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What is a Design Portfolio

Lesson 1 from: Create a Knockout Graphic Design Portfolio

Ram Castillo

What is a Design Portfolio

Lesson 1 from: Create a Knockout Graphic Design Portfolio

Ram Castillo

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Lesson Info

1. What is a Design Portfolio

Lesson Info

What is a Design Portfolio

Thanks so much, guys, for joining. I really applaud you for investing your time. So before we kick start the official content, I want you to try something with me. I want you to do a three count clap very slowly. It's gonna be like this. It's gonna be a one to three. We will do that. Even if you're on the global audience, please join in. So it's just gonna be like that is gonna be a one to three when I say go. Ready? Set. Go. 123 Brilliant. Okay. Thank you so much for that. We're gonna do that again, but a little bit faster. Okay, so it's gonna be a 123 Just a little bit fossil. OK, Ready, Set. Go. 123 All right, Now, I want you to shake it off. Do a bit of a stretch next stretch, OK? I want to take a deep breath When you sit up nice and tall, I want you to get your shoulders back and I want you to clap again three times last time, I promise. But superfast. I'm talking Sorry for the noise for those that Are you online. But can we do that? OK, ready, Set, go. 123 Brilliant. Okay, thank...

s for joining in on that. You're probably wondering why not. I do that so often in life. It can be a very almost monotonous rhythm. We can stroll through life often where it's quite mechanical and robotic, and it's easy to get caught up in that because, well, oftentimes we don't want to face our fears and our anxieties. Sometimes we get the odd a little bit quicker, but what I know is deep down inside all of you, there is a burning desire for something more. That there's a passion in you that often sounds like the foster rhythm. The that's what we want not only in today's workshop, but for as long as we can sustain that. Now. In order to do that, we've got a place, our anxieties, our fears, our vulnerabilities to the side, if even for a moment, because that's when we can open up. That's when newness happens. And that's when we're all gonna learn so many beautiful things because I believe that you hear from more than just creating a knockout portfolio. I believe that that portfolio is actually going to be the springboard to allow you to live in enriching life that is designed or any creative path, for that matter, because I believe that when you create I know cat portfolio. In order to do that, we've got to live in a knockout state of mind. All right, so there are two main goals for today. The first is to systematically pieced together every single component of what it takes to create a knockout portfolio. The second is to equip and empower you to break free from any off the personal barriers or problems when it comes to portfolio creation and development. No matter what stage you're in in your career, these are my preparation notes. Um, no, not really. I'm just hazing. They are someone else's desk. I have, however, diluted over a decade of experience in today's workshop to bring you the very best. So let's first define what a portfolio actually use. I believe that it's ah, I'd like to describe it as a refined and considered selection of your best work, customized to speak to the area of design that you're applying for. It should showcase your proven abilities. Your examples off completed work and your potential for growth. Now, the overall dilemma is that many emerging designers and even some experienced ones simply don't get a job or even make it to the interview stage because they just don't know what employees are looking for and what's expected. What's required and a lot of the times Our design pieces are very much like a Lego pieces. There's different colors, different sizes, different shapes similar to our work. We've all got different design disciplines. We've all got different roles. We've all got different styles and passions within the industry. So in order for us to create a knockout portfolio, we have to treat it as if we need to piece these Lego pieces into a masterpiece in a way, because, let's face it, your portfolio is the most important part of being a designer. If you think about it, it's proof that you exist as a designer. It's you on a plate, and it's an extension of who you are now. Um, I also see it as a celebration because it showcases your abilities and your potential, and it's your legacy that you leave behind. It's almost like a comedian without jokes. You don't exist as one, but also just like a comedian. Any great comedian. Your jokes can fall flat if delivered poorly. So it's in order for us to create a portfolio that really turns heads and that can get us a job. We actually need to present it in its best light. If you look at Justin Guy Nak, he's a great example of the power of a portfolio. Here he is a New York City based artist and entrepreneur who started selling these garbage cubes when he, ah was challenged by his co workers off the notion that packaging design really is not effective. So to prove them wrong, he found something that no one would ever buy package it and sell it. He thought that walking around the dirty streets of New York and Times Square garbage was the perfect answer. That was in 2000 and one. So 13 years on, he sold over 1400 cubes, and there are sitting in over 30 countries around the world. New York City garbage essentially proves that, uh, the container is incredibly important, isn't it? And it will either help your work shine or be its downfall actually tried to get some cubes, but thou who knew in New York, ran out of garbage. Eso moving. I did a survey that you might find fascinating. I mean, I certainly did. I sent 20 creative director friends of mine an email, and I simply ask them How many emails do you get a day? And I sent this to some credit directors in UK, in America, in Australia, in Asia, all over, and the average came to 300 emails. Now that's quite a lot. But if you think about it, these guys get bombarded by emails for job applicants such as yourselves, but also daily emails, emails that they subscribe to their day today, emails from their workplace. And ah, it's just interesting to note that if your email does get through and they click on your portfolio, then you better make sure that that