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Friday, June 3, 2011
Portfolio Design 101

-A portfolio should showcase the work it contains - not compete with it
-A portfolio should communicate and reflect what sort of designer you are
-Custom built portfolios are much more impressive to the employer than a mass produced one.
-12-15 samples should be included
-Start and end with the most impressive work
-Fine art and illustration should be in separate folders
-Avoid poor craftsmanship, such as poorly trimmed boarders
-Update every few years or when a new project has been completed
-Stay consistent with formatting
-Quality over quantity
-Include concept and development sketches
-Keep portfolio fresh

Setting Yourself Apart From Other Designers

-Be honest with yourself
-Know what your strengths and weaknesses are - ask others what they believe are your strengths and weaknesses so you know where to improve.
-Define talent
-Having a broad scope of knowledge of the world as a whole is useful for concept development.
-"Remember everything you experience today will effect what you design tomorrow".
-Take risks - success can even be found in failure.
-Setting Yourself Apart List:
• Be honest
• Be friendly
• Be positive
• Be focused
• Be intelligent
• Be respectful
• Be persevering
• Be sales-minded
• Have a sense of humor
• Listen more than speaking
• Be different than everyone else
• Do not take rejection personally
• I am an intelligent colleague who is here to offer help
• Have an engaging conversational tone
• Be relaxed
• Speak clearly and concisely
• Don't use slang or profanity with clients or vendors
• Don't communicate political or religious views in business
• Don't hesitate or procrastinate
• Set goals
• Keep learning
• Be friendly, firm and fair in all your business activities.

Self-Promotion - Finding Your Theme

-Focus, honesty and inspiration
-Set aside time to create your own promotional material
-Be honest with your design - you don't want to promote a false identity
-It is imperative to avoid shallow self-design built for the whiz-bang wow-factor.
-Ask questions of yourself, eg. favourite place, favourite food, favourite place to relax?
-Show these designs to friends and family - preferably non-designers to see how they react.

Procrastination - A Four-Letter Word

Five stages of procrastination:
Why do we procrastinate?
-Lack of vision - start with a general outline; set a goal or vision
-Distractions - having a list of things that need to be accomplished and doing them in some sort of order helps put order in our lives.
-Fear of getting it wrong and lack of confidence - if you don’t have the skills that you need, then acquire those skills. If you allow fear of not being adequate get in your way, your imagination can take over and before you know it, you can talk yourself out of being competent in any area of your life.
-Indecision - small things occupy our minds and occupy our time, keeping us from getting anything accomplished.
-Boring Tasks - they need to be done, just do them.
-This task is overwhelming! I just don't have the time! - break work down into smaller chunks.
-I don't have a real deadline, so I should get something else done - set your own deadlines, block out time in your calendar and make an appointment with yourself.
-Time is precious, so just jump in!


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