Making art often means getting out of the comfort zone. Alan Henry of Lifehacker explains the science of breaking out of your comfort zone: Routine and patterns minimize risk. Making something scares us. Creating something inherently feels risky. Who knows if it'll be good? The comfort zone feels happy with low anxiety and low stress.…
I previously read the book Steal like an Artist by Austin Kleon. I'm working on reviewing the followup book "Show Your Work. Inspired by Kleon's discussion of his inspirations, I think the creative ethic of Tina Fey is pretty great.
If you're working steadily in a graphic design job or just starting to look for work, it's always a good time to have an up to date portfolio. The hard part is to figure out how the pieces fit together. I've already discussed the basics of what should go on the pages in Tips for a More Perfect Design Portfolio, but building a perfect portfolio is a process that continues over and over again throughout your career.
BooksBuilding Design Portfolios by Sara Eisenman tackles how to build your portfolio and, for hiring managers, it tackles how to look at portfolios critically. It contains a series of interviews with leaders in the field, provides inspiration and shows real world portfolio. Graphic Design Portfolio Strategies for Print and Digital Media discusses portfolio building for graphic design students. How do you take your student work and present it for employers, graduate schools and fellowships? This book tackles that question with illustrated examples of successful student portfolios. The Graphic Designer's Guide to Portfolio Design is another book helping students transition into becoming professionals. This puts the portfolio in the context of resumes, interviews, and cover letters
Articles12 Steps to a Super Graphic Design Portfolio from Youthedesigner.com starts us off by telling us about the case. Choose carefully and consider how you want to present your work. My tip would be to think about yourself in an interview or with a client. Find a case that fits a style of presentation that works for you. My own portfolio is a leather case with sheets of thick photo paper printed pieces. Especially for interviews with multiple people, passing around the works in my portfolio and letting people handle them and really look at then has went over well. These were designs for magazine layouts so it mimicked the original experience. AIGA has a great article on "Presenting your portfolio by Steff Geissbuhler of Chermayeff & Geismar Inc. It's both from the point of view of someone who hires designers and from a design who has been there himself. Brian Scott writes in "How to Create Your Freelance Graphic Design Portfolio" that you should include your best work and only your best work. I agree. It's better to show five perfect pieces than to show eight that include work that you aren't happy with. Your enthusiasm about every piece in your portfolio has to be there. Tips to Create an Effective Graphic Design Portfolio from Twit Taboo emphasized the importance of variety. Show off different concepts and skills in your work. I'd add that you should make sure that each skill is somehow relevant to the specific position and company you're applying to.
Create your own wall art with some of these ideas from around the web without needing much of a budget at all.
If your thinking of getting something for the artist life, this guide is for you. Birthdays, holidays or just a gift for Monday and Tuesday. Here's a wish list:
Green Guide for Artists: Nontoxic Recipes, Green Art Ideas, & Resources for the Eco-Conscious ArtistInspire your craftsman with this Green Guide for Artists. If you think he or she will be into creating non-toxic paints, glues and recycling paper then pass this one on.
Graphic designers can help apply the principles of efficiency and waste reduction in our industry. This can save us money and time if we're creative about it. The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard, I'm just beginning to understand the meaning of sustainability. Recycling works and buying recycled goods helps because there is only so much space on the earth to put all the trashed plastic so we might as well put it back in our stores. That principle might be applied to all kinds of things and on this page I've looked for an answer to how the graphic arts fits in. While I'm still not totally convinced that all of these methods are viable for everyone, but it's still an interesting discussion. If there is something you're doing to be more efficient and less wasteful with your design, share a comment.
BooksGreen Graphic Design by Brian Dougherty and Celery Design Collaborative is a book explaining how to make every step of the design and production process a little greener: paper, printing, binding, shipping, packaging.
SustainAble: A Handbook of Materials and Applications for Graphic Designers and Their Clients (Design Field Guide)SustainAble by Aaris Sherin aims to educate on sustainable applications and tackle sustainability in paper, printing, formats, materials, inks, and practice. Packaging Sustainability by Wendy Jedlicka talks about making effective packaging that is minimal eco-impact. Design for Sustainability: A Sourcebook of Integrated, Eco-logical Solutions by Janis Birkeland takes design to every level covering specifics in industrial design, materials, housing design, urban planning and transport, landscape and agriculture, and energy and resource use.