Many years ago I learned about the amazing Design and Creative Communities that thrive here in Sacramento. As if I didn’t already love this city so very much, I learned about so many opportunities to connect and learn with these other amazing creatives. Before the pandemic, I would attend Creative Mornings Sacramento regularly. During the pandemic I attended many of their Zoom speaker events hosted by cities all over the world. And through my design classes at Sacramento City College, I learned about Design Week Sacramento, and Design Sacramento. Within the past year a collaboration of all of these communities has manifested into Capitol Creative Alliance, and I have been eager to attend one of their many events.
Design Week Sacramento is a great opportunity for learning, developing skills and connecting to the design world as a whole. This wonderful event that I attended, hosted by Capitol Creative Alliance, was very encouraging.
I recently watched another portfolio review, through a different local organization, and felt rather discouraged because the feedback was very, well honestly, harsh. I agreed with much of the feedback given to that young designer, but the manner in which it was given seemed more like complaining, than constructive feedback. It was clear to me that this young designer was in fact pretty new to design, and was missing some fundamentals of design in his work, but I still didn’t think he needed to be berated because he hadn’t taken quite enough classes yet. It’s one of the signs of an good teacher or parent when they can have patience and do not fault their student or child for not knowing what they don’t know. There are many ways criticism can come across, and in this situation I felt it could’ve been much more constructive and positive.
This was not the case with this year’s Graphic Design Office Hours: Portfolio Review. The first thing I really appreciated about this presentation was how the panelists initially thanked and showed great appreciation to the designer who had volunteered his portfolio for public review. It is a very brave thing for a young designer to do, and I loved how the panelists very graciously acknowledged his bravery. It made me feel almost brave enough to imagine having my portfolio publicly reviewed someday.
Here are the other bullet points I took from the presentation:
The path is never a straight one for designers and their careers. Accept and embrace your unique path.
One director/designer answered the question “What does a typical day look like for your designers?” The panelist responded and mentioned how she checks in with her team on their bandwidth for the day. A daily “stand-up meeting”. I like this. I find in my very small nonprofit theatre company we do not know what other people in other departments are working on, and we do not know what their “bandwidth” is to help me with any of my projects. I think this can be really helpful for the health of a team as a whole. Respect the bandwidth!
The ability to illustrate is a huge advantage for graphic designers. A lot of graphic designers don’t have this skill. Also it’s the same with copywriting, or content creation. It’s also really good for your communication when working with these other kinds of teams that you can understand what they are doing.
On resumes: less is more. The fundamentals: basic layout and principles of design. On interviews: Let the interviewer ask you the questions. Let there be empty space. Take time to answer the questions you’re given. Don’t need/ask for feedback on every piece in your portfolio. Thoughtfulness is key.
Share the process in your portfolio.
You have 3 minutes to make an impression. Share an overview of the body of your work. Draw them in for more details.
Your portfolio is your portfolio. Getting feedback is important, but you need to be confident with your final presentation, so take the feedback that helps and leave behind the rest. Everyone will have tons of opinions. You need to land somewhere.
Yes the housing of your portfolio (usually a website) is in itself it’s own portfolio piece. But don’t overdesign it to the point that it is not clear or user friendly.
Remember what the purpose of your portfolio is – to get a job – to demonstrate what you can do, rather than to display who you are as an artist as a whole. Not an “ode to me”.
My husband has a podcast and for my Web Design I class this semester at Sacramento City College, I decided to make his website my final project.
This class has taught me a lot in a short amount of time about very practical hands-on skills of WordPress, website design, client-designer relationships, and user experience. I feel like I had an advantage because I have been working in WordPress maintaining my company’s website for years, but I didn’t have nearly the confidence I do now, even compared to just two months ago.
Building sentfromdisneyland.com was very fun. I also had a leg up in this realm because my husband and I have been working on his podcast, its brand, logo and concept for a couple years. A lot of the heavy lifting conceptually had already been worked through. And we already spent a long time building a logo!
This class helped us build out our tagline, goals, mission statement, values and vision statement. These things are very important, but we hadn’t articulated them yet. Now we have more strength in our brand, and a stronger foundation to build from.
A weekly podcast sharing Disney history, one postcard at a time.
The Sent From Disneyland Podcast seeks to provide a listening experience to anyone interested in diving deeper into Disneyland History.
My vision is that listeners will feel more knowledgeable of, and connected to, the long and complex living history of Disneyland, Disney Parks, and Disney Imagineers.
It has been very rewarding to help my husband build a website for his passion of Disneyland and Disney History. It is a site I am proud to add to my portfolio, and I look forward to developing it further as his podcast grows. I am very eager to see how it helps his outreach and marketing efforts.
Now go follow @sentfromdisneyland on Instagram and listen to the show where ever you get your podcasts!
First Day covers, college football, Disneyland, the World's Fair and more on this episode with two postcards sent to Texas and one sent from Texas. Below are some of the regulars on Art Throw Down, Follow all of them on Instagram anyway for great art an postcards in your Instagram feed: hipstadufus luluvision jlynch9923 greenmosspaper georgemailsart state_of_the_funyun RussRomano2021
I call this one “A Very COVID Thanksgiving”. I guess I’ve made a political cartoon. This is an image in my head this holiday season. I truly hope people don’t gather outside of their immediate household, or their “quarantine pod” for Thanksgiving this year, because of the INCREDIBLY HIGH INCREASE IN COVID CASES EVERYWHERE. Just stay home folks. Stay with your pod. And maybe Mom, Dad, Grandma and Uncle Joey can make it to next Thanksgiving.
