Archive for the ‘ Portfolio & Self Promotion ’ Category

MA Application & Portfolio

Upon returning from my trip to the Czech Republic for the documentary, an urgency to focus on my MA applications and portfolio took over. I wanted to send them off before the end of April and time was running out. I had lost a lot of time thanks to my week of being ill and then the necessary trip for the documentary. This previous week has been a testament to the warnings of my tutors of how long creating a good portfolio takes – it takes frustratingly forever.

I had to redesign my portfolio completely because LCC and Central Saint Martins essentially require a very different type of portfolio then the one I had sent to the RCA. The RCA portfolio dispensed with any commercial work and included more fine art type pieces. So for this new portfolio I had to revisit previous projects from this year and a few from the previous year on Fda Vis Comm and touch them up, before including them. One of the requirements of the ECP&E unit is to put together a printed out, A3 portfolio to be displayed in an A3 box for the final years shows.

On Monday the 5th of April I completed putting together the A3 portfolio, it was as good as it could get and at this point I really needed some guidance as to the order of the projects, composition, and typography. I needed a critical eye to look over it, since mine had been staring at it for days and had reached the point where it was hard to distinguish good from bad. I emailed it to one of my tutors in the hope that perhaps he could give me some feedback over email, or that we could arrange a meeting upon the end of Easter break. My tutor did even better, and kindly offered to meet up today (Wednesday 7th April) to go over it with me in person.

Overall there weren’t any huge changes to make which surprised me – I seem to second guess my own opinions and decisions, something I have been trying to work on this year so that I am more self sufficient and confident.  The biggest change was improving my typography and otherwise slightly tweaking the order of the projects. Also, for LCC I have to narrow the portfolio down to 6 projects and I had about 10. My tutor studied at LCC so he was a great reference for what types of projects they would be interested in. Now all I need to do is finalize my portfolio, polish it off as good as it can get, and return to my personal statement and study proposal.

For the time being though I have to leave my MA applications, even though it pains me to do so because I want to get them done as fast as I can, and finally return to my EMP which I haven’t been able to work on for a worryingly long time (thanks to being ill, the documentary and the MA portfolio/application). After meeting with my tutor I went to see the course leader because I knew at this point that due to everything that has transpired I was running behind and could really use the extra week extension. Thankfully he okayed it, a week is better then nothing, though I feel it won’t completely help me make up for the time I have lost.

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Building a Portfolio site… with the help of Themes

A bunch of lovely WordPress themes I just came across that may end up being a livesaver in my attempts to build a portfolio site in the near future. They are all from ThemeForest

http://themeforest.net/item/display-3-in-1-business-portfolio-wordpress-/74542

http://themeforest.net/item/unite-html-business-magazine-community-site/84401

http://themeforest.net/item/the-papercore-elegant-wordpress-theme/89599

http://themeforest.net/item/studio-box-premium-css-html-8-in-1/87977

http://themeforest.net/item/bigfeature-wordpress-theme/51702

http://themeforest.net/item/sintagma-premium-elegant-wordpress-theme/71727

http://themeforest.net/item/freewings-clean-business-and-portfolio-template/90314

http://themeforest.net/item/the-canyon-wordpress-theme/92130

http://themeforest.net/item/archeronne-wordpress-theme/68578

http://themeforest.net/item/wordfolio/38723

http://themeforest.net/item/shapeshifter-one-page-infinite-possibilities/75759

http://themeforest.net/item/design-photograpy-portfolio/31774

http://themeforest.net/item/insight-10-in-1-premium-portfolio-template/90359

http://themeforest.net/item/eclectic-portfolio/32654

http://themeforest.net/item/black-eve/86268

Online Portfolio?

