Let’s paint a picture, you’ve just finished your studies in Graphic Design, Photography, Fine Arts, Illustration, the list can go on and on. Now you’re faced with the daunting task of having to get a full time job or freelance.

Which ever path you choose there is one thing they have in common, you will need to put together a portfolio of your best work in order to secure the job or the client.

But what should really go into your portfolio, is it just your best work over the last few years or should it be more curated?

In my opinion it should always be curated for the clients and jobs you want. What that means is that before you start even gathering pieces to include into your portfolio the question should be asked; what type of work/client do I really want?

The answer to this question will drive the process of putting together which works you curate for your portfolio.

For example, if I am going for a motion design role, the work that I will showcase in my portfolio should be centred around motion design which will form the core backbone of my folio and will serve as the lead into for all other work showcased.

Now first you have defined the core of your folio which should be around five to six of your best works, you should then expand on that core and demonstrate your other skills with an addition three to four pieces.

Think of this like a ‘T’. The core of your folio (motion design) forms the vertical and the crossover forms your expanded skills.

What this does is it demonstrates your core skills but also demonstrates your ability to contribute and understand the other aspects of design that you can also bring to the role/project.

Or in other words, ‘you’re not just a one trick pony!’

When Crafting Your Portfolio

Demonstrate the core skill for the role/client

Expand that knowledge with secondary skills

Include a variety of work types (This helps to demonstrate your ability to apply your skills to various areas not just a specific field)

Remember that you might end up with a few different portfolios that demonstrate different strengths and that every role/client should be considered individually and a one size fits all portfolio doesn’t always work.

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