Analog to Digital to Digital Analog – 2020 is already proving to be an ambitious year!
Analog to Digital to Digital Analog – 2020 is already proving to be an ambitious year!
Wait, what exactly is a portfolio? There seems to be a context…or is there?
Let’s define it, and perhaps there is metaphoric value and context in each one of these “traditional definition” examples below..
According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary:
Definition of “portfolio”:
1: a hinged cover or flexible case for carrying loose papers, pictures, or pamphlets
2: from the use of such a case to carry documents of state: the office and functions of a minister of state or member of a cabinet
3: the securities held by an investor: the commercial paper held by a financial house (such as a bank)
4: a set of pictures (such as drawings or photographs) usually bound in book form or loose in a folder
5: a selection of a student’s work (such as papers and tests) compiled over a period of time and used for assessing performance or progress
Hold up, whoa! I can already feel your inner physiological triggers sending a bright red waving flag to your ego saying: “but making a portfolio is sooooo much work!”.
LET, AND ALLOW FOR THIS HAPPEN!
It is perfectly normal and alright to let your “old-portfolio-definition-self” bleed out. Exercise that energy. Let’s release it. Ill wait….Take a breath, and let’s remind ourselves that things need to be replaced and upgraded. Nothing is static. We learn, we grow, we expand and we can’t allow past experiences to drive the bus on new opportunities and new ways of seeing, experiencing and re-defining things.
The word “portfolio” is not a bad word. If anything, like anything else, it’s a default term that officially requires your interaction, research, resonance and re-defining within context to who you are and who you are becoming in the process! With that said, let’s think about what the next step is in creating your new portfolio.
Let us understand the “why” part. Why do I need a portfolio? What is the purpose?
Here is a short list (feel free to add more to your updated definition)
2. To show off your strengths, creativity, skills, effectiveness, efficiency, enthusiasm and passion! Of course, this energy translates directly through the work included in the portfolio. This will be what you believe is your best work at the time, but there is context. Keep reading.. (PS – it’s OK to have more than one portfolio to help showcase various bodies of works and projects.) For example, I’m an applied artist, a digital artist, animation-maker, graphic-designer and a professor of art and design. Some of the works in my portfolio can overlap in theory but I keep a lot of the works separate to subject, but enjoy showcasing them together on my website. That’s right, my website is my portfolio. In fact, I have created a few, the links are below to help.
3. Display your process and evolution. Duration is your friend! Nothing shows off progress better than time. A metric of growth shows itself through time. When I look back at the design work I was doing 10 years ago in comparison to today I see an incredible difference in skill, technique, taste and where my thinking and focus was at the time. I also find a lot of ideas that can be pushed and expanded upon with more with my “awareness-of-growth eyes.” I write a lot about my work and share my process. I believe that this helps me reflect and explain myself better.
4. Stand out and show your style and authenticity – There is only one “you” that you can be. Yes, we certainly learn and are greatly inspired and influenced by others, but at the end of the day we must learn how to be our authentic selves. We must learn how to translate that through our mediums of choice. How will you do this? The short answer is through consistent experimentation and practice. Over time you will create your inner curator, and that part of yourself will begin putting pieces together in groups and compartments. The process will build and flow. This aspect is a journey and it too is anything from static. I take great interest in making changes, learning new things and applying them to the foundations that I continue to build.
I hope that this post will inspire you to begin! Be patient with yourself. The goal is not to create a portfolio in one hour, and there is no such thing as “perfection”. or the perfect portfolio. Let’s produce a result and discuss that result. Be generous with yourself in the process.
I admit it. I love to experiment, test, tweak, deconstruct, remix and repeat processes. I treat the creation process of such a task, creating a new portfolio, the same way that I approach making art. Suspend your judgement! Allow yourself to “make something that may really suck” as a first iteration. This is crucial to developing a contrast of your own. Again, you need to produce a result in order to make an assessment about the result. Until you do this, your contrast is someone else’s stuff / thing that has inspired or affected you.
I would like for you to consider both of these portfolio building and displaying options below. Im a huge fan of both the Academic Commons and the OpenLab platforms. (If you are reading this and are not a part of CUNY somehow, then you can easily follow along individually as both the commons and the OpenLab are powered by WordPress.) Using your own self-hosted WordPress based website and account via ReclaimHosting.com – I have created a sample and template / example using both the Academic Commons, OpenLab and my own self-hosted projects that go into the process. I consider all of these links below to be portfolios. Perhaps you have a preference over one or the other? I hope that these links below will help you get started.