Quite early on in the third year I realized building a portfolio is going to be a big part of this year (esp. for the ECP&E unit). Last year on Fda Visual Communication we underwent a portfolio webdesign unit. This was where I got my first ever taste of webdesign and and the software skills that go with it – Dreamweaver, Flash, CSS, HTML. As a first ever website attempt I was very proud of my baby, even though through the process of creating it I had unearthed many issues and mistakes. By the time it was done I had come to terms with the fact I would have to redesign it. The website is no longer up because it was hosted by the Vis Comm course and is updated every year. This is actually a good thing for a number of reasons. Firstly, since I decided very early on that I need to completely redo it, there has been no point in updating it. Secondly, because I do not particularly want people to fixate on it as my portfolio site when it really isn’t. Nonetheless here is the deceased original site:

The idea of creating a new website this year was something I did not set high on my priority list because I felt it would be best to do it the summer after graduating … upon gaining more skills and more work to showcase.  My main focus naturally shifted towards a printed/pdf portfolio anyway because my plans for next year involved getting onto an MA Graphic Design course in London. Therefore I steered all my portfolio related progress towards meeting the requirements of my career aspirations of an MA. I think that if I was going straight into a job instead I would probably have given the print based and web based portfolio equal weight.

Even though I have not focus on creating a website this year, I still plan to tackle this over the summer with the help of two friends and fellow designers. I’ve already been discussing options with them and it seems the best solution – in terms of easy updating due to the fact that I am simply not cut out for web design – is creating a website based on WordPress.org (http://wordpress.org/).

January Mayhem: Part 3

The original deadline I had set myself for putting together was Monday 25th of January so that I would have enough time to send it off. But in the end I had to be realistic about what I could achieve in such a short space of time, especially with being ill on top of it all. To give myself more time, in order to get the portfolio as good as I could make it, I decided to go up to London in person on Wednesday 27th of January to give it in. For Tuesday I managed to get an A3 portfolio designed and went in to the mac suite in the afternoon to try print it and mount in on board (which I had already bought). Obviously, things didn’t quite turn out as planned. The entire computer network broke down making it impossible even to log-in. I stayed till the evening, in the hope that it would start working again. A panic eventually set in of giving in no portfolio rather then some portfolio. So, I headed back home and spent most of the night converting everything to A4 format, printing it on some nice quality paper I had lying around, and using one of my lovely Rexel faux-suede cover display books which I had picked up for Specialist Practice.

http://i.stationeryshopper.co.uk/723826.jpg

Disaster ensued, and was averted overnight. Along with this single display book portfolio, I had to also include back up and developmental work for the projects. This meant quite a few folders so I put everything into my handy four wheel suitcase that rolls almost by itself, and went off to London. I gave in my portfolio at the Royal College of Art, marked by the tags and labels they posted on their website, and left it there suitcase included (since I would have to pick it up in person as well). That’s one massive weight off my shoulders, but there are a lot more to go…

January Time Planning and Project Management

Upon finally returning to Bournemouth, almost a week late, I had to make a list of priorities because a lot was happening at the same time.

1. Royal College of Art Application and Deadline

First and foremost I have to complete my portfolio and application for the Royal College of Art because that’s the first deadline coming up. The deadline for the online application is midnight on the 18th of January. The deadline for the portfolio is the 27th of January. I need to either deliver it in person or find a method of sending it, and therefore get it done enough in advance to allow time for delivery. At the moment I really don’t know what shape the portfolio will take yet or how long it will take me so I will have to wait and see.

2. Dissertation (Investigative Study)

The original deadline for the Investigative Study was the day after I had finally gotten back, Thursday 14th of January. But because of the travel/weather delays I was able to get a week extension. So, the new deadline is Thursday 21st of January. I spent the first two days back working on the IS, and then the weekend and Monday (16-18th) working on the RCA application. And then my focus has to switch back again to the Investigative Study.

3. Extended Major Project (EMP)

Once the RCA application and Investigative Study are out of the way, then I can allow myself to focus on my EMP as well as the RCA portfolio for the 27th. What was really helpful was that due to many people having travel issues, like I had, over Christmas the start of term was postponed from Monday the 11th to Monday the 18th (when we will probably receive the official ECP&E brief). We will get the official EMP brief on Tuesday the 19th.