Monday, February 22, 2010
Many of us are getting ready to graduate college and attempt to enter the job market, but I often sense confusion and anxiety amongst the conversation. What exactly should be in a design job portfolio?
Generally, the contents of your portfolio will be dependent on the job being considered. Do not be fooled into thinking your portfolio is a perfect package for every occasion. So let's start with research.
One of the most important things you can do when applying for a job is doing your research. Why would anyone respond to a letter stating "To Whom in May Concern"? Get to know who you are getting involved with, where are they located and what influences the business, who are they affiliated with, what is their specialty, who is their audience, are they looking for long term help, short term, etc. Ask yourself questions like: "What can I do for this company/business? Why would I benefit them? I am looking for more than one job? Is this somewhere I can see myself in 20yrs?" All of these questions and information will come in very helpful when you put your specialized portfolio together.
In your research it is also great to network! There are countless blogs, webpages, forums, and the like on the internet. Make connections. Even create your own website. This phrase makes a good point: It is not what you can do, but who you know, and who they know, and who they know..."
Most design portfolios have similar requirements: resume, images, artist statement, letter of intent...
Your goal is to present yourself as competent and professional as possible. You want your portfolio to be convincing, so take your time to do it right.
Selecting work for your portfolio:
Again, keep in mind what job you are applying to. For instance, if you have a large body of work and you want to apply for shop job involving finishing/polishing jewelry, obviously select work which demonstrates a well executed finish. Even if the piece is not among the best of your work, it is still more informative to the employer. If the job is focusing on CAD work, obviously choose CAD modeled work over bench work. Now let's say your body of work is not very big... GREAT! This is a wonderful opportunity (if you have the time) to create work in perspective of the job being applied for.
You have selected your work, but you have to document it. Unfortunately, the photograph or rendering you create may be the only thing someone sees, so if it looks terrible, that is what people will be led to believe about the piece. You want your images to look as good as or better than the real object, yet also be informative. The image should basically be all someone needs to experience and understand your work. Be sure the object is in focus, in good perspective, the orientation and size makes sense with its function, and so on. Photoshop and other digital processing programs are no longer a mystery and should be used if available. If cannot photograph your own work, have a professional do it. But in my experience, it is better if you do it yourself, because you know the piece best... If printing out a tangible portfolio, be certain your images are at a high resolution and scaled to an appropriate format the job application asks for. There is plenty to say about photography, but what about rendering? Sometimes, I feel that renderings are a better choice compared to photography because it can be more exact and convincing. However, having a final object photographed in "context" can be much more informative than a rendering. I am not sure if anyone can say that one is more practical than the other, beyond the objective created by the job description.
Resume, Artist Statement, Statement of purpose... Be honest.
Many times, an employer will not look beyond a one page resume. In the case of design jobs, be concise and honest about your abilities. Format all of your text documents in the same manner and make sure your type face is easy to read and not obstructive. Avoid being obviously self-promoting or making statements of why the position is important to you. The employer is looking for someone who can fill their needs, not yours. Creativity. Do or don't? Most employers are not looking for someone who can make the most amazing work, but how well you fit their job position. If creativity is in the job requirement, than focus on it, otherwise it is best to fit your profile to the position on the table. State why who are a good candidate, what your work habits are, your interests, strengths. Also, be prepared to explain your work.
Be flexible! This can include travel, job requirements, hours, etc.
Many design jobs start a potential employee with an unpaid internship (or paid if you are fortunate). Consider this your foot in the door. Now is the time to demonstrate all the wonderful abilities you documented in your portfolio, like that sense of responsibility? In the end, the employer will decide whether to extend the internship, remove you, or promote you into a better position. I get ahead of myself however, this is after you have your portfolio together. My point would be, be flexible, the position you begin with may not be what you intended, but you must be able to proceed into the job market understanding the idea of job evolution and sacrifice.
The final product should be a clean and easily navigated package. Simple things to help you stay organized: keep a record of your previous employment, education, exhibitions, visits, and especially document your work (year of creation, materials, processes, images).
Those of us looking for design jobs are in for a competitive job market, so take the time to make your portfolio stand out. Craftsmanship!
There is so much to say about job seeking, especially in jewelry. For those of you already in the market, what are your experiences? In the past decade, has the jewelry design job market made any distinct trends? I feel that CAD is becoming a more sought after skill. Would you agree, or are there other skills that are also becoming more in demand? Are there any webpages you would recommend which have good examples of virtual portfolios?
Tyler School of Art
Professor Janet Huddie will be taking students to a wholesale day/trade only at the American Craft Council Expo on Wednesday, 2/24, 10 am - 6 pm.
Please let her know if you would like to join her an the students.
