Sunday, February 15, 2009

Your Instructor Isn't the Only One Grading Your Assignments

It's time to change the way you look at class assignments.

You're not doing them for the grade. Or your instructor. Or, worse yet, just to get them done.

You're doing them for your portfolio.

Because when it comes down to it, creative directors don't care about your grades, your instructor, or your school. They care about the content of your portfolio. Period.

And where do those portfolio pieces come from? Mostly from class assignments.

So when starting an assignment, think about how it will fit into your portfolio. Will it show creative growth? Or will it show boring repetition? Will it show new skills? Or that you only have a few tools at your disposal? Will it show the kind of work you are passionate about? Or simply show what you did?

Create work that shows your true capabilities. Go beyond the assignment and put more into it than required. And once you've received your grade, go back and make it even better. (Yes, improve it even after you've received your grade.)

Trust me, your instructors will appreciate it.

And, more importantly, creative directors will too.


g-man said...

Not only that. You need to think of your assignments as the last time you'll ever have total creative freedom. Once you enter the workforce, you'll start doing more and more what your clients and account managers want.

For that very same reason, you might want those pieces to be extremely good, for they might not only land you your first job, but many others in the future. Remember, once you start working in the advertising world, your designs will be constantly altered to a point where you might no longer want them on your portfolio.

Use this college time and use it well to build a strong portfolio that represents who YOU really are as an artist.

kevin fullerton said...

g-man is dead-on when it comes to his last sentence: Your portfolio needs to be strong and represent who you really are.

J. Lamer said...

I'd add this, too: you can create your own assignments, too! The teacher doesn't have to give you the client, find them yourself, too!
I've had some good students who spend weekend time making ads for a variety of products. This not only gives them practice, but it also helps them stand out by being "proactive"!