Today techincal writing and graphic design students alike have to present their work in online porfolios to potential employers. While our appraoch to creating a blog or website may differ in which end of the text to visual spectrum we favor, we both realize that our blogs or websites have to exemplify who we are as people and workers. To understand the visual end I have decided to have a conversation with a graphics design student.
Her name is Julia Drake, and she is a Fine Arts major at Old Dominion University with concentration in graphic design. This year she has also decided to take on French as a second major, as it is her dream is to work in a French speaking area such as Quebec, Canada or in France.
She made her first website during her freshmen year at ODU, fall 2013, for her Fundamentals of Digital Design class. Julia continues to use it today, not so much as a blog, but as a digital portfolio to showcase her work to potential employers. It also links to her Society6 account where her designs can be sold and printed on a variety of products.
Below is an example of one her more recent works, Self Found.
“This project is about perserverance. In the bottom right corner all of the butterflies are lost and caught up in the chaos of each other. However in the top left corner one makes it out, striving for the sunlight.”
How did you create this image?
“I created one butterfly with india ink and then I scanned it into the computer, and then I made the different colors using photoshop and illustrator.”
Where does your inspiration come from when you create your work?
“Honestly, its educating myself in design. Sometimes I try to Google logo designs and I look at the work of really sucessful people in the field and create work that plays off their ideas or is geared towards that style. Recently more of my skills have been devoted to my fundamental classes, so my work is not supposed to be through provoking but show the technicality of drawing or painting.”
Have you been comissioned to make a logo?
“I have had numerous opportunities for freelance work. One that I did was for the Girls Scout Councils Colonial Coast. That was volunteer work though, it was for a non-profit. Currently I am helping an upcoming company develop their logo. Its called Coral Reefing Products LLC, they sell live fish food for saltwater fishes. They want me to create a logo that stands out in comparison to other competitors.”
You use your site as a way to get commissions, how has it changed the way you communicate with potential clients?
“Its easier because the way that it used to be done, which is still practiced today, is to print out a physical portfolio, which is a good tool, but when you just happen to run into someone and they talk about how they need a graphic designer, if you have a website you can just give them the link and they can go to it and all of your work is there, and anyone can access it. It is a really good marketing tool.”
Our online portflios are a great marketing tool to showcase written, visual and technical skills. The skills we present may differ, but our portfolios still need a balance of personal and professional flare.
If you want to check out Julia’s website and her work go to drakebydesign.com.