You’ll have to excuse the title of this blog post as we couldn’t think of anything snappy that covered the points of this post. We’re not apologising for it mind you as we’re too Rock ‘n’ Roll for that. Anyhow since we started this project we’ve seen a fuck-ton of portfolios and it has been fun and an education. On the one hand we’ve come across work that has made us lose control of our bowels in excitement and on the other we’ve found portfolio’s that have made us look away in disgust (the less said about websites that contain horrendous background music the better…don’t do it, no one appreciates your shitty taste in music.)

And it goes without saying that your portfolio is what most potential clients and collaborators use as critical reflection of the quality and calibre of your work so it’s pretty important that you get it right. So being the supportive bastards that we are, we thought it was about time that we bestow a few teeny, tiny ounces of wisdom to help you along the way to creating a kickass portfolio.

Keep it Relevant
Coming from a background in branding and design, we’ve always had to keep our portfolio updated and relevant, swapping in and out work that would be of most interest to those we were showing it to and the same thing applies to you guys. No one likes to trawl through work that has no bearing on the job. Although this sounds like common sense and we’re probably teaching you to suck eggs, it’s a pretty important message. We’ve had people apply for jobs with portfolios containing pages of irrelevant stuff and we’ve glossed over their work in favour of a creative who has managed to use their portfolio to clearly show us that they have the skills we’re looking for. You need to use your portfolio to demonstrate that you are the kick ass creative they are looking for, and you can only do that by making sure that the work you put in it is relevant and on point.

Editing
Now this is where we get down and dirty. Editing your portfolio is an incredibly important part of making a positive and lasting impression and it’s something a lot of fantastic creative’s fail to take into consideration when managing their portfolio. Imagine a portfolio that contains ten pieces of work or ten projects, eight of them are amazing and the other two are a bit shitty. Those two pieces of work will bring down the rest of your portfolio, and we’ve seen this happen far to often. We’ve gone from: “wow, that’s amazing, oh my god I’ve just creamed myself” to “oh, oh ok, cool, that’s alright we suppose” and that colours people’s perception of you and your work.

How do you solve it? By being incredibly self-critical. Step aside from your ego and really look at your work. Compare it to your peers, compare your work to those you admire and be honest with yourself. It’s an incredibly hard thing to do, but an important skill to learn. Some people have an over-inflated view of their ability and their work and if you’re like this you’ll really struggle to edit your work honestly. But if you can look at your work objectively then your portfolio will reflect this. Don’t be one of those dick’s who can vocally criticise other people’s work but have a massive blind spot when it comes to their own work.

If you struggle with being an honest self-critic of your own work then try to rope in someone else to get their professional feedback and thoughts and by professional we mean someone in the industry rather than your mum.

Try putting things into one of three categories, the good, the bad and the awesome. See what you’re left with at the end of it all. If everything you’ve done ends up in the awesome folder then you’re either very easily pleased, don’t understand what awesome is or just have an ego that is screaming to be punched, hard and repeatedly. We guarantee that if you can be honest to yourself, this exercise will be one that will really help you improve your portfolio.

If you struggle with being an honest self-critic of your own work then try to rope in someone else to get their professional feedback and thoughts and by professional we mean someone in the industry rather than your mum.

Who’s the target audience
Don’t forget to take into consideration your target audience. Think about what they really want to see and figure out how you can take that into consideration. Don’t mix and match too many things, it makes you look like a jack of all trades and puts potential clients off as well as making you look slightly schizophrenic. Don’t worry too much about the technical side of things, leave that to conversations with your peers. Focus on what is going to make a lasting impression that leaves a wow!

If you’re a creative who does a mix of work in different industries, consider creating a separate portfolio to house that in. We realise the importance of the bread and butter stuff, but we strongly believe in keeping it separate from the stuff you love to do and want to do more of. Purely because it can sometimes more often than not be detrimental to your efforts. But it does all come down to what you do and looking at things sensibly.

Always strive for more, always aim higher, demand more, force the people you’re working with to do better.

Aim for amazing
Always strive for more, always aim higher, demand more, force the people you’re working with to do better. Never settle for anything less than amazing. If something doesn’t work out the first time, try, try, try again. Never have a ’that’ll do’ frame of mind for client or personal work. By expecting and demanding more, the standard of your portfolio will improve dramatically.

You don’t want to be one of these guys who end up with a stagnated portfolio that shows no growth or improvement. You want to be the kind of person who can look back at past work with a critical eye and put it aside as you’ve managed to move on to a higher level. We do that all the time, where the work we’ve done a few months or years ago makes us cringe, not because it is bad work, but because we’ve managed to move on.

Ask for support
Hopefully some of the points we’ve made in this post will allow you guys to create a kickass amazeball portfolio. The last message we’re going to leave you with is ask others for their advice on your portfolio, what’s good, what’s bad, what’s just damn right ugly. Tell them to be honest, and be acceptance of constructive criticism. If someone say’s something is shit, ask them why and try take those points into consideration. If they can’t be constructive, call them a cunt and find someone else to help. Also avoid those who are likely to kiss ass and coddle you. Support and guidance is fine, but rimming and sucking is not.

Peace bitches…