hey everyone! as you probably already know, i'm teaching a course on how to design, print and build your portfolio for creativelive next week (june 3rd). i'm so excited, i can hardly stand it! this course is specifcally on portfolio building, but students will also learn how to bind their own book and pick up a few new illustrator tricks along the way as well.
for me, presenting a finished body of work in a well thought-out portfolio was an essential part of moving my career forward as a creative. i believe that whether you're an artist, a photographer, illustrator, painter, writer or surface pattern designer (like me!) - making a handmade portfolio that is a true reflection of yourself and your work will help advance your career.
if you're planning on taking the course (it's free to watch live!), i first wanted to cover just a few things you can do in order to prepare. see below!
five things you can do before building your portfolio:
1) finish a body of work. this one is easier said than done! possibly the most useful part of preparing for a portfolio is the motivation it brings to complete a body of work that you're ready to share. it can be easy to have several half-way completed projects or collections, unfinished ideas and untitled documents floating around. when you decide to build a portfolio, you'll gain the motivation you need to complete all those projects and package them nicely.
2) gather materials & decide on a method. the next step should include gathering the materials you'll need to actually make your book. feel free to take some time to research the different kinds of books you can make and decide on one that fits your work best. (some of my favorites include the drum leaf method, screw and post method and the coptic stitch method.) *i'll be sharing detailed information on all the materials you need for the screw and post method during class!
3) decide on what to include. another important step is to decide on what exactly you'd like to include in your portfolio. some people may prefer a simple portfolio that only includes actual artwork or photographs. more complex portfolios could include a table of contents, several collections, an about page, contact page, product mock ups, and more.
4) have an end viewer in mind. do you know who will be seeing your book? this could be an art director, professor, agent, publisher or mixture of them all. keeping them in mind as your design your book will give you focus and clarity on what or what not to include. i suggest making a list of companies or individuals you hope to share your work with, which will help give you guidance (and motivation!).
5) gather inspiration for you book. when it comes to building your own book, the possibilities are endless! you can begin gathering ideas by looking at other handmade books, inspiration boards and collections. you could fill your pages with printed images, painted pages, actual sketches or illustrations, found bits of inspirations and more. think 'sophisticated scrapbooking' and let your imagination run free!
of course, i'll be sharing with you my own portfolio and how it's helped me get to where i am today during class. i'll also show you how to design your own pages (using adobe illustrator), discuss printing options and learn how to actually build and bind a handmade book. we'll cover how to make your portfolio align with your brand and truly reflect your work as an artist and how best to stand out from the crowd, too.
you can RSVP for the class here - i hope you'll join us!
psst. want to join us LIVE in san francisco on june 3rd as a student in the audience? there are only a few spots left. you can apply here!