The importance of maintaining your portfolio

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The other night I took a look at some of my game art from Enchanted Fairy Princess Salon and Spa. The kind of look where you think to yourself, "wow, I could have done this a whole lot better." I decided to do one last piece with my favorite character from it. Princess April. Play with the atmosphere, color and light more. This is what I came up with. The game itself launched over the summer and that has really helped me land some more freelance game development work.

This got me thinking about my current work. It made me realize how much I want to raise my game still. Level up. The importance of editing your work and tossing out your weaker pieces. On one hand, I like seeing the signs of my growth and development from piece to piece. I think that is one of the best things about being an artist. That is what this site is for. A record of what I am doing, good or bad and sharing what I learn.

What have I learned about portfolios so far. 

  1. Make sure you have one with your own URL. Your name, own it online. Make sure this online presence is your best effort. From here, you can centralize all your efforts, your work, thoughts, links, etc.
  2.  Post regularly. Be consistent. Post but make sure the work is better than the last one. Simple rule. If you are not sure. Get feedback. I find Facebook Groups to be quite helpful with feedback. I like Level Up, Draw or Die, The Grind, Digital Artists Group and Ten thousand hours.
  3.  Share it. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr.
  4.  Don't overthink it. Create your portfolio for yourself. If you like it, others will too.
  5. I don't know the perfect number of pieces in a portfolio. I want 20. They say 10 to 15 is optimal.
  6. Include a story with each piece. They each have one to be told. Use your keywords when you can.
  7. If you don't have a new project to post, create one. Make it up. Make it something you wish you were already doing. 
  8. Don't get discouraged. Stay focused. Everyday. All day.
  9. Look at what your favorite artists do. Do what they do. To raise your game, hit up Gumroad. Here's who I follow thereTy Carter in particular has helped me a great deal with my color.
That's it. I realize I am guilty of not following this plan at times myself. It's hard to do sometimes but I think it is absolutely necessary. When I look at the amount of posts on my site hear, I cringe. Following #2 is my new priority. Let's see how I do.

Lastly, here are my three top choice to show you work besides you own site. Links to mine are included.

  1. Artstation: To me, this is where the best of the best live. In film, animation, concept art, fantasy art, manga, everything I could ever dream of doing, the people are doing it. I think the work here is my measuring stick. It keeps me motivated to be better.
  2. Behance or Adobe: This one covers all design/art/photography. Another top site. You should be there.
  3. Dribbble: I only recently got on board with this site. They have great job listings but it seems mostly directed at UX and UI design. It has some incredible work along with some top motion design as well. If that is your thing, better be there. It has a very strong community. There seemed to be some recent changes there that had people up in arms. There is a lot of work that seems to blend into the next. Somewhat samey same. I don't like the size restrictions there. 
I would love to hear your thoughts. Any tips or advice is most welcome. The goal is really to make great stuff to allow yourself to keep making great stuff. 

What inspired this post was seeing a post by Adolf Lachman. I love his work. He was one of the creators of the game, Machinarium. Check him out. 


2 comments on "The importance of maintaining your portfolio"
  1. It is an informative post. It gives ideas to anyone who is reading. Thank you for sharing all this with the readers. It is true this type of activity development keeps a record of our work.

  2. Hope to hear more updates from you. This is very helpful for me.


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