For the past few days I’ve been sick with a cold in bed. This status made me detach from my day job chores and focus on my own goals. To be frank, my job doesn’t challenge me the way I want and I’m in a phase in my life I really want to get challenged and get better. In order to get better, I needed this silence to think about what I really want and how I intend to get there. The first thing was building a portfolio. So, there were couple of things I’ve been exposed to that helped me start working on it. I’ll share this process with you now.
Designers and artists should have a portfolio. Also, designing a portfolio is an important designing job. Sure, you can create a portfolio using a template, but what’s the fun in it? Portfolio should tell your story and show who you are. Kind of like destiny, I stumbled upon two major portfolio motivators. The first one is HackingUI’s New Year’s Portfolio Challenge. David & Sagi from HackingUI pushed me personally a lot during their awesome Side Project Accelerator, so I thought this might be the perfect excuse for me to design my portfolio. It’s not even about the competition as much as it an opportunity for me to get off my ass and start working on my portfolio and making it the best I can. I even intend on coding it on my own, we’ll see how it goes.
The second motivator for me was a post called “Avoid these 5 things when building your design portfolio” by Tobias Van Schneider, which, I don’t know if he knows, is one of my mentors in the design and blogging field. His post was about how to make a portfolio, including the major do’s and don’ts. So, after I had the motivation of making a portfolio, came the guidelines of HOW I’m going to make it.
Get up and start working
After two days of watching TV and playing video games, I moved to my table and started working on my portfolio. I didn’t want to rush it, because its planning is a really important part that sometimes I miss. Well, not this time. I checked out some portfolios to get some inspiration. I also viewed the Awwward’s winner portfolios, and frankly get a bit overwhelmed. I mean, look at it. I want my portfolio to be friendly and informative, not a Hollywood production. Also, I want to show that my works are pretty diverse.
So, after getting some ideas, I started writing down and sketching things – What I want to show in the portfolio and how. Sketching for myself was pretty fun. I knew exactly what will be the information and where it will go and had no middle man between the product and me. I focused mainly on pages of specific products, and not on the products gallery. I wanted the page to show the story of the product, more than just the final result.
I was done sketching, and began Sketch-ing (Got it? Sketch App? Okay, no more bad puns). I tried to copy my sketches to the app and using a grid to make it esthetic. The amazing part of it is that I can just add details to the basic skeleton I’ve created and have a good looking product in no time.
Well, this part will be this post’s cliff-hanger. I’m still designing and didn’t manage to get to coding it yet, but I know coding is important for me as a designer and I do believe designers should know how to code (or at least how to learn how to code) their designs. I have some experience in coding for web using HTML, CSS, JS, jQuery, React, but I do have a lot to learn.
To be continued…
My portfolio isn’t done yet, I’ve only worked on it several hours, and I still have a lot of work ahead. Do you have any experience on building a portfolio you want to share? Any struggles you had? Good experiences with working for yourself as a client? Please tell me about it in the comments bellow.