three seconds that they're landing on your pages one that create impact you're some quotes from some pasta agents. I don't know where to begin and how to plan. I don't know how to present my design pieces. I don't know which online platform is best to showcase my portfolio. I don't have much money to build an online put follow, and I don't know what options I have. I don't know how many pieces to put in which goes first, which to keep and leave out. I don't know how to make my portfolio unknown scene and how to make it stand out. Today you will have the ability to do the following. You'll be able to customize and plan a map, essentially to create your portfolio. That's Tyler to your target audience. You'll be able to decide on the portfolio structure that will maximize your exposure. You'll be able to build a portfolio within your means, no matter time, money, technical ability, situation that you're in. You'll be able to filter, organize and design your pieces in an engaging flow. You'll be able to establish an authentic personal brand with a strong online presence, and you'll be able to execute ways to stand out and have creative directors notice you. So who am I? And why on earth am I teaching this? I'm from a little country. Dayananda Cold Australia. I'm a city boy throwing through now. The country itself has 24 million people and sits on number six on the list off the largest land area in the world. For those of you that are from the United States, you have 317 million people and sit number three on the largest land aerialist. Why, however, was born in the Philippines? It's 1/3 World country. It has 100 million people and it has a landmass that sits number 71 on the list, the staggeringly low. So it has four times as many people in Australia with only three times the space of that beautiful island there. These are not random people with These are my parents, uh, my mom, as you can see, there she is the third child of five siblings. She was raised by a strong world mother and a father who, for the most part, provided from a distance who food for the day was usually a small piece of bread and a tablespoon of peanut butter. So she constantly got sick. But this was the norm for her, and, ah, she was really driven by her perseverance and her determination to live a better life. And it allowed her to accomplish many beautiful things, such as, uh, winning full scholarships to go through high school and university. She was able to work for one of the world's biggest banks, and she was even a teacher. At one point. My father, he was one of 11 siblings. That's a lot of people in one house. And he, ah, actually had to grow up quite fast. When he was three years old, his father passed away, and so he quickly had to learn the ropes of provider at a young age. And, uh, like my mother, he was incredibly determined, and his perseverance led him to many beautiful things as well. He is actually a three Dan Black Belt champion, so he won many karate tournaments. He also completed a double bachelor's degree in marine transportation and mechanical engineering and extraordinary stuff. And ah, he also learned it owned a local eatery. So this man, my father taught me that success is indeed a decision. This is May, when I was a kid. Now I do not condone drinking at a young age, but that is me with the San Miguel be on the top left, Um, when I was a child, Uh, well, if I had to sum up my life as a child. It would be active at a very, ah, curious minds, and I would always be running around. Usually I'd be kicking a soccer bowl or, uh, eating. The tele sandwiches are riding my black. I was carefree, but I didn't think it was any different to the curiosity or freedom of most kids. But it does lead the question. How did I get from there? So he a designer, eating his fifth many hamburger at a Mate's 30th birthday party, who, after surpassing young adulthood, still clearly refuses to change his wardrobe collection. Now, if you look at the characteristics of all humans world naturally curious, aren't we? We appreciate all forms of communication. We embrace innovation. Even if it bends. We seek simpler and better ways of experiencing the world around us, and we see we know that creativity speaks volumes so much so that we're inclined to respond to that creation in some way or another. Those of us that interrogate, investigate and explore the world visually and conceptually are indeed the ones that emerge as designers. They feel a deep need to understand how communication works at an almost obsessive level. A raid or draw some little experiment. They make things and they participate in the world. Ah, by observing the work of others and by doing new things, such as going to concerts, going art galleries, traveling or just paying attention to life as it goes by. So, in preparation for this workshop, I asked myself, What were them these moments for me? What were the early habits that nurtured my design abilities? He's a painting I did when I was about eight years old. It was for the local schools are prize on recycling. I would often enter competitions like these whenever I could, because I would often get certificates like these. This one in particular says this work of art was judged by the panel to be off a superior standard of originality, imagination, composition and creativity. Now, I don't know what the judges were smoking when they gave me that, because I later watched this video off Thomas Suarez. You could noted, down here you can YouTube it. He is a 12 year old app developer, so I think that the description is probably closer to today's generation of kids who are making APS and robots and all sorts This is my first self portrait of myself. There you go. I would have been about four years old. I pick up a crayon. Any chance that I could? This is my attempt 10 years later, at full attain. You know, that's probably would have gone on Thomas Suarez, who's making millions creating APS at 12. Um, I do, however, have a book I made with my bare hands on the health benefits of milk. Yeah, it's ah, you know, I'm surprised. Dairy farming company didn't mass produced this. It's ah, one offs. It's saddle stitched with willing string. It has, ah, color illustrations and fund fax. Uh, you can get milk from camels as well as cows. Who knew? Ah, you know, even monsters. They love milk a lot right there. So I'd create these these things. And growing up Irish aria always received the same reaction. It would always be positively received from a young age. It made me feel like I was doing something good, something right, and I would have ever think to myself. It's just a drawing or ah, painting or a collage of cut out images or a cave made of blankets. Also known as my bedroom. Ah, But as I entered high school, I started to form a deeper understanding of that reaction. I realized that it was the moment that I spoke to people without ever making a sound. But it wasn't always blue skies and rain bows. Guys, it was very tough through some of those moments, actually, to get to that point. I had many failures. Many, many disappointments. 