The Baltimore Convention Center
One West Pratt Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
Morning session: Meeting at 9:30 am, on the Mezzanine level of the Pratt Street Entrance, at the top of the escalator.
Meeting 2:00 pm in the Charles Street Lobby
There will be a list of names on the whiteboard in 2015 of students who are willing to drive or need a ride.
The Light Rail stops at the Convention Center
The number 48 bus goes from Towson to Downtown Baltimore, via York Road.
Check it out!
Not to be missed
Bring your lunch
The graduate program is an incredible asset to the Metals + Jewelry and Object Design programs. Please come and hear about the work of graduate students Amy Klainer, Rachel Timmons and prospective grads Katja Toporski and Junghwa Paik.
Design Revolution: Join the Debate Panel Discussion
6:30pm | Falvey Hall
Exploring Materials: Creative Design for Everyday Objects, Book Party
Leidy Atrium and Falvey Hall, Brown Center, MICA, 1301 Mt. Royal Ave 21217
Design Revolution: Join the Debate Panel Discussion
6:30pm | Falvey Hall
This free panel is a part of the Design Revolution Road Show, an exhibition installed inside a 1972 Airstream trailer that presents products from Pilloton’s new book Design Revolution: 100 Products that Empower People, written by Pilloton.
Panelists: Emily Pilloton and Matthew Miller of Project H Design, a non-profit dedicated to bringing product design to those who need it most; John Bielenberg, founderof Project M, an immersion program that inspires young designers, writers, and photographers to do work that can make a difference; and Julie Lasky, editor of Design Observer’s Change Observer section, which covers socially aware design. Moderator: Architecture/design writer Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson.
Exploring Materials: Creative Design for Everyday Objects, Book Party
Ina Alesina and Ellen Lupton
Here are few words about the Book:
Exploring Materials focuses on how product designers can use physical forms and materials in a direct, active, hands-on way. Sketching ideas with a pencil or rendering them with computer software are useful experiences, but there is no substitute for confronting physical materials in the flesh. Foam, mesh, wood, plastic, and wire each have behaviors and properties that suggest different types of structure, surface, and connection. In place of the abstraction of pure volumes or the whimsy of “virtual” objects, this book encourages designers to make and test real objects in a studio environment.
Materials are like words. The richer your design vocabulary, the more solutions you can see and express. There are no good or bad materials. Each one has its place, consequences, and cost. Understanding materials is essential to design. Some designers come to the profession with a commonsense knowledge of materials, while others have only thought about their decorative properties. Use this book to begin looking at materials with new eyes. Ignore what you already know, and find out how you can coax cardboard, foam, cloth, metal, or rope into surprising structures with valuable functions.
At the core of the book is a visual glossary of thirty-four materials, organized both to inspire and to inform. Although most of these materials are commonplace (rather than “smart” substances or exotic mutants), each is packed with potential ideas. This section presents everyday uses of the materials, pointing out the special ways each one functions as a structure, surface, fastener, and more. Also featured are experimental uses of these forms and substances, showing how designers from around the world have exploited their characteristics in inventive ways. The book concludes with a section on making it real, moving beyond the prototype to create a product that can be manufactured and marketed.
Exploring Materials speaks to a cultural shift in the design world. Many designers are thinking critically and creatively about materials—about where they come from, how they function, and where they end up at the end of a product’s life cycle. There is growing interest across society in physically making things and thus directly engaging with objects and the environment. The revitalization of craft has helped revitalize design. Exploring Materials embraces this new wave of thinking and making.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Due to the snow cancellations of last week and subsequent rescheduling, The Department of Art + Design, Art History, Art Education has a very exciting and packed program of events for this Thursday evening, February 18th, beginning at 6:30 pm. All these events are free and open to the public.
Dr. Martin Rosenberg Lecture: A Complex Weave – Women and Identity in Contemporary Arts
Center for the Arts Lecture Hall Room 2032, 6:30 p.m. Art historian Dr. Martin Rosenberg, co-curator of the exhibition A Complex Weave: Women and Identity in Contemporary Art, lectures on the art and artists in the exhibition.
Josef Schützenhöfer Lecture
Center for the Arts Lecture Hall Room 2032, 7:30 p.m. (New time)
Austrian artist, painter and illustrator, discusses his recent work. According to Klaus Zeyringer "Residual authoritarianism and social inequality are both a target and a spur in the paintings of Josef Schützenhöfer. Drawing on (art) history and contemporary imagery, they articulate an original realist aesthetic."
