Monday, May 11, 2009

MassArt Portfolio Day

Me and Emily Wayne, MassArt '09- Illustration

On May 6, I was invited by illustration professor Irena Roman to come to my alma mater  Mass College of Art and Design as a guest portfolio reviewer for her senior illustration class. It was a privilege and an honor to be asked and I was glad to oblige.

The room was set up with tables along the perimeter of a large room in a semi-circle format. The reviews were one-on-one, and we were to keep each review to 15 minutes or so. There were about 20 - 25 guest reviewers total.

 The entire timetable was only two hours. I understood the reason for the limited review time even more so after the fact - the time went by very quickly.

This was my first time as a guest reviewer. Before the day came, I’d thought about the day: How would the students present themselves on and off the page? How many of them were focused on a specific illustration market/niche, and how many of them were ‘playing the field’? All the typical questions. Despite that, I had a general sense going in that I would come away impressed, and I was right, by and large. They were a great bunch and I wish I’d gotten the chance to see more of their portfolios. (Next year!)

At the end of the reviews, students came around and thanked reviewers with gifts of promo takeaways.  It is great to have one-on-one time with a student to talk to them about their work, but seeing how they present themselves in the form of their promo package was a very big piece of the puzzle for me. I’m not only an illustrator but also a graphic designer, and I have strong opinions on the importance of graphic design skills for illustrators. (Graphic design skills are an indispensable, *necessary* tool for illustrators... but that's another blog post). Anyway, I was so overjoyed to see how so many of these illustration students not only understood the importance of *thinking* about their branding, but the hard work they put into the design and packaging of their name was evident!  :) Here are few of those packages (artist names/links below pictures).


Ginger*:) said...

Kathy, this is a fantastic post. And there is so much we can all take away from this. Thank you for sharing with us and with the students. I know they gained a great deal by hearing your comments.

Ann Gorbett said...

Kathy-it must have been so inspiring to see all this new talent. Thanks for sharing. Sounds like a wonderful experience.

Michelle Henninger said...

Thanks for the great post Kathy. How exciting it must have been for you to be on the other side of the table! Very cool! And I really liked hearing about your thoughts on branding ... I'm looking forward to your expanded view on the subject in a future post! :)

Robin Maria Pedrero said...

I truly enjoyed this post!