Student Applicant Portfolio - Opinions Needed Please

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by romantze, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. romantze macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2010
    So. I've decided I want to study graphic design. But fact is...I've got no real art background or education. I'm practically self taught on this and I was wondering...if I have a shot...or is it completely hopeless and I should just go to something like law/medicine instead :/

    So if anyone would be willing to lend me a hand in this. I don't have a proper online portfolio, but I do have a deviant art account, romantze.

    Here's a link.

    Any opinions are gratly appreciated :)
  2. romantze thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2010

    Right. So. No feedback :/?
    I don't know if I should consider this really bad or...bad?
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    I don't know anything about art, but it seems like what you have on display is "good" (whatever that means). Just some general advice: you should go into something that you like. If you like graphic design then there's no reason you shouldn't apply... the worst that can happen is that you get rejected. Graphic design is one of those things where you can still enjoy it as a hobby even if you don't end up doing it professionally, and the avenues for making money off of it don't necessarily require a formal education.
  4. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603


    Jan 10, 2006
    Well I've spent about 5 minutes at your deviant art site and (this isnt your fault) but Deviant art is so hard to friggin' navigate you dont know where to go or what your looking at when you get there. :confused:

    This would explain the lack of response here.

    All I could see from your stuff was photography no real graphic design so again this could be why the lack of response. Is it graphic design or photography you are interested in?

    From your photos I can see you have an eye for design i.e. good composition, colours etc but graphic design isn't just photography and photoshop.

    Maybe use some of your images by putting them into a magazine layout and getting creative with type.

    If you have any specific questions I'd be happy to answer them for you.
  5. Kwill macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003

    Let your passion become your profession.

    If you love art, go for it. There is little to suggest you have any innate ability so you could definitely benefit from training. Graphic design is extremely competitive but also subjective. One man's crap is another man's brownie.

    Generally speaking, those who get satisfaction out of helping people study sociology or medicine. A person who thrives on details and math might advance in biology or architecture. A logical person who is not satisfied unless he wins a debate might pursue law (or become a regular contributer on this forum).

    Rarely does anyone ask: 'Do you like my sketches? If not I'll study law/medicine.' :rolleyes:
  6. romantze thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2010
    I wasn't being quite serious with the law/med thing :p. Just as an example :/

    Right, I know most of the newer pieces ar photography, but I want to study graphic design. The colleges told me it's good to have a variety of work to show, like sketches, photographs, paintings...etc. and the graphic designs should be half or less your portfolio that you show them on your interview. Therefore, I took photos :p.

    Anyway, some graphic oriented things I've done are located there aswell, in the older sections. (ignore the first few)

    and the first few pieces, which are seen anyway. Those would be it.

    I really WANT to study graphic desgin :/, but I mean...if I'm not artistic enough to get into a college what's the point? That's why I kind of need an opinion before I throw myself completely into this. Like taking art classes & studying more tutorials and such.

    Thanks btw :)
  7. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    Yes, you appear to the have the talent, so go for it. The reason you would take a formal classes is to learn the process of design and gain a discipline over your craft. Making money with graphic design takes more than just artistic talent, you also have to have business sense and the ability to get stuff done on time and on budget. Especially if you wind up working at an agency. A GOOD school will teach you all of that along with a good core foundation of design principles, and how to evaluate and critique design. Just being in the environment with like minded people is worth the price of admission and something you'll have a hard time doing on your own.
  8. romantze thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2010
  9. nfable macrumors regular


    Apr 9, 2007
    I like the older stuff, it shows your attitude and creativity more. The Supergirl stuff is nice in how polished it is, but it is the only examples of 'finished' stuff I see.

    I'd suggest scanning some of your older sketches in, translating them to a vector format (Illustrator) and perfecting the lines, then make up ads / article layout utilizing them (PShop).

    I also like 'cream' it's probably your best pic, the others seem rather pedestrian with not much more than I'd see from someone's travelog. Lack of off-center framing, interesting asymmetry and rules of thirds are wanting.