I made this one in Adobe Fresco again. It’s just so streamlined when it comes to just putting thought and color to the digtial canvas, as it were. No pretense. Just make something.
I enjoyed working on this with #ATD (Art Throw Down daily live stream on Instagram) today. @bwaydoorman2020, @art_of_the_funyan and @jlynch9923 usually host them everyday at 7:00 PM PST. It’s fun to work on things with others and their daily live stream is a nice preset time to plan on making something! Check them out!
I call this one “Technicolor Flower”. Created in Adobe Fresco, this flower uses oil and water color brushes in various layers, as well as masking. There is also some layer blending going on. There is something truly soothing to me about creating textures. And flowers. Creating flowers is one of the most focused and freeing tasks one can do as an illustrator to me. As in nature, it is a perfectly balanced and beautiful creation. An unlimited box in which to create.
I am in a Halloween mood. I call this one “Harvest Moon”. I used Adobe Fresco and learned how to use the shape, select and mask features more effectively. I really enjoyed learning those tools. They are very helpful. I used primarily the oil brushes, and a few watercolor brushes. I am definitely getting more comfortable, and maybe a little less chaotic in my brush usage. But I still love mixing colors!
So it’s been a while! I’ve been overloaded with homework, work and backyard work and left my Daily Doodles in the dust! But here I am. I may have entitled my posts as Daily Doodles, but I don’t hold myself to making and sharing them every single day. It’s something to aspire to, be inspired by, and yes, try to accomplish everyday, but I am not going to beat myself up if I have other more pressing things on my plate. Even if those other things are sitting on my couch and playing Wizard’s Unite while enjoying a cider. The purpose of my Daily Doodles is to de-stress, find joy, and explore skills and techniques.
Today’s doodle was done in my sketchbook on regular old paper. I’ve been so screened out in this now 7 months of quarantine and Zoom life I just want to get my eyes away from screens.. but they are EVERYWHERE and a part of EVERYTHING we do. So regular old paper and pens and pencils were my soothing friends tonght.
I’m taking two graphic design classes right now, so naturally we’ve been talking a lot about Typography. Beautiful, wonderful Typography. Talk about another thing that is everywhere! The history of Typography is human history. I love it. I’ve always loved it, even before I understood it. I would doodle with words and letters more than creating characters when I had the opportunities to doodle in my lifetime. I would always be the one who wanted to create the posters and signs for whatever school event or theatre production I was a part of. Creating letters is so much fun. I have learned that creating an entire typeface is an incredibly detailed and lengthy process, one that MAYBE someday I will flirt with the idea of doing, but I prefer to be like the Arts & Crafts and Art Nouveau designers and draw or paint my letterforms within the space of my specific project.
Okay… so Synesthesia. Ever heard of it? It is something I learned about only a few years ago. I learned that I have it! I learned that when imagining numbers and letters in my mind’s eye, I see them in colors. I really thought this was how everyone saw letters and numbers. I thought it was just an association I had with my first and second grade classrooms which had the alphabet and numbers up on the walls for us to reference. But apparently not everyone sees numbers and letters like I do. There are many different kinds of synesthesia that have been documented. I suggest checking it out. Are you a synesthete, too?
Today was a nice relaxing doodle. I have to remind myself sometimes that my Daily Doodle exercise is not one for perfectionism. In fact the point is to let go of my perfectionism and let creativity and expression take over. I am not here today to create something perfect. I am only here to create. Judgement of what is created be damned.
This is a little bit of an old doodle style, if you will, that I used to do way back in high school and early college days. It’s almost like making stained glass. I would just draw various black lines of almost nonsense scribble, and then fill in the separated spaces with colors. My “containing frame”, or shape of my stained glass doodle today was my logo.
This was really fun, and again so relaxing. Done in my sketchbook with Crayola markers.
Om or aum. An ancient syllable, symbol, or sound, that represents many meanings including the essence of ultimate reality, consciousness or pure being. Often used in Buddhist traditions as the opening and closing of meditative mantras. The most well known mantra being “Om mani padme hum”, which roughly translates to “the jewel in the lotus”.
I used Adobe Fresco again, but this time I used only the oil brushes. I really enjoyed the flow of colors and ability to mix those colors. The colors interact very differently than the “dry” media, which was fun to play with.
This doodle was inspired by an Epic, amazing, real life lost boys tree house that my friend and I found on a hike a few weekends ago. It was glorious. I took a few pictures, and then vowed to create something in honor of it.
I used Adobe Fresco again. It was really fun and relaxing to create this doodle. I used oil brushes, watercolor brushes, charcoal pencil brushes, and even some pen brushes as well. I’m learning more and more about my style and what I really enjoy when I’m making something. Color is one of those things and the mixing of those colors. I must have been an impressionist in a past life because the effect of mixing colors on the eye is fascinating to me. And the actual mixing of color is what I LOVE to do. I love big chunky swaths of strokes blending together. Just so fun.
I could totally see Peanuts characters running around and climbing all over this monument to childhood.