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.…
You might think being creative on demand is “hard”. Here’s what I’ve learned on the job. I’m sad that society heavily sells this idea that creativity is “too hard” That we are constantly being indoctrinated into it. Adults spout tropes about the difficulty of creativity, sounding like children talking about monsters under their bed. No…
I recently moved my podcast from Libsyn‘s pay service to the free hosting on Archive.org, the Internet Archive and home of the wayback machine. If you’re willing to allow a licensing model compatible with their upload system, this might work for you. Libsyn is a great and simple solution, but the monthly payments have added up and the free solution is pretty easy using Feedburner and Wordpress.com to create an iTunes compatible feed.
Step 1: Create your podcast audio file
Record your podcast in a standard audio format. Mp3 is pretty common and universal. If you need a free audio recording and edition program, I suggest Audacity. That’s what I use. It’s free and open source.
Step 2: Upload to the Internet Archive
On Archive.org, click on the SHARE button. If you don’t have an account, you’ll be prompted to create one. You can even login with your usual OpenID if you have one. If you’ve already created your Wordpress.com account (which you will need to do in Step 3), you can use your Wordpress.com URL as your OpenID/Login.
With the SHARE button, your browser will prompt you to select the file or files. On the new page, you’ll be able to see the status of your upload. In the Title field, put the short name of your podcast. Archive.org will generate an identifier with this name that you can use to add more episodes of your podcast as your create them. Although you really don’t need to keep all of your podcasts under the same identifier and can upload anywhere, the site has what it calls Collections and it simplifies things to keep all of your episodes under the same collection. The description and keyword fields should be about the general podcast and not episode specific. Choose a license if you want. Finally, click Share My File(s).
It will take a minute or so for the site to create your page. Save the url that it generates as this is where you’ll be updating your podcast from now on. Under “Audio Files”, you’ll see the file name of your episode. Right click (Windows) or Command click (Mac) on the listand copy the link URL to your audio file to your clipboard.
Step 3: Create your Wordpress.com Site
In this example, I’m using a free Wordpress.com blog. You can substitute the blogging site and software of your choice as long as it will generate an rss feed.
Follow the directions on the site to sign up. It’s pretty straightforward. Create a new blog post. Put the episode title as your post title. Add any description or show notes or links about the episode as needed in the body. At the very end, paste your url to the mp3 and make the url link to the mp3. Publish the post to the web.
Step 3: Create your podcast RSS feed
This is the part that turns your blog and mp3 file into a real published and subscribe ready podcast. By default, Wordpress.com will put a link to your RSS feed on your blog’s page. Copy that url. Google’s Feedburner service makes this part pretty easy. Log into your Google account or create a Feedburner account and past the URL in the field marked Burn a Feed right this instant. Check the box that says I’m a podcaster. Hit next. You’ll have to title and create a short url for your feed. Continue through the options hitting next and filling out all of the fields until Feedburner says “You have successfully updated the Feed”.
Step 4: Submit your podcast to iTunes
Most of my listeners come from iTunes, so this step is pretty important. Follow this link to Submit Podcasts to the iTunes Directory. This will open iTunes. Copy your feed URL from Feedburner, paste it into the iTunes’ Podcast Feed URL box, hit continue until your submission is complete. It could take up to a few days for your podcast to appear in the iTunes Podcast directory.
That’s it, you now have now have a podcast!
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.
Building 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
12 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.