    I'm just like everyone else w/an ****** and an opinion, hope you use it best.
  10. romantze thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2010
    Thanks for the feedback :)

    Yeah, I know those photos aren't much either :p, they are basically the first things I shot that didn't include family members posing and the schools said it's nice if you include some photographs so I thought I might give it a shot :)

    I'll do the Illustrator thing, even though I've never really used it. But I'll try. Sounds like a good idea :D

    Thanks again :D
  11. romantze thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2010
    So I just got an interview with Norwich :)
    just a random, pointless update :p.
    Fingers crossed :)
  12. definitive macrumors 68000


    Aug 4, 2008
    you have some stuff there that looks good. a lot of art schools look at your ability to draw rather than how well you can make a collage in photoshop.

    on a side note: if you're going to study graphic design, you'll have to give it 100%, and you'll have to network with people. reason i'm saying this is because right now job market is a mess, and most companies only want internships rather than to pay someone for a job. this might be ok for you to obtain experience while you're in school (to put in your portfolio/resume), but when you're out, you'll have to find a job to pay any bills you might have that you accumulate during your school years. this isn't to discourage you, but to give you an idea of what is happening in this industry at the moment - there are few paying jobs, and hundreds of people applying for them. you'll have to stand out of the crowd to get noticed.

    i don't know if this is a good suggestion or not (and i'd like to hear what others have to say), but i would suggest you take the program at a cheaper school unless you can get scholarships and financial aid to cover most of the bills at a more expensive school. and while you're doing that you can learn additional things about design on your own by reading blogs, books, asking others. reason i say this is because most schools, no matter how good, will not teach you everything there is to know about design. they only give you a bit of info to guide you into the right direction, and you have to do the rest of the learning yourself. what a school will provide you with is a degree saying you know something about this stuff (which should help you get your first few jobs), and a network of friends/people you can turn to when you need help.
  13. romantze thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2010
    Thanks :)

    I do realize it's a highly competitive field. As for money issues, I come from a very well-off family, so paying for a school is not really a problem, therefore the low sallary isn't really a big problem either, since I've already inherited enough to probably live on (modestly) for the rest of my life.
    This is something I really want to do, and what I lack in let's say skill/talent, I'll make up for in enthusiasm. I really will. I love doing this :)

    So from the feedback I'm getting, I have some moderate potential to get me into a uni where I could develop whatever...potential I have, right :D?
    God, I'm so insecure :/

    My class teacher told me today my work's really nice, this was the first time I showed it to him and I think that's a good sign. He seemed a bit taken a back to be honest. :)

    Thanks again :) I really appreciate all this insight :D
  14. definitive macrumors 68000


    Aug 4, 2008
    like i already said, you have a good chance to get in from the work you have on your website. usually an art school will ask for around 10 pieces of work where you'll have some work that displays your ability to draw, ability to think outside the box, work well with colors, work with type, etc. all that stuff is not required, but it should help increase your chances of getting in to a school of your choice (along with good grades from your previous school).

    once you're in, then you just have to put your time into it. as long as you have ambition and the drive to succeed, and continue your learning after you've graduated from school, then there shouldn't be a problem.

    one thing highly recommend is you look into taking some web design classes (html, css and flash/actionscript are a good start). a lot of jobs require ability to design and code for web on top of the ability to design for print, since many businesses are moving away from paper to computer screens to save money.
  15. romantze thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2010
    Thanks again :)

    And yeah, I already know some basics on HTML& CSS, but I know I have a lot to learn and I'm doing so :)
    So hopefully...all goes well :D
  16. ri0ku macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2009
    If this is truly what you want to do (art) then you shouldnt have a "il just do that instead" attitude if it doesnt go well...

    You have to make it go well by keeping at it.. nothing always works out. But it will if you persist in it.

    I do allot of art, multi media stuff but I am a 3D video games artist mainly, I also have a deviant art account (which i havnt used in a long while but it has stuff on there) but I would never give it as a portfolio especialy when you can see comments from friends or others talking about your work. You really would need to make a portfolio site (which is something im in the middle of doing at the moment for myself)

    Good luck and i say if this is something you enjoy keep at it!

    edit: Btw I got into college after school on a Multimedia design course (which then sort of turned into interactive design) and the college said you needed a art gcse to get in..

    Well I tried to get art in school as one of my choices but they never gave me it... so I never did art at school at all.. so I just self taught and I got onto that course at college without the art gcse they needed.

    So all things impossible are not inconquerable (a line from a new guns n roses song :p)

    I then passed that college course and went onto uni to do the thing I really wanted to do and set my mind to go for which is 3D video games design/art Modelling etc.