2. A portfolio website “How-to” example using the OpenLab: https://openlab.bmcc.cuny.edu/portfolio-ryan-seslow/
3. My personal website- this is my own domain and my own self-hosted website (WordPress) – https://ryanseslow.com
4. This is also my own domain and a self-hosted website to showcase a body of work (WordPress) – https://Situationalfiction.com
6. Looking for more examples? Contact me, lets chat!
Feel free to leave your questions and feedback in the comments section below! Lets add to this post together!
Or contact me at – firstname.lastname@example.org
Meanwhile on 5th & 26th..
Vintage postcard Remix fun – Greetings From New York…
Been working on an example for one of the first assignments of the semester. Its not required that students have to “remix” existing content to achieve their final outcome, but it sure is a lot of fun, and sets a great tone for a written narrative.) Which is a part of the assignment).
Skills practiced and applied: Composition, organization of elements, figure/ground, pen tool basics, cutting, pasting, measuring & mounting.
PS – this is not computer dependent, a series of color photocopies, an x-acto knife, bristol paper and rubber cement will also do the trick.
“The Contemplation of Metaphoric Flight”, 2019, is a series of digital art illustrations & GIF animations generated from public domain source images via the NYPL digital archives. The illustrations were created by your old friend, Ryan Seslow. The new series of works above were specifically created to be displayed here on the C.A.C as a part of the Net Art website’s ongoing exhibition series. It is intended to serve as a visual example, an accessible template, and the creative potential for displaying, publishing, presenting and archiving such a project. (The whole thing is a metaphor)
Wait! Am I suggesting that an online exhibition, published as a blog post on a unique cross-campus social media network can also be used as a teaching tool? A transparent pedagogical tactic?! Well, yes, yes, I am! Lets dig in.
The original public domain images were cut-out with the pen-tool, composed and applied using adobe photoshop (photoshop is your friend and loves you). Do you need a photoshop pen-tool / cut-out video tutorial? Go Here – The cut-outs were necessary for the first iteration of the static pictures above. (Im referring to the bird portraits and the human clothes used to place their heads onto and into) The cut-outs are handy as they can be saved as both .psd files (the original photoshop documents) and as a transparent .PNG file. The .PNG files have a transparent background, this makes it easy to layer them over and into existing images. Plus they are forever re-usable (variation, variation, variation). But, Ryan, I don’t have access to Photoshop… OK, well, there is a trail versions! Sign up and try it! But after that trail ends, so that you know, photoshop is not required to do any of this. Web applications like Pixlr are free and accessible for all to use in the browser window itself, er, with access to the Internet of course.. OK, you can just download the .PNG files here in ready to use mode (your welcome).
OK, so, there are a few animations above as well. The first animations above were created in adobe after effects. The renders were pushed to my iPhone and into mobile applications like Glitche (yikes, its only for iOS) and iPhone’s “Clips” video sequence maker (there are alternatives for android) The files can be saved as mp4 or .mov files making it easy to apply the videos into other mobile video editing apps. Filters are fun to play with for more customizing and visual effects. The videos can be looped into GIF animations using great apps like ImgPlay (this app is awesome, it re-sizes, edits, and has multiple out-put sources.) Animated GIFs are great extenders of so many forms of communication! Im hooked on making GIFS! I make them all public domain by adding them to Giphy.com so by all means use them at will! Here is my feed.
Of course, the digital art, illustration, collage, GIF animation aspect can be a great creative course project in and of itself! Indeed, both on an individual level but perhaps collaborating is where the extended creativity and learning takes place. This can be achieved through digital storytelling using a blogging platform just like this one. See that, you find yourself “inside the actual example”! The illustrations above clearly required a caption, captions and or a narrative. Is the narrative fictional? Will you write a short story to support the images or maybe a reflection induced by the sequences of images? What references come to mind or coincide? How can you make the description compelling? Will you share hyperlinks to your references and resources? Will you embed animated GIFs or other snippets of relevant content? Can you recompose this blog post and use it as a metaphoric template for your own class project, assignment, syllabus or exhibition? (Hint, you can easily break free of the digital art example, but it might be fun to play with this as an idea.)
I believe that this example / template series will expand, who wants to collaborate on a creative cross campus project?
And seriously, have FUN with this!
Access NO Access
2019, Digital Illustration