A Complex Weave: Women and Identity in Contemporary Art
Center for the Arts Gallery
Friday, February 12 – Saturday, April 17 (Closed Friday, March 12 – Saturday, March 20)
Reception: Thursday, February 18, 7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Master of Fine Arts Exhibition: Maggie Gourlay
Center for the Arts Holtzman MFA Gallery
Friday, February 12 – Thursday, March 11Reception: Thursday, February 18, 7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
The current issue of Wired magazine [which I am sure has already been delivered to your address!] has an excellent article on making things in the 21st century. It is a must read for makers of all ilks. It can help designers-in-training to better understand how things are made and how one might approach making in order to make a viable living. I encourage you to set aside preconceived notions as you read and read to understand the point of view of the author, Chris Anderson. If you don't know who Chris Anderson is, Google him.
You can be on the boat or on the dock. I think being on the boat is alot more interesting.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Also please email her your blog addresses if you haven't already.
See you on Mondays at 8:30
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Although I am unsure of the potential of virtual worlds and multi-user virtual environments such as Second Life, I remain convinced that there is potential to be had here. I am an early adopter of new developments and my approach is, “What does this mean for the disciplines I work in, for my students?”
Like most new technologies, there is a slow ramp- up: people doubt and resist and do not understand it. Then there is a flurry of activity: people just getting on the bus because the bus is there. Then a slight decline in interest: “Oh, I have to figure out how to use this and what it means?”. Then sustained activity and building: this is the role academia plays in developing new directions. This pattern is true for Second Life as well as other VWs.
In the last year or so I have seen the appearance of more than one venture capital investment firm investing in the production of virtual goods. In investigative studies of social networking the sale of virtual goods is attributed to large sums of revenue generation. [Think Zynga games.] Combine this with true success stories of people making a living through the use of Second Life- the cover of Inc. magazine, Filthy Fluno. Keeping my finger on the pulse I ask, “What does this mean for the disciplines I work in? For my students?”
If you missed Digital Nation on PBS [public broadcasting system], I encourage you to look it up. I believe you can watch it online. Warning: you might feel like you are behind.
I have been snowed in, with the exception of walks in the neighborhood, since Friday, 5 February due to the record-breaking snowstorms in the mid-Atlantic region. This is not to say that things have been at a stand still or even quiet at my house. Yesterday for example it felt like a regular day at work, juggling multiple conversations at once, the To Do list growing with each bing, attending meetings, structuring projects, and time slipping away all too fast. [I am grateful for electricity!] While many people’s activities came to a halt more-or-less for a week so far [you have not been to the studio to advance your projects/coursework; local businesses lost a week’s worth of revenue] the weather did not stop virtual work. We held our scheduled office hours on Monday nigh. Rachel learned how to build and by 10:30 pm she had images of her work up in Second Life in a cool installation. By Wednesday she had recreated the installation format with more images. By simply adding a price tag to her work she creates a potential revenue stream. It cost her nothing but time. Around 11:30pm last night Suzi FB’d me asking for Lindens: I look forward to seeing the latest addition to the Suzi empire in the Towson Innovation Lab. Follow in their footsteps.
Work is progressing on the international, collaborative project I am working on. So far we have interest from Scotland, Thailand, the Czech Republic, as well as North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina, the University of Minnesota, Marquette University, The University of North Dakota, and Bradely University. I have high hopes that we can find some partners in China and Korea as well. I hope you will get on board with this project and opportunity. Many things feel uncomfortable and strange when we first encounter them. I encourage you to push through and be on the leading edge.
I will post some links from my work in Second Life yesterday- student projects, other university islands, and leading thinkers on virtual worlds. It’s a big world out there, won’t you check it out?
I have been invited to give an audio interview about this international collaborative project in Second Life by the New Media Consortium, which I will be recording later this afternoon. I will post a link when it is available. But right now, I need to go do some kind of snow removal/control so maybe I can leave the neighborhood for real some time soon.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
"Do you create artwork that promotes social change? Is your artwork made with recycled goods? Do you create artwork that addresses a social issue for which you feel strongly? Does your work encourage community activism?contact firstname.lastname@example.org ".
Event: Call for Entries: Social Change Exhibition
Start Time: 01 March at 01:00
End Time: 01 March at 23:00
Where: Towson ARTS Collective 406 York Rd. Lower Level
To see more details and RSVP, follow the link below:
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Attention students and teachers, the WJA Student Scholarship is
now available online at www.callforentry. org.
This year we are awarding scholarships in two different
categories: the Designer Category (based on images of finished pieces
that are designed and created by the student), and a Non-Designer
Category (essay based for those studying to be a gemologist,
appraiser, watch-maker, bench jeweler, or retailer.
Our application is completely on-line through
www.callforentry. org Follow the link and fill out your application
today. Applications are due April 15th, 2010. Any questions, you can
e-mail Lisa Slovis Mandel, WJA Scholarship Chairperson at lisa@lisaslovis. com