Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Portfolio visit: 'Taylor O'Brien'

I recently had a portfolio visit at 'Taylor O'brien', a design agency who specialize in brand inspiration. This was the first visit that I have organized over the phone, which perhaps doesn't sound like a big deal, but for me it felt like a step forward. There is after all something safe and removed in setting up meetings via Email, but whereas phoning up an agency may feel more intimidating at first, it is actually far more practical and straight forward. It also separates you from all those people who sent in an Email, only for it to go to the bottom of the pile.

I felt far more confident going for the visit itself, as it was the third time I'd gone into an agency to inquire about my work, I felt I had a better idea of what to expect. I had also taken the advice of Craig and Ed from my previous portfolio visit at 'Music' and made some changes to the layout of my portfolio and had bought along some of my 3D designs to give a better idea of the concept. These changes really paid off, when I was presenting my portfolio the overall flow seemed a lot smoother and the layout looked far more professional. Bringing along some 3D designs also went well; the designer who looked through my work seemed to appreciate being able to see how some of my designs worked 'off the page' and I think it made looking through my work more interesting.

I also got some helpful advice; the designer who I spoke to liked the printed texture of my work and thought the style may be suitable for editorial illustration, but questioned how quickly the use of such a technique would allow me to make changes to my work, should the client ask for it. He asked if I would rather work freelance or for an agency, I wasn't quite sure about the answer, in fact I'm still not entirely sure, but it made me realize that these are sort of questions that I need to be asking myself as I come to the end of my time at university. When he asked if I had a business card, I felt really unprofessional when I answered that I hadn't, but I suppose this is because I am still thinking of myself as a student, which I won't be for much longer.

That's one of the biggest things that I'll take away from my visit at 'Taylor O'Brien'; that I now need to think of myself as an illustrator, not a student.

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