Friday, 18 January 2013

Portfolio Review with a Post Graduate

I chose Alan Dalby as my 1st portfolio review this year. I chose him because he is new in the world and he is experiencing right now what I will experience soon, so I wanted to prepare myself. I actually had to send Alan my old portfolio since I hand't got round to updating it just yet, so after he gives me his advice I suppose it will help me redesign my Portfolio in a much better way that will show off my work for what it really is. I decided to do the review over email since everything is digital nowadays, and it will be a good experience to see how different things are to translate.

"Hi Rachel

Lovely to see your portfolio and I look forward to seeing all your work at the end of year show!
Theres a few easy things to change with your portfolio that will make you look a lot more professional.
These small problems can detract from your work but can be easily solved.

The most obvious thing I noticed, is that you've used a portrait portfolio. 
I would strongly recommend that if you're going to send your portfolio digitally, to use screen ratio.
Obviously keep using the portrait portfolio for the physical copy, but avoid sending digital portfolios as portrait. 

Let me explain a bit why this doesn't show your work to it's best!
When I open the file, I get a big band of pixelated birds across the screen as the pdf stretches the fill the screen.
This doesn't sell your work as well as you could!
It also causes the problem of having to resize the PDF. 
This makes the work small on the screen and also will frustrate people who want to look at your work.
Obviously you want people to really enjoy looking through your portfolio, so this small change will help that a lot. 
(Also, it's a lot easier to flip through pages with a landscape portfolio on screen.
Portrait makes you have to scroll and doesn't display pages as individual while pages.)

I know that will be a bit of a pain to sort out, but I would really recommend it before you start sending your portfolio out digitally. 

The second thing that I would really recommend changing, Is to put a bit of detail about each project.
For instance the second page,  "BMW WHF, t-shirt design"
I don't really know what BMW WHF is, and it would be great if you could put just a few words, explaining a little bit about each project.
Remember that you're not going to be with everyone when they see your work.

Each page design looks nice and minimal and is laid out well with a nice level of white space. 
I think I'd personally get rid of the key line around the bird on each page. It looks a bit weird in the box and takes the focus away from the work.
On that subject, I'm not sure you need the fourth page (with the three strips on birds) as they're on each page, as well as on the title page in the strips.
Photographs of the design on a mug, might be a good replacement If you feel you need it.

Right, I think I'm going to leave it there.
I strongly believe I've given you good advice and having taken an hour to write this (time slipped away), I'd really appreciate if you'd follow at least my first couple of points.
Obviously It's your decision but If you decide to revise the portfolio, and you'd like any more advice/opinions, feel fee to send me the update and I'd be glad to help you.


I enjoyed reading Alans views, because it's completely different to the other reviews i've had. it focuses a lot on the design of the portfolio, which is something other people didn't take as much notice of, and I do think it is important. After Alan had mentioned the portrait layout is not good, I was thinking of how I could make it work in a landscape view instead. I had chosen portrait because most of my work was actually shot portrait when i was working on it last semester. It will be a challenge to get everything to fit in landscape, but I know i need to do this. I also agree with the extended descriptions of the images. I never thought that I would be in a situation where i could explain something about each image, so it's hit a key point i have clearly missed. 

I am working on getting my designs on actual products at the moment, but since i want to focus all my time on my Final Major Project i'm struggling to find a whole day to do this, I still have made no plans for this, but I have to do it. Last semester I did buy mugs & transfers, but I was told (after i had applied the transfers to the mugs) that the transfers would not be able to be glazed. So this let me down in some ways. I must schedule this. 

The lines around the work I've began to notice after Alan pointed it out. I would definitely agree. I'm even thinking as far as removing the birds completely, and just having my description. I don't want it to be too fancy or else we won't know where to look!

Thank you Alan Dalby!

Final Major Project!

Wehey to no more journals and presentations! Ha!

Today marks the first actual day of the beginning of my Final major project! I'm still feeling pretty good about the fact that I got a really good grade for my first semester, i earned myself a 2.1! I finally feel as though I'm not holding myself back, it's really a nice fresh feeling.

I've also been thinking over the holidays what kind of a topic to base my FMP (Final Major Project) on. Although I know what I want to address I'm not sure how it's going to be, because my subject isnt very specific. So far I know I'm going to base my project on Social status and Suppression within society, it's definitely linked in with my Journal subject. The indians were suppressed for many years by the Western people, and forced to be and do things that was not 'their way', which sadly we also fall victim to within out own society! What i'm trying to get at is the pressure people put themselves and others under in order to make them conform to the way people want to see them, even though people tell us we are free, we are not. How can we be free if our choices are 'conform, or be outcast'?

"We all love freedom. We all love liberty. All that I wish to be is a free bird. However strong may be our wishes, or however right may be our opinions, there are people out there who try to keep us in shackles. People who try to keep us in bound, while trying to be free themselves. People who love freedom, but don't wish to share the freedom,"

"One is either free or one is not. The concept of freedom is an absolute. After all, one cannot be moderately dead or moderately loved or moderately free. It must always remain a matter of either or."

- The Duchess

So, I'm going to address the problem, which is vary vast in a way where i can connect to the 'victims' and people who are in desperate need of help! I want to help them obtain a sense of freedom and help them learn how to ignore everyone and not be afraid to be themselves! I feel very strongly towards this subject because I have been in that situation and you can feel very trapped. In more serious cases of these kinds of things, people are committing suicides, developing eating disorders, becoming afraid to even go out because of the way people are expecting us to be, a lot of pressure is generated from the media, and celebrity role models.

I went out into the city and decided to start by asking individuals who look confident and different, because i want to know what makes them not afraid to put themselves out there in a different light. I wanted to get some really nice quotes to inspire some sketches and perhaps some ideas for later on in the project, to inspire others. The day was very successful, I met some really wonderful people, they were all very inspirational, and had very insightful chats linking to the cause and effects of the issue. 

I've only been doing some sketches linking to the quotes and issue so far, but I like where it's going.