Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Fashion Art: Part 5 (Portfolios)

·        Fashion Portfolio
A fashion portfolio is a collection of fashion art compiled in a physical portfolio or online portfolio for the purpose of presenting and showcasing your work.

o   Purpose of a Fashion Portfolio
After you have illustrated some of your best work, it is time to put it into a portfolio.  The purpose of building a portfolio is to create a body of work to present to potential employers & clients.  It is a selling tool for your creativity.  You may need more than one portfolio for informal & professional purposes.  Your informal portfolio may be filled with your rough sketches and if you plan on attending a fashion school, you will need one for your fashion courses.  Keep in mind that when enrolling, some colleges require that you already have a portfolio in order to be excepted into the program.  Be sure you check into this first.  Once you’ve finished your fashion courses, your school portfolio can be used to land an apprenticeship or internship.  An internship is a great way to further build your professional portfolio.

o   How to Build a Portfolio
There are a few important rules & guidelines to follow when building your portfolio.  Below is a list of them:
§  Evaluate Your Work
Review your work first to decide what pieces you feel are right for your portfolio. Remember, your portfolio is your marketing device so you must have your best work presented.  Once you choose what you want, mount your art work on a thin on board & insert them in the sleeves of your portfolio.  Make sure that your artwork is cohesive, but has variety.  A fashion portfolio should exhibit a certain mood or theme. Make it exciting & eye-catching.  The idea is to sell your work.

§  Be Flexible
When building your portfolio keep in mind that you have to be accommodating to each potential employer.  You need to be able to change up your portfolio in accordance to the agency or employer for which you are applying for.  Though it is important to be versatile as an artist, you also need to develop your own style to position yourself in the industry.

§  Proofread & Edit
It is important to edit your work to ensure that everything is in order and that there are no grammatical errors in your resume.  You have to show that you are serious about your work & that you take pride in it.  Make sure everything is neat & everything is where it’s supposed to be before you ship it off.  It may help to have someone else proofread & critique your portfolio as well.  This way you won’t have a biased view.  Presentation is everything & your work reflects your effort.

§  Know your Demographic (your audience)
You have to know who your audience is before you even began working on your portfolio.  Stick to one thing.  Don’t spread yourself too thin when creating your art because it will look inconsistent.  Your audience has to be able to relate to what you’re creating & selling.  This may just get you the job.  If the employer or one who’s reviewing your portfolio prefers traditional forms of illustration versus CAD, your images should not be digital.   Make sure you find out everything you need to know about the potential employers (i.e., company) before you present your portfolio to them.

§  Include your Contact Info./Promotional Tools
Make sure you include any additional marketing & promotional tools in your portfolio.  Insert your business cards (3-6) and/or promo card.  You may also create a CD with your artwork.  Make sure the CD & its sleeve is professional looking.  You also need to ensure all of your contact information is accurate.  Include your home phone, secondary phone (if you have one), home address or P.O. Box, & email address.

§  Include a CV
One of the most important elements of a portfolio is a resume or a CV.  CV means Curriculum Vitae (Latin: Course of Your Life).  A CV is similar to a resume, but is a little more detailed & lengthier.  While a resume is 1-2 pages, generally a CV is 2 or more pages.  Some employers will only require one page CV’s.  If you don’t have a CV a resume will work just fine.  As you progress in your career as a fashion artist, a Curriculum Vitae will more than likely work in your favor.  Below is a list of do’s & don’ts for your CV:

  Do:                                                                  Don’t:
-Include your education                                  -Use "Curriculum Vitae" as your   heading
-Include the same contact info as you             -Include personal information
 would your resume.                                       -Add fancy fonts
-Include any awards or accolades you may    -Add a photo of yourself.
 have received.                                                -Overuse ‘I’ and ‘My’
-List media & press info.
-Be creative & show your design skills
-List professional activities (ex: any board

At the end of this lesson there will be sample CV’s & resume’s posted.

o   Types of Portfolios
§  Physical Portfolio
A physical portfolio is a portfolio that you can physically hold & touch (i.e., a leather case or sketch book).  There are various sizes available ranging from 14”X 17” to 4”X 6”.
·        List of must-haves:
o   Digital Camera or Scanner
o   Leather Portfolio Case (small and large)
o   Mounting Board or thicker paper(to mount your work on)
o   Adhesive
It is preferable that you take your prints to a print shop to get them professionally copied, however, if you can’t find one take digital photos & upload or scan your art to your computer and print them out.  You are only to put copies of your work in your portfolio & keep the originals.  Keep in mind if you’re making copies at home, most computers will only print up to 8 ½”X11” in size.

§  Digital Portfolio
A digital portfolio is one that you can be posted online (website or blog).  It can also be uploaded on a disk or flash drive.  Make sure you save your work on a jpeg file or a pdf file.
·        List of must-haves:
o   Digital Camera or Scanner
o   Computer (PC or notebook)
o   Digital Art/CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software
o    Account with a social networking or blog site (ex: Facebook, tumblr, etc.) and/or
o   Web hosting site (there are some free sites to choose from)

o   Disk to upload your art and/or
o   A flash drive

It is best to have both a physical and a digital portfolio.

o   Examples
§  Portfolios
Portfolios come in different sizes & textures.  Though other colors are available, black is the most common color of artist portfolios.  You may also customize your portfolio by getting your name engraved on the cover or on the inside.
                   Without shoulder-strap (Leather)                                             With shoulder-strap (Nylon)

  Portfolios in various colors & styles   


Samples of Fashion Art Portfolios

Artist’s Resume’s

Artist’s CV’s

You have just completed the lesson on fashion portfolios.  There was a lot of material covered in this lesson.  You learned the basic fundamentals of art & fashion portfolios from how to build a portfolio, dos & don’ts, & Curriculum Vitaes.   In the next lesson, you will have the opportunity to create your own fashion art or design.  You may want to do a quick overview of the course before the last lesson.

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