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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....


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 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. :)

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