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Pete's art dump page 3

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Drew the opening sequence for this series of instructional videos. I actually did three different ones, but this is the only one the video dudes have put together so far.

This animation is about 50 drawings. The background is a single drawing, (the city), then the skater is drawn frame-by-frame, and the light post in the foreground is its own drawing. Then the whole thing is put together.

http://youtu.be/cs6RNf3WLa0

 
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You have a lot of good stuff here, Pete! :)
Although it’s kinda odd to use a forum thread as a makeshift online portfolio lol

 
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Thanks, Kuroitengu.

I have portfolios. I’d never show all this stuff to a prospective client. I’m just putting it here to share with other artists and to HOPEFULLY show Kong mods that I’m serious about this stuff (and don’t appreciate them deleting my posts without an explanation).

 
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Originally posted by petesahooligan:

Thanks, Kuroitengu.

I have portfolios. I’d never show all this stuff to a prospective client. I’m just putting it here to share with other artists and to HOPEFULLY show Kong mods that I’m serious about this stuff (and don’t appreciate them deleting my posts without an explanation).

What’s a good site for presentation of an art-based portfolio?

 
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What’s a good site for presentation of an art-based portfolio?

For professional work? You almost can’t get a job in the graphic arts these days without at least an understanding of web design/publishing. So, if you’re looking for work, having a web-based portfolio is important.

I like to use WordPress because it allows a quick application of site architecture, and provides the basis for CSS elements that I can tweak. I haven’t maintained a web portfolio is a few years now and usually only create them when I’m seriously looking for small freelance projects. After you build some experience, the work will generally come to you. For credibility, be sure to register a unique domain name. Don’t use blogspot or whatever. It just reveals that you don’t care enough about your professional skills to invest in them. (The level of polish in your personal site should be NO LESS than what you’re willing and capable of doing for your clients.)

I’d strongly recommend you not try to get paying work from DeviantArt or any of those freebie services. Those places are good for making peer-to-peer relationships and sometimes finding collaborations, but not for attracting professional projects.

“Art” portfolios, as in fine art, should be online but you should also keep a hard bag, (or book). Your book will contain no more than a dozen of your finest pieces. Fine art often requires an explanation, so you’ll use the book to present your samples to a small audience. You should have your banter on lock for these encounters.

If your book contains packaging or actual product, you might consider an actual box. I have a nice wooden box that I’ll sometimes drag with me to meetings. It contains a lot of the 3-dimensional pieces, (though some are mockups), and it’s pretty fun to start pulling samples out of a chest like a magic trick.

So, it’s kind of up to you… how do you want to be perceived?

 
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Pete just wondering would you mind taking a look at my portfolio and taking a look at it? I know how to register a domain name but this portfolio I am trying to enlarge before I really do invest in it.

www.andrewtheartguy.webs.com

I didn’t design the layout myself of course, but if you’d like to see a layout I did design you can go to this one

www.logiccraftforum.com

This one I don’t care much for critique because I know it needs work. It’s a little too chaotic and not simplistic enough for my liking, but eh it’s pretty cool looking but not the image I want to have representing my server. Anyways you’re free to take a look at it.

 
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Andrew, if you’re looking at your “andrewtheartguy.webs.com” site for pointing potential clients to, here are my suggestions:

• Use your full name in the H1, not just your first name. There are lots of Andrews, but there is only one Andrew Fowler. When they talk about you, you want them to use your last name… so get them used to it.

• You don’t need to call it a “portfolio” any more than you need to call it a “website.” Just your name as a headline should be fine.

• I’m looking at your site through an older version of Safari and the fonts have all defaulted to Verdana. They look pretty bad at the larger headline sizes but work fine small. If you want to use a nice type treatment for your name instead of HTML text, create a graphic.

• Your welcome message should be a value proposition. Yours expresses a hope. That’s not why people are there. They’re there to see if you would be a good fit for their project. So, I’d replace this with something like, “Digital Illustration and Typography” or whatever you feel comfortable promising.

• Your images titles should be replaced with a simple one-word description of what that piece represents to the client. In other words, in Skyline, what is it about that piece do you feel demonstrates a skill you have that think is worth paying for? Maybe it’s “Landscapes” or “Surreal” or even “Album Covers.” Similarly, “Door” might be 3D. (If you are uncomfortable claiming full professional capