Skip to main content

One Down, A Few More to Go...

It's taken me over a year to finally get off of my behind and update my website. But now - it's here. Well, most of it. I have a few kinks to iron out, but I have it uploaded and working, and you can check it out here. I'll take any advice I can get, so fire away.

But there's a problem when I get a major project finished. There's a dozen more I have to get off the ground. Here are a few of them. A to do list, if you will.

1) Update my portfolio. There's one thing that designers and other artists have to do in order to maintain fresh - keep creating. I've been doing a bunch of things, mostly non-creative, but I really need to update my work portfolio - some new, versatile projects that showcase my skills. While putting my portfolio together, I noticed that I have a lot of solid poster design, so I'm going to have to focus on some layout and other design projects. Maybe I'll do a CD Cover design, and a magazine layout. They don't have to be real. They just have to be good. I also need to get some more web design under my belt. Which leads to my second item -

2) Learn CSS. I was talking with a designer friend about her website, which is stunning and makes me jealous and hate all of my work, but nonetheless, and she told me in order to use WordPress, I need to know CSS. So, at some point, I'm going to have to dive in.

3) Animation Reel. One of my goals as an artist is to develop a solid motion graphics reel. I have a few things, for it, but not enough yet. I have plenty of ideas, but now it comes down to finding the resources, and the time. Soon, I hope.

One of the things I'm wrestling with though, is should I specialize? Should I focus on just one aspect, get really good at it, and hope to get a lot of work doing just that particular area? Or should I continue to diversify my portfolio, hoping that my versatility will open several doors?

I'm not sure. Advice would be appreciated....

Comments

bethany said…
Good job on the site! :) You have a unique style, which really sets you apart from a lot of designers.

Wordpress and CSS are where it's at on the Web these days, so if you want to do Web work, it would be a good idea to learn. There's a ton of great tutorials out there.

That said...if you want to pick something to specialize in, pick something that you already know/are really good at. It will make your life easier. Also, pick something that you love. If there are projects that you didn't enjoy, don't put them on your portfolio. For example, I hate designing t-shirts. I'm not going to put any on my portfolio, and if someone asks me to do another one, I'm going to say no. I just don't like it. It's ok to be picky with your time.

I think it's a good idea to be specific with yourself about what kind of work you want to do. Come up with an elevator pitch, something that you can tell people in less than 30 seconds, about who you are and what you do. Then you can focus on certain kinds of work.

Here's an example. Let's say you make a CD cover and really like it. So make that one of the things that you do. (You'd still do other things, but it would be one way to find jobs.) You could market yourself to artists...find a local recording studio like Jesse Sprinkle has, and advertise yourself as someone who can design CD covers. Make business cards or make relationships with people that might be looking for that & could recommend you. There are a lot of things like that, if you are willing to stick your neck out a little.

Just a few of my thoughts! Keep designing...like you said, you just have to keep creating!
jeremy said…
Thank you SO MUCH for your advice, Bee. This is exactly the sort of direction and guidance I needed to get me moving.

I'm gonna have to learn CSS without a doubt. Even though I'm not a big fan of web design in general, I would rather learn to love what I hate, especially if it means making money or not.

You don't like T-Shirt Design? I love it. I haven't done it a lot, but I like making messy, grungy, cool looking shirts. I'd like to do more and add them to my portfolio, but I just don't have the time.

I like CD Design too - just haven't done it enough. I would love to hook up with Jesse Sprinkle though - I know he's been in the area for years, I just never had the chance/courage to e-mail him. He was in Poor Old Lu, one of the most awesome alt rock bands of the 90s, so I have to set aside my starstruckness. :)

My problem with specializing is, I like too much stuff. I love corporate ID and layout design, motion design, video productions - I just don't have the time to do it all. :)

Popular posts from this blog

Pressurized Creativity #1 - Macho Quest

A Prologue

Brevity is the soul of wit, right? At least, that's what Bill Shakespeare said. Since he's been dead for a few centuries, and a lot of old dead guys seem to know what they're talking about, or since we seem to take the words of old dead guys far more serious than old alive guys (I'm looking at you, Andy Griffith), I figured I would start my latest blog with something from an old dead guy. It really has no application to this particular post, but hey, it popped into my head, so I decided to write it down.

Anyway, things pop in my head on a regular basis. Moreso over the past few months, for reasons I can't quite nail down, but it might just be the fact that when I'm at work, the biggest challenge that I have creatively is figuring out what to eat for lunch. It may be that I haven't actually utilized all of my creative potential, or it could be that, not unlike a valve under pressure, if it begins to get TOO MUCH pressure, without being released…

Professionalism, at it's BEST!

So it's been about a year since I left my previous full-time job and became a stay at home dad. In that year, I've been able to do a little bit of freelance work, a good amount of pro bono work, and continue to seek freelance opportunities. But as it stands, at this time, I really don't have to look for a full time job. The money that I would make at any job, would most likely go to childcare, and the idea of investing money into someone else to invest in my children just doesn't make any sense to me.

(Just to clarify, Michelle and I aren't rich by any means, we're just trying to be frugal right now)

Needless to say, I am still searching for freelance opportunities, which led to me receiving this e-mail this morning:


HI Jeremy
Unfortunately you don't fit in with our (insert generic sounding marketing business name) Team! I was just testing you to see if you were a fit with our company when I said that I can't pay you at the beginning. Your response is …

In Moment of Weakness Under the Guise of Strength....

When the Trayvon Martin case became a national story, I was quick to point out the necessity of waiting and seeing as the facts came to light.  I lost a Facebook friend over this particular stance.  But why is it that the “wait and see” opinion is so hard for people to grasp?

Too often, in the court of public opinion, do we find ourselves trying criminal cases that are thrust into the national spotlight.  The 24 Hour News Cycle feeds this obsession, turning all of us into wannabe Perry Mason’s overnight.  We use whatever information is given to us to formulate our arguments, either on the side of the prosecution or the defense.  We invest ourselves in our chosen side, and forget that there are real people on the other side of the television screen, who are dealing with actual grief, loss, sadness and anger.

I didn’t understand this myself, until I lived through it.  

On Saint Patrick’s Day 2011, my 23 year-old nephew Clarence was stabbed in a fight in Syracuse.  He died from his injuries…