portfolio? GREAT. Let me offer you some advice.

1. What is the purpose of this portfolio? To get work? To show off? Discern the purpose and in doing so, you shall find it easier to place your work in it accordingly. Do you want to work as a designer? A web designer? An illustrator? WHAT?!

2. Let's say you chose design. Good choice. I like you more already. A solid, yet generic design folio should contain the following - 4+ Logos, 1 or 2 Business systems, 2 Layouts, 1 or 2 Magazine spreads, and perhaps 2 illustrations (of extremely excellent, polished quality...no sketches or doodles) OR 2 package designs OR 1 Environmental Signage system. This is the generic folio that says "I've done the basics and done them well. Hire me because my concepts are solid." If the job is more specific, like say web designer, then show logos, layouts and web sites. If you're not comfortable with web design, don't put it in. And always be honest about your limitations if you know about them.

3. Let's say you chose illustration. Tough choice. I pity you a little. Commercial illustrators (NOT comic artists and manga-whatevers) have a much more difficult time finding paying work. Az gets work because people know about him and seek out his talents. Your audience narrows even further. You'll probably submit your work to design studios and publishing companies. They in turn will call you if they have a project that requires your stylings. This is generally how I get most of my illustration work, as a hired gun for another studio. You should have no more than 12-14 illustrations. I recommend 10 at the most honestly. If someone can't recognize your style or technique within 10 QUALITY illustrations, you're wasting their time and your's. Editorial illustrations, Book covers, FULL scenes and Product Illustration. Not character design. UNLESS it's for an actual client. I.E. do not show characters from your omgsuperwtf manga you've been thinking about for 4 years. This is a great deal more difficult because it can take time to find your niche in the community and studios are far more choosy than choosy mom's that choose Jif.

4. Yes, mount it. Keep it clean and neat. Unless you want to be an ambitious badass and make something completely wtfamazing that will make them salivate over the thought of hiring you. What should you do? I have no idea. I have done giant-sized $0.25 comic books with my design work being the ads and my illustration work being the panels, I have done coffee table books. I've done leather bound adventure diaries. I've done puzzles. It's up to you, but whatever you do, don't slack off on it. Don't settle for "good enough" when you put it together. Be picky about your craft. I'm your competition and I don't slack off. I will destroy you. Because I like to work. I like eating and having nice things, so I work extra hard on my books when I decide to make a new round to send out to the studios every couple of years. I want you to be successful, so work hard on this part.

5. When I do portfolio reviews for students, invariably the one thing that always sticks out is the lack of attention to detail. DO NOT schlep it together. Take some time, plan the layout and make it work. Unify your folio into a strong presentation. Be ready to talk about it and stick up for your design decisions. But when an Art Director or Creative Director is reviewing your work, don't scoff. Don't blow their suggestions off. If you don't get hired, thank them for their advice and then HONESTLY look at your work and try to fix the problems. Don't be attached to your work either. Your work is just work. It's not you.

6. Don't put garbage in. At all. Ever. If you have doubts, it stays out of the folio. ONLY put your best work in. Ever. Ever. Ever. If I see 7 solid pieces and 3 meh pieces, I always ask myself if they'll be this lazy on my job. Will they put out 70% effort for me? Or 100%? Put 110% into your folio. Rework things if they're not strong enough. Talk to other designers and seek honest critique. It shouldn't be cruel, but it should be fair and true. If you have good work, great. But we can all improve. I constantly run things past my best friend because I think he's a better designer than me. So I listen to him closely.

These are my quick tips. Good luck!

And now, back to being a professional professionalist.

rum
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Dathamir
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« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2010, 09:04:09 pm »

Does that makes you a prof as well rum? Tongue Dunno, Az might get mad if you steal his title hehe

Great, since I'm in school, I'll have plenty of teachers to help me and give me feedback about my work. But it feels wierd building a portfolio if I don't get A+ right now.

I'm not thinking about an illustrator career, I'm not THAT crazy, plus there isn't alot of job for that where I live. I'll work with a generic design folio. Plus I haven't had illustration classes yet, but I plan on doing 2 (for the sake of being able of drawing Tongue). Plus, I find that those illustration classes are great for 'finding ideas'.

As a side note, I almost got a job as web designerish, but it was a small starting company, run by a guy that (don't repeat that) was like a headless chicken loll He didn't know what he needed and his team wanted something different than him loll That was kind of like a cold shower.
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« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2010, 09:42:49 pm »

I am a creative director and very active in our local AIGA chapter, I also do a healthy amount of freelance work on the side because my day job doesn't always satisfy my creative urges. I don't want Az's title just yet.

I firmly believe in helping students be as prepared as possible for professional life. I do spend a lot of time lecturing for the design department at the university and I do portfolio reviews whenever they ask.

The most important lessons I can pass on are these:

1. Intelligence and Personality are more important in the world of design than your portfolio. A good designer is an intelligent designer. Creative Directors want to hire intelligent people that are reliable and FUN to work with. Good attitude is important. I've turned away people with amazing portfolios because I knew they'd be rotten asshats to work with.

2. Relationships. The foundation of any successful design career is relationships. Give of your time, participate in local design communities and groups like AIGA and the Art Directors Club. If you have an opportunity to give a critique to students, do it. Help them honestly and sincerely. It will pay for itself over and over. You will meet other professionals this way. I regularly work for 3 studios because I always see their Art Directors at portfolio reviews. I point students their way when I know they could teach the student more about something than I could. They push illustration folios my way. And in between, we talk. They always call when they have illustration work. Be polite and charming to people and you will find the rewards more than ample. Artists and Designers often find it tough to be sociable and charming; after all, it's an all-consuming job that demands long hours. Some can do it more easily than others. I work my butt off to be friendly and sociable. And it gets me work.

If you don't get an A+, it's not the end of the world. I can promise you that 2 years out of school and you'll hate most all of your work from your academic career. You'll find mentors that will show you things you never conceived of or learned in school. So don't focus too hard on the A+'s - they're only letters after all. If you're making solid D's and C's, this career might not be for you. But if you love it and you get A's and B's, you're fine.
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« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2010, 03:27:27 pm »

I don't want Az's title just yet.

Too bad, 'coz yer gonna get it anyhowz.   evil

Awesome stuff, sir rum.  Simply awesome.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2010, 03:21:43 pm by Professor Az » Logged

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Dathamir
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« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2010, 01:06:01 pm »

Good thing is I haven't found any hat that would fit my ass yet Wink

I'm refering to A+ because it would mean that my work would satisfy the project. Like, if I can hand out what I was asked to do. And, because I got better chances to get scholarship with higher grades Tongue
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You MUST read the Fionavar Tapestry and Ysabel

Pimp my art at wish
Don't worry, life's too short for that!

My blogspot

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