WEEK 1 | Welcome to The Portfolio

DISCUSSION: What is a Portfolio?

  • Not a discrete object; Solid/Liquid/Gas analogy
  • Portfolio can be (should be): PDF, website, book, reel, social media account, process book
  • Where does your portfolio live?
  • What do you really need to include in your portfolio?
  • What do you need a portfolio for?
  • Who do you send your portfolio to?
  • How do you know if your work is “portfolio-ready”?

What is/are your Disciplines?

  • Write your “About Me” or “Objective” statement – Who are you? What do you do, etc.
  • Your discipline(s) determine(s) the structure of their portfolio.
  • You will have to produce portfolios across multiple channels.
  • What are these multiple channels? What does that mean in today’s professional creative landscape?

Who is your audience and what is your career strategy?

  • Find a job.
  • Get a job.
  • Keep the job.
  • Do it again. (And again, and again.)


  • A = your portfolio is good enough to get into the show
  • B = by week 14 it is almost there and just needs some tweaking to get into the show
  • C/D = not there, not enough work, not polished, not coherent (no narrative)

Week 1 Homework (begin research, writing in class)

  • Create personal branding system that can be used across all channels
    • Logo/monogram
    • Avatars
    • Colors
    • Contextual system for framing work
    • A signature? Show Sienkiewicz/Simonson, etc.
  • Check LinkedIn – sign up if not already signed up
    • Take a deep dive, starting with links on site
    • Look at Job Titles and Respsonibilities
    • Look at how people write about themselves: What’s good and what’s not?
    • Find THREE people that really interest you and be prepared to explain why
  • Share links of agencies/studios for Ad/Design students, figure out for other disciplines
    • Look at their projects/case studies and ask these questions:
      • Who/what is the brand?
      • Who is the target audience
      • What is the channel (for distribution)

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