“New year, new me.”
For many, the new year is not just a changing of dates, it’s a symbol of transformation, or the desire thereof. It is a signpost in which people tell themselves “after this date, I will be better.”
Many go for personal goals —getting fitter, being smarter with their money, and, for many yuppies, going for a career shift. The new year serves as a cue that reminds us how we are not getting any younger, and if there are career dreams one wants to pursue, the upcoming year is the time to do so.
They edit their resumes, scour online job portals, put a word out to friends. But for those in (or hoping to get into) the creative industry, a step often forgotten is creating a creative portfolio.
Why the need?
Just like how a resume is a showcase of one’s leadership and organizational experience, a creative portfolio takes things a step further and is the proof of concept.
We now live in an age where many different industries are integrating creativity into their frameworks. We can even say that the landscape itself is shifting, and all sectors will someday be part of one giant creative economy— e.g., programmers now becoming more adept at app ideation and user experience, data analysts becoming data storytellers, and entrepreneurs coming up with innovative solutions via start-ups, all these on top of the existing creative professionals such as writers and designers.
This means two things, 1) the future is for the creative and thus to stay relevant you must keep up, and 2) the creative industry will grow even more competitive, hence the greater need to stand out.
A creative portfolio will help show potential partners, employers, and collaborators your brand of creativity. Do you have a specific branding? As a writer, what kind of voice do you exude? As a designer, what are your strengths?
Share who you are through your projects
Behind your creative portfolio is your story.
Imagine this collection as your highlight reel, what projects best embody you? Which of them are you most proud of?
Don’t be afraid to put some footnotes to explain what you’re showcasing. Tell your future partners why you love your work, how you came up with these ideas. Making it personal, makes it relatable.
And don’t think this is just for writing or design. If you’re in a corporate job, compile your creative projects and achievements—that event you organized, that activation or product launch, etc. It works the same way.
Still starting and don’t know where to start?
Unlike professionals who already have commissioned works under their belt, those starting out—fresh graduates, career-shifters—may feel a bit of anxiety in the thought that they haven’t done enough work worth showcasing.
That’s ok, you’re starting out. But be proactive, come-up with your own pitches and dream projects!
Want to get into advertising, write sample copy or outline a storyboard to show your ideation prowess.
Better yet, if you have friends with small businesses, volunteer to ideate for them. Not only can these can be stepping stones to more significant projects and greater opportunities, but they also give you content for your creative portfolio.
And don’t skip the basics
Whether it’s a printed binder, an online folder, a pdf file, or a website, don’t forget what’s at the core of your portfolio—your work.
No need for complex layouts, or navigations that take you on twist and turns. Stick to the basics and make sure what you want to showcase is at front and center.
Make sure things are clear and focused.
And of course, don’t forget to add your personal details. There must be a way in sight to contact you (just in case viewers get in touch for an interview, or better yet, offer you a job).
If you’re confident enough, you can enough link out to your social media accounts, give them a better idea of the person behind the work.
This 2019, don’t be afraid to own up to your strengths. Look at your past work, ask yourself what you most enjoyed, and show it to the world. Who knows, they may even like it more than you do.
If you want to see how creators on our network showcase their work, visit the GetCraft Marketplace.
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