#Students #Design #Portfolio Reviews #Coffee

claudia cotici graphic designer

A few months ago I was asked if I would like to join for a portfolio review day. What I basically had to do was to meet awesome students and admire their portfolio. 

Of course I said yes. 

The day started at 8. We had coffee and a bite, while we chatted and got more comfortable with each other. Then was business time. 

pastery

Most of us already knew each other. We probably met at one of the design socials or at Holland collage. In PEI, the graphic design community is very active thanks to Mike, who started the GDGC group, and April, who runs the Holland College design class. 

If you are a designer in PEI and you didn't join GDGC yet, join us.

Anyhow, 

I love the vibe of the graphic design room/class because there are so many cool small details that tell a story or were created by super creative young designers who have so much to offer. 

I had the honour to review 6 portfolios today from 6 amazing students that I believe that are more artists than designers. What I saw in them are two powerful things: potential and ambition. They all had a specific style of their craft, which I encouraged. 

I and other senior graphic designers had 30 minutes with each student and it was really not enough to get to know them and their work, but I think I can summarize it to 3 words, after the "first impression session". 

 Shelby  Insta: @shelby.design  Portfolio: Colourful, feminine, creative

Shelby

Insta: @shelby.design

Portfolio: Colourful, feminine, creative

 Tamel  Insta: _tm_designs_  Porfolio: Bold, Vibrant, Modern

Tamel

Insta: _tm_designs_

Porfolio: Bold, Vibrant, Modern

 Stephany  Insta: stephbuttcreative  Portfolio: Creative, Divers, Crafty

Stephany

Insta: stephbuttcreative

Portfolio: Creative, Divers, Crafty

 Jacob  Insta: @jacobmacdonalddesign  Portfolio: Creative, Crafty, Vintagy

Jacob

Insta: @jacobmacdonalddesign

Portfolio: Creative, Crafty, Vintagy

 John  Insta: @jjfoxdesign  Portfolio: Bold, Modern, Clean, Bold

John

Insta: @jjfoxdesign

Portfolio: Bold, Modern, Clean, Bold

 Kelly  (Sorry, I forgot to take a selfie with you)  Portfolio: Vintage, Old school

Kelly

(Sorry, I forgot to take a selfie with you)

Portfolio: Vintage, Old school


3 reasons I wanted to go to the portfolio review day:

  •  Young designers are awesome and fearless

The students I met today were awesome. Their energy, innocence, and excitement made me realize why I chose to be a designer myself. As a young designer, I think you need to hear other's opinions and get guidance. They also needed to get a sincere reaction to their work and this, my friend, it takes a lot of courage.  That's why I think they are fearless.

  • Students are a source of inspiration

Yup. The portfolios I saw today were a true source of inspiration. The work was raw, at time imperfect that made it so beautiful and interesting. The color combinations were definitely something I was looking at and I was pleasantly impressed. 

  • Giving back is great

It is important to take a moment from our busy lives and help others. These students work hard, learned a lot in short time and worked out the courage to show me their art. All I could help with is a piece of advice and encouragement. Who knows, maybe something that I say resonates with someone and they get rich and famous because I said something...

Jokes aside, It feels good to share some of my time with talented artists and young designers. 


These are 3 pieces of advice I would give new students:

Learn. Learn. Learn. 

It doesn't matter you just finished the design course. You have to keep up with the trends and the industry so learn new techniques, new programs, new styles even. Every week, make at least 2 hours for learning something new related to design. 

Automate your process where you can so you can be faster and better. 

This sounds weird. So you may wonder how automate design: create presents, shortcuts, templates, fillable PDF briefs etc. 

Find your style

I strongly believe that if you have a style you can navigate better in the stormy client waters because when a client hires you, they know exactly what to expect from you. 

Ok, one more advice, graphic design is not just about working with clients, you can be a passive income designer who creates assets for other designs or an online teacher. There is an idea that I should take into consideration myself. 

For 4 hours, I got to be around amazing creative people and I just really loved that. 

I would like to thank April for the invitation and say that I would gladly join again. 

Also, Mike and April, you do an amazing job and keep doing what you are doing. 

PS: English is not my first language so please point out any mistakes. I like improving myself.