Creative industries typically employ less formal structures than other industries when it comes to applying for, or getting creative jobs. Sure, the space is competitive but you know yourself that you have the knowledge and skills for this type of work. This can be done through having past experience in the field or by taking on extracurricular activities such as internships.
So how do you make sure that you can get that next creative job in the bag, or close that next client?
That’s when the power of a well-designed portfolio comes in.
There are a few different ways that can be followed to help you put together a great graphic design or creative portfolio. Here, we’ll take a look at some valuable ways you can master the art of building a portfolio, as well as making it stand out, and building a portfolio website should you need to.
Mastering The Art of the Portfolio
Here are some tips that can help start you off in the right direction.
1 - Show variety in your creative work.
Some people would argue that your portfolio is only as good as your latest piece. However, one of the most important tips is to show variety in your work and also pick the best pieces. The portfolio should be a collection of your best work and demonstrate your skills. It should be curated carefully and contain a wide breadth of skills and not just one type of project.
Showcase your range of skills as an artist or creative by including different types of media that you can create in (such as video projects, writing or photography) in your portfolio to make it more creative and versatile.
2 - Arrange or categorise your portfolio.
If everything is clearly segmented or categorised, the user knows what you’re showcasing. Another way is to arrange your portfolio according to colour.
A good idea might be to remove any photographic content and make sure all the images are eye-catching, large, cropped and used at their best advantage. It is important not to clutter or over-design a portfolio as it can take away from the most important element, your work.
The portfolio should be comprehensive enough that a potential employer could browse for what they are interested in without getting distracted by non-relevant items. This way they can get a snapshot of your expertise rather than feeling lost in an endless stream of information with no concrete focus point.
3 - Be proactive - Get feedback.
The style of your portfolio should ideally suit your employer's requirements. This may involve tweaking the content on the site to cater for particular types of industries. But then again, you never know who will come across your website.
Instead, research design firms to find out what type of designers they need and then study their work.
A great way to practice is to find someone who is also a graphic designer or in the same field as you, or has interest in this field and chat with them about your work. Find this mentor to help guide you through your portfolio and give you feedback on it.
Ask for critique, and be brave about what you’re about to hear.
4 - Design for the job you want.
Creatives, you all want your dream job. The one that pays the bills, keeps your fire fuelled creatively and also gives you work-life balance. It’s called a dream for a reason. But it’s not an impossibility -- all is not lost.
So, try to include the kind of work you want more of.
Instead of looking for great design and not sure where to start, implement it. For example, you can re-create or do a mock website redesign for a brand you love. See what could potentially come out of it. If you redesigned LuluLemon’s website, who knows, they might find out and call you up for an interview!
And on that note: let go of lesser work, the ones that just don’t make the cut.
5 - Include some things you never thought of.
Some creatives make the mistake that the portfolio has to show every single piece of work you’ve done. It doesn’t have to just be client work. Think about how you’d like to showcase your personality and then build out from there.
And a lot of the times, people put up their polished, final piece which doesn’t seem to have any insight into how the work came about. Show your work and work in progress.
Remember also to spellcheck to the final hour.
6 - Have all your best work in one place.
Many creative industry workers use portfolio websites to showcase their best work. It’s the easiest and best way. Other websites like Behance can do the same to store your portfolio. Instagram is a good tool to upload images but it doesn’t function as a portfolio per se.
It's apparent that all these different platforms are discrete platforms and aren’t connected to each other. Whatever happens in one place doesn’t get shown on the other.
On the Cult Creative app, coming soon, you will be able to showcase your portfolios, no matter what they are, all in one profile and one place, so it’s easily seen and viewed and accurately depicted.
Bumped into us for the first time? Cult Creative is a digital platform and professional networking app for ambitious creative individuals to find work, network and showcase their work.
Are you creative looking for a thriving community to stay inspired and empowered? Or looking for opportunities to develop your career in the creative industry? Download our app today and get the full Cult Creative experience by clicking here. Or, discover more about our app by heading here.