    You can do it too
  17. ecflagcorp macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2010
    Not to worry about 'no experience/background' in design. I myself didn't have one class of design until college. Basically because I didn't know 'graphic design' existed. I was always interested in how packaging, logos, and all around branding was done. But I didn't have a clue how it came to be.

    Then I was flipping through the book of degree's at my college because I was unhappy in the major I was in. And I came upon 'graphic design'. It was like a light bulb went off in my head. I knew automatically that's what I wanted to do. I hesitated for a second because my 'freehand' is horrible. The more I went through my classes the more I realized each person is different. You won't be like the next designer, you'll have something special, they'll have something special. You will build on that special something and become a magnificent designer.

    And yes, as other's have said, learn as much web stuff as you can. Design is headed that way in a hurry. Even though web is becoming the way of advertising, I would suggest working in a print shop for summer or something too. It'll help you learn ALOT about print production and know exactly how a printer needs their files, saving you time and headaches.

    But girl, you've got the will and the desire. Go for it!
  18. romantze thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2010
    Thanks a lot :)

    You've all been very helpful. :D
    In any case...I've decided that if I don't get accepted into a college next year I'll take some courses in graphic design & coding, build up my portfolio, maybe get a job for the year and then apply again :)

    It's what I really want to do, and even if it's hard to make a break through, I don't want to be stuck doing a routine-job for the rest of my life because I didn't have the guts to go through with what I really wanted :)
  19. Abraxsis macrumors 6502


    Sep 23, 2003
    Something I would throw in, beyond the fact I think you have talent and should go for it, is to learn some of the "dying arts." In particular, creating packaging die lines and materials/costs within the printed realm. This really is becoming a dying art, many g.d.'s design purely on look then choose a strata to print on that complements it, be sure to include the material early on in the design process, and chose several cost tiers of suitable materials. This makes the client view you as someone who is making an active forethought to save them money, while at the same time not assuming they are cheap ... trust me, this goes far with an Art Director.

    Otherwise, good luck!
  20. romantze thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2010
    Good advice :p I'll sure try to get some summer job or such at a place like that. Hopefully that'll work out :/, even though I kinda have no idea where to look for a job x). But yeah, good point. :) Thanks :p!
  21. tsd macrumors regular

    Aug 10, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    Considering the fact that you've not been doing this intentionally for long, I would strongly suggest going into a school that doesn't require a portfolio for admittance. Something like a four year liberal arts university or a two year technical community college, leading into a four year bachelor's degree at a university. There are truly great design programs out there, housed within the art school division of a four year university.

    The advantage with that is you'll get a rounded education, get exposure to different fields of study, and have a strong degree, independant of its focus.
  22. romantze thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2010
    Ah well, here's the problem. We don't HAVE anything like that here :/, did I mention I'm from Europe, Slovenia. The course is only taught at, I think 2 Universities and 1 Academy of art and design. So yeah, our education system is a whole lot different than what it is in the USA per say :/, and even in England, where I wish to study...a portfolio is required everywhere, so, yep. Unless I wanna move to the USA (which I really...don't at the moment :p) I have no chance of doing that, sadly.
  23. romantze thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2010
    Hey there :), me again. Ugh, my mum posed a question to me the other day...and it's "how much do graphic designers even earn?", I don't really have a good idea on this, could any of you help please :)?
  24. definitive macrumors 68000


    Aug 4, 2008
    here in america, provided you do find a job where you live (right now it's over-saturated, and there aren't enough graphic design jobs to go around for everyone, and there's no telling how it will be in the future), you can make around $25k a year, to whatever the upper range is, depending on what kind of work you do, and what kind of clients you have. keep in mind that there are such things as living expenses, school bills, and whatever else you'll have to pay once you graduate and start going out into real world to find a job. some cities/states can be fine for a $25k of income, while others you'll need at least twice that to be considered as "barely making it".

    if i had to go to school in today's messy economy, i'd probably stick to a less expensive school, because of the lack of jobs, and the student loans that would have to be paid afterward (unless your parents can cover the costs). most of the art schools are overpriced, and most of the faculty and professors will not tell you that there are very few paying jobs available once you graduate (many companies want free interns now) to keep you paying for their high tuition.

    like i told you previously - you have to have the positive attitude towards this profession, and be determined to succeed.

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