This is the transcript of my last print publication article in C^2. The student magazine at The Art Institute International Minnesota.

As graduation looms, the time for students to collect their tenure races forward. The all-night projects and hard drive back-ups must be scoured for work. Printers are estimated on the quality of ink, and the paper plant surely requires a visit. Because we are students of the creative field, we display our learning in a visually important way; the portfolio is our most important asset.

It must have been 9 quarters ago. The undertow conversation of a classroom was the speed we travel through our educational experience. I was only able to dream about the proud day of graduation. That day’s conversation couldn’t have been closer to the truth. My classmates and I had come to agree the first quarters at The Art Institute International are a Sunday drive, but every quarter after travels as the left lane on the interstate, and in a blink I am about to graduate.

Remembering all these projects, especially those that impressed the person sitting next to me, and thinking about those who have nothing to show. There are students among us who have this predicament. These students may have a thumb drive of hijacked music, and an essay or two, but where is the work they have struggled to submit? Was it lost when the drives were cleaned, was it dropped on the bus, or was it recycled on the last apartment move?

Building the portfolio is not a twelfth quarter project. It is not a spur of the moment ideal. Building the portfolio is a job that begins the day before the first day of school. Every class we attend allows an opportunity to build our brand ¬– a personal brand that sets you in the impressive section of the “looking for work line”.

Because portfolio creation is daunting, this cannot be explained as one size fits all. To be a designer, a person must look to their industry’s greats and follow them assiduously. As an important instructor once said, “no great art ever came from a vacuum”. For this reason, I will share one of the latest resources we all can enjoy. A book titled Flaunt.

Flaunt was produced by Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit. Published by Underconsideration this beautifully presented eBook is worth all 1500 pennies. The lead quote is a perfect way for me to end my adventure of writing for C^2 as I graduate into my next chapter.

You should never consider
your portfolio finished,
and you should always be
dissatisfied with it. The day
you sit back and say, “My
portfolio is great,” is the day
you are dead in the water.
Your portfolio requires
endless work, and few things
are more important than it.
This never changes no matter
how successful you have
become. That’s really the
only thing I’ve learned about
portfolios – Adrian Shaughnessy

Hacking Out-Brett Weikulrich

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