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Design, Print, and Build Your Portfolio

Lesson 2 of 20

What to Include & Why

Bonnie Christine

Design, Print, and Build Your Portfolio

Bonnie Christine

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Lesson Info

2. What to Include & Why

Lesson Info

What to Include & Why

The next thing I want to discuss is what to include in your portfolio and there's, no right or wrong answer to this it's, just something that you want to kind of wrap your brain around before you get started, so there are lots of different types of portfolios. They can be as simple or as complex as you feel like is needed to really showcase your work. So I am going to be showing you some examples later on in this segment, but a simple portfolio could include, you know, just photographs or simple illustrations, paintings or, you know it could include minimal words like maybe one page with contact information on it, or they can become pretty complex with a table of contents, several collections and these air pages of my portfolio and mind tends to be complex, so process details like sketches or how you work and about paige, a contact page product, mock ups and lots more so you can start thinking about how you want your book to read. If you want it, tio, be kind of just a flip through of ...

overview of your work, or if you want to read like a story. Also, the first person that you mentioned chris in the chat room said she was a photographer, a surface pattern designer and an illustrator, illustrator, designer yeah, yeah, so if you do several different things, which a lot of us do you khun decide whether to make maybe three different portfolios in order to target how whoever you're showing it to or maybe you want your book to have chapters where you show your surface pattern design, work, your photography work in that kind of thing, so just start thinking about what you want to include and also start thinking about what showcases your work best. You don't have to include everything that you've ever done, you just want to showcase what you feel like is a is a really good representation of your work, and you also think it's important to that you should feel like you're on ly sharing work that is in the direction that you want to do more of, um don't include something that you've done that you maybe I really didn't enjoy, or you're not looking to expand in that area of your business. But if you have really fall in love with a particular thing, make sure to share that, and that will give you put you towards the right steps. So another huge part that I think is cool about building a portfolio is the motivation that it brings to finish a body of work as a creative I'm not sure if you guys are like me, but I tend to have lots of halfway finished projects or lots of, you know, ideas that are saved in random files and maybe I haven't put names to all of my patterns or things like that when you set out to build a portfolio, it gives you the motivation that you need tio round out the edges of all those meth e projects that you have going on put the finishes in touches on it, give names, maybe a story to it, and really start giving your work body in a life of its own. So the next thing that you want tio start thinking about is who do you want to see your portfolio? For some people, this is going to be one person it's one person you know, at one company that you can't wait to show you work two or maybe it's a professor or a poor or one single publisher for other people it's going to be? Maybe you're going to end up showing this to a lot of people but having an end viewer in mind when you create your book is going to give you direction as you ride it. So I suggest so I was going to go through this it could be an art director could be a professor if your students and you have ah body of work that you want a show in that way, it could be an agent or a publisher or any number of other people as well, but what I suggest is to make a list of your target people that you want to contact, I keep in like a spreadsheet where I can keep on ongoing list of everybody that I want to contact, and then I can also keep information here like shipping addresses when we were in touch last what the feedback wass and that kind of thing, so start making a list and this is going to really form your direction of your book. Also, when you start contacting people, you could be you could maybe be talking to more than one person at a time, and it can also take a long time. So you want to be able to have a place where you can make notes about where you let last left off, so some of you may not know who you're going to show this to, you know, you want to show it to you, someone that's going to help you advance your career is the idea, but how do you find your person? How do you find your target person? The first thing you do is is google it, and you just wouldn't believe how much information is available um, and I mean, I just recently had to remind myself of this because I was stumped on how am I ever going to find this this you know, contact person and and really all you have to do is start taking a little bit and the information will somehow appear you can also find tons of information on web sites and if you pick up the phone and call you can often times just find out that way too um occasionally you can find out a target person of interest by word of mouth thiss tends to be a little these are people secrets you know people tend to kind of not want to share who they've worked with but if you kind of heaven in then I mean you you will be ableto get connected that way it's all about your connections a lot of times two and then the third resource I want to show you is over here sorry it's called the artist and graphic designers market they come out with one every year so this is the latest one it's two thousand fifteen and this just gives a list of like hundreds of baby thousands of companies and several different industries from photography the surface pattern zain rug manufacturing just a ton of different ones and this will give you what they're looking for you your contact person is and what their contact like email is so this is really valuable but to have at your side too yeah they offer that information today did they contact the book and say put me in there is that like not I've wondered actually wondered the same thing I'm not sure everybody that I looked for wasn't included but some of them were so it kind of made me wonder if this is something the book reaches out to or they reach out I'm not sure but if they're in there you know that they're open to hearing from us okay all right but that also like it yeah so the next question I have for you is who is your target? Do you know who you want tio reach out to you can enter your your answers too if you have on that home in the chat room and if any of you here in the audience know uh feel free to share it with us too there's a lot of value in saying things putting it out there yeah how do you decide who your target's going to be d I mean, I know from other people I've talked to they say you should if you're looking at a textile design fabric design, you should go with somebody who has that it seemed kind of style, but not to some workers when you're stepping on their other designers toes so it's just it's a fine line there that it is hard to know you know it's like I don't know if I have a great formula for you, but I just something just feels right when you look at a company, if you look at their web site or you meet them, if you feel like you're you would be a great fit, just go with it. That's really all I have to say, but every time that I have found somebody that I wanted to work with, something to settled with me on d I have turned turned down other things that when I went to the website and just really felt like it, they didn't communicate my style and my brand. I just didn't feel like I was going to really fit in or something, and so I just move on. Um, but if you start looking and this book to would be a great source, it's all categorized by, like, if you want greeting cards, you can go the greeting card section and then maybe to start looking at these companies and the ones that get you excited when you go to their web page, you know, start there. Yeah, yeah, it also has the categories. I come to core market as well. I believe so. Ok, I believe so. You can take a look at it too, but I believe so.

Class Description

No matter how beautiful your work is, it won’t sell if it’s not presented in a polished, professional way. In Design, Print, and Build Your Own Portfolio, Bonnie Christine will take you through the complete portfolio design process, so you’ll feel confident about showing your work.

Bonnie Christine is a surface pattern designer and mother hen of the Roost Tribe, an inspirational community for creatives. 

In this class she’ll teach you how to:

  • Design your portfolio and develop your pages
  • Print, build, and bind your portfolio
  • Stand out from the crowd and contact companies
Designers, photographers, and artists will all learn about what belongs in a portfolio and what to leave out. Bonnie will help you design a portfolio that reflects your true style and helps you attract the kind of clients you really want to work with.

If you’ve been putting off putting together your portfolio, this class will help you get motivated to assemble a portfolio that showcases your work and demonstrates exactly how talented you really are.



Bonnie, I want to give a super big Thank You! You have helped change my life. I was recently laid off from my full time job. Due to your courses, I have dedicated my time to continue designing. You have helped my heart come out on the pages. Thank you sooooo much! :) thankful & very happy, Dawn Stratchko


I thought this class was engaging and informative. Bonnie Christine has such a natural way of presenting the information and never seems to lose her concentration. I really wanted to learn more about how to put together a professional but handmade portfolio and that is what you get. Thanks for the great class!

a Creativelive Student

Absolutely loved this course! I learned so much and feel confident now on how to present my company in a consistent and professional way.