15 was an interesting age for May. My mom got sick during that time and she couldn't work for almost two years. I got rejected by exactly 99 design agencies for Grade 10 work experience. We had to find a place and ah made somebody calls and no one wanted me. Teoh learn about design. Uh, so I ended up persevere and I got one on my 100 cool. I visited the Philippines for the first time. That looks like this. One moment that's tattooed in my memory was when I was walking out of Manila airport. I was, ah, in my billabong and Quiksilver gear, so I rock out on with my family. My grandma's next to me and she drives me, she says. Whatever you do, don't give any money to the Vegas and I said, Well, that's easy, you know, biggest for me with old men with beards. And that's something. Uh, but as we're walking, a kid just pops out of nowhere and he's got these floral handmade necklaces. He's selling me them. And I'm like, about cool. I'll take one. Put one on is just like Hawaii. Ah, good. Start to the trip. And, uh, I gave him 20 pencils, which is about 40 50 cents. And it was as if I opened the gates to a free one direction concert in the car park because the kids started appearing from everywhere. I don't know, from the trays from the ground, you know where they came from. So I ran to the designated van, and my grandmother looks at me when I shut door, and she just goes, What did I tell you? Another moment. Uh uh. Actually, another moment that I want to share with you was when I, um, tip the waitress, the change that was given to me, and she basically cried right in front of me. It was only two box because she would make $2 for an eight hour day and she had a family of three kids and I was like, Wow, this is crazy. You know, I better not tip anymore if this is gonna happen and cause a scene every time But you know, like they do really live. Ah, tough life over there. After high school, I applied for a scholarship, and the grueling full pot process was quite intense. The final question I remember from the judging panel Waas tell me about your parents and how you grew up. My answer was very similar to what I've delivered to you today and ah, Three days later, I was offered a scholarship. It was based on academic merit culture, um, participation in all forms. And I was really glad I got that scholarship. It really helped me out. So that was for a graphic design course in college. But it did not guarantee me a job. Not at all. In fact, the complete opposite. I took a job in the mailroom of a well known advertising agency called Ogilvy and Maeda because I knew how difficult it was to get your foot in the door. Now, although I could only by a dollar tin of tuna and a piece of bread for lunch. It really became the springboard tow launch my entire career, and I networked with over 350 people and it allowed me to. Now, I can say to have worked for some of the biggest and brightest brands in the world, including Google, Louis Vuitton, Qantas, Ah, Nando's all sorts of brands and ah yeah, I think it's important to really ah, have those firm understandings off where you came from in order for you to really pursue that dream that you that you want. Okay, So then, about three years ago, from this point, I started to get emails from the design community and tweets and what not on how to get a job is a designer sharing my experiences. And then I would answer these questions and repeat myself. So I thought, I'll just start a blawg, right? Just a small little blawg. Do you want to make a fuss about it? Just, you know, put on my thoughts on there. My own little diary. It's called giant thinkers dot com. Three months after its inception, it got picked up by how magazine Communication Arts A. I G. a American institute, a graphic arts and many other publications which I now write for. And ah, that leads me to this. I recently wrote a book that I launched in September 2014 on how to get a job as a designer because it was really out of my frustration of really, how do you and how can I help others along the journey? You can find out more on get a job as a designer dot com about that, but the Atlanta today looks like this. We're going to divide it into four segments, and they are really going to be enforced steps to make it really clear and simple. Step one is personal analysis. Step two is Analyze your customer and employer. Step three is to create your portfolio and bring it to life. That forest the launch your portfolio because in order for us to create a knockout portfolio, we must follow these sequence steps that I've laid out for you and a lot of these many people don't do. It's just straight onto the computer. Let's just build it. He's my own online portfolio website, which is rammed castillo dot com. If you haven't seen it. You can check it out. We won't be going through that. What I really want to go through is the portfolio off. Ah, someone that I admire highly and he is a huge impact on the industry. His name is Chris MacLean. His website is Chris maclean dot ceo dot UK, and he is the executive crave director of Interbrand Australia, and he's been practicing design for over 12 years. His website looks like this now. A lot of the things that will be going through today. I want you to pay attention to who are doing those things. And and And I think that's always a good module for, ah, sorry model, rather to base where we want to achieve our goals. So just notice the simplicity of it. The large thumbnails, the captioning, the ah way that he shows his work, how he photographed his work, how he tells the story in the ordering, how he creates a depth. How does he showcase digital pieces into the real world? How does he show is work in progress? How does he show people interacting with these pieces?

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

23 digital resources to keep in your back pocket
The 6 most crucial design principles to implement on any design
Top 10 mistakes to avoid when creating your online design portfolio
5 free online creative communities you need to be on and why
Daily ideas to improve and retain creativity
How to Photograph Your Work with a Home Setup

Ratings and Reviews

Stacy
 

I have been asking for a portfolio class for graphic designers since last year on Creative Live. So, I was excited to see Ram Castillo teach this class. Thank you CL! This is one of my favorite classes on CL. This class is not only for specifically graphic designers, but can also be applicable to other artists and designers as well. I had to create a online, print, pdf and dvd school/job graphic design portfolio to graduate with my degree and was taught vaguely about what exactly to include in the portfolios several revisions later. I wish I had discovered Creative Live, then! Ram Castillo walks you through the steps of getting to know yourself which helps you to create the portfolio and knowing your potential employer/customer which let's you analyze what your portfolio should include. But, it isn't always just about you. A degree in graphic design doesn't always guarantee you a design job. But, Ram Castillo, his sense of humor and his cute accent will show you how to get that design job. Ram shares his secrets some designers probably wouldn't want you to know. Ram Castillo shows the portfolio sites you need to be on and how to market yourself to be seen, how to self edit your work, and getting feedback from others. Ram has guests that explain how they prepared their portfolio to get a design job. Ram addresses what to do and what not to do, what to include in your online portfolio, how to think daily and how to take care of your mind and body which can impact the way you create your portfolio which can also be an emotional journey. This class was a huge source of inspiration and breaking down the steps that you need to do to have a knockout portfolio and be a successful designer to shattering those hurdles and excuses. After watching this class, you too may be inspired to create that knockout portfolio whether you are starting out or not, your confidence may soar after watching this class, you may be the one holding yourself back and this class may help you to get out of your own way. Ram suggests if you don't have that hero project in your portfolio, create those knockout personal projects to put in your portfolio. Ram Castillo prepares you for your portfolio and beyond to get that interview and job. I highly recommend this class for purchase for the bonus materials, the videos for inspiration, how to photograph your work, there is enough room for you, inspiration, process and accountability. This class will also prepare you for the next step, getting a design job which is the next class you need to watch and purchase. Thank you Ram Castillo! Thank you for teaching this class and so grateful that you taught this class. This class has been added to my design library of resources. If you will excuse me, now I have a lot of work to do to create that knockout design portfolio.

JenVazquezPhotography
 

I was excited to meet Ram from his first email prior to the live class that I was going to take. He is personable, authentic and eager to help others. I thought I would enjoy his class but wasn't sure how appropriate it would be to me as my photography business. Surprisingly this class would be perfect for any Creative business. It was so appropriate for my business and had so much actionable content, that I took 10 pages of notes! Many can train about portfolios. Many can be powerful speakers. Ram was not only those things but so much more. He started out by telling us about WHY and HOW he became who he is and had us explore ourselves. It was powerful. It was a light bulb moment to realize my focus in business has a direct result to how i was raised and what I believe is important. That was just one part of the training. In the end, I had direct and actionable goals toward revamping my portfolio. It's great to take a class that is not only motivating but changes the way I do business. As a direct result of this class, I changed my portfolio and got a photography job where the client told me they hired me due to my portfolio. How powerful!! It would be a FANTASTIC investment you won't regret.

ATworks
 

this class is amazing! I have just graduated my graphic design education and started completing my portfolio so I could show interested companies or employers wat I am capable of... I will never ever look at my portfolio the same way after this class they don't learn you these things at school... What your portfolio projects should represent, how many, how to show trough your portfolio, what you are looking for in a job, how complete or incomplete your current portfolio could be and how to give it that extra something so they actually check out your portfolio when you contact them to apply for a job... This course was great, the guest speakers made it even more valuable. They are all very experienced in the aspects they were asked for... Ram Castillo has some great life experience to share! Get this course if you want to give yourself that extra push to achieve great things with your design!

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