Little colorful earrings with touches of gold from Peaches and Keen. I need each pair.
This question comes from a tough conundrum often faced by new designers who only have work from school projects, internships, and perhaps an entry level design gig. They're feeling like, "My portfolio isn't rich. I need more work to show, but I need a job to make more work, but I can get a job because I need more work..."
Yes employers would love to see a range of projects, especially ones that were actualized, but most importantly, they're looking for someone with amazing design thinking skills and a strong sense of creativity. The solution is easy. Create your own projects.
I mean, you can always do more freelance work for family and friends to help build your portfolio, but sometimes those assignments won't give you the opportunity to go as crazy as you wish. Therefore, pretend you're back in school or working for an imaginary design firm, make your own brief, and execute.
The beauty of this is that you can work on projects that really interest you, and spend as much time as you need to make it the best work possible. Whether it's a re-brand for company you admire, a t-shirt design for a hypothetical clothing brand, or a series of web animations for a toy store, you can add work that really highlights your creative skills.**
Here are some ideas to get you thinking about what you can create:
Exploring subjects that you're passionate about will allow you to get excited, especially since this is extra work you're making for yourself — it should be fun. Using your imagination to create dynamic work is a great way to attract employers, especially if you create an imaginary brief for a company where you see yourself working. This shows the potential employer your interest early on, beyond a cover-letter and resume. It's also great to consider topics that aren't often explored, pursuing these topics will allow you to stand out.
After you execute, make sure you photograph or print your pieces, upload the images to your portfolio site/Pinterest/Instagram, and showcase the project on your blog. Show the world that you've been busy.
I have a few small self-initiated projects going that I revisit when I can. What about you, have you already done something like this for your portfolio or just to keep your design chops fresh? Tell me about it.
**important side-note: In the real world you're not always going to have the opportunity to work on projects or topics you like, which to some degree should not hinder how you solve a visual problem. Employers want to know you can provide a design solution regardless of the assignment. With that said, please know that "I didn't like the assignment" should NEVER be a good excuse for bad work.
The legendary hip hop trio, De La Soul, has made their entire catalog of music (and extra mixes and goodies) available for you to download for free, as of 11 am today until 12 pm tomorrow afternoon. You need to download it now! Even if you don't know their music, which is even more of a reason to do so. That's all I have to say.
Have a great weekend. Happy Valentine's Day, and stay warm my fellow east-coasters!
In an effort to follow my own mantra for 2014, "let's make stuff," I've had to really prioritize and carve out time dedicated to making. There are only but so many hours in the day, and because I'm not willing to sacrifice more sleep than I already do, some things have to get pushed to the side.
Lately, when I have an hour or two to do whatever, I find myself having to choose between a blog post and making art. Since my blog updates have slowed down I'm sure you know which one is winning.
Although the daily posts have been diminishing, I find that when I am being a maker I have a little more to say when I actually do have time to post. So it feels like a win win situation, even though I hate neglecting Fly.
With that said, I wanted to share a project I finished up last week. It was a commissioned drawing of the amazing social activist, Ida B. Wells. What I love about being a designer and an artist is the opportunity to immerse myself in a range of subject matters. As a designer you have to be flexible and ready to engage in your clients industries to really understand and produce what they need, and as an artist my work can only grow with new experiences and exposure to different ideas. Sadly, I did not know much about Ida B. Wells before starting this assignment. Therefore, this project was a great excuse to find out more about her work as a writer, speaker, journalist, and activist in relation to civil and women's rights in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
I love history and truly appreciated the opportunity to offer my visual interpretation of this incredible woman.
What have you been working on and how are you managing your days to make sure you have enough time to create?
Sooo, tomorrow is my birthday and I am doing all sorts of things to celebrate. One thing I'm hoping to include on my list is to check out Yuna who will be in the area for a stop on her US tour. I'm definitely a fan of her awesome sound, so if I'm not beat from a weekend of fun I will make my way Sunday night to check her out live. Have a great weekend!
Mahogany, a film starring Diana Ross as an aspiring fashion designer (Tracy), was on TV the other night and although I've seen it so many times I just had to watch again. The styling in this film is so remarkable — all of the classic looks and even the over-the-top fabulous-ness of Tracy's fashion designs. I love camouflage (even way before the camo overkill trend that happened last year) and appreciated seeing another leading character, the menacing Anthony Perkins who plays a disturbed photographer rocking a look with that print.
This film is a fashion and style classic. I'm adding images from the movie to my inspiration board in the attempt to incorporate the essence of the beautiful styling into a future project.
Have you seen the survey of Wangechi Mutu’s work, A Fantastic Journey, at the Brooklyn Museum of Art? I have not, but hope to get up there before it closes in March. Although all of her work is amazing, I am very drawn to her collages. Collage is a technique that is very challenging for me, so I’ve been forcing myself to explore it, just because I love the end result so much. Wangenchi's mastery of collage has definitely been an inspiration.
I came across the above video of Wangechi where she talks about her collaboration with Santigold, who is featured in one of her video installations called "The End of Eating Everything." Seeing these amazingly talented ladies working together is a absolutely beautiful. Check it out and let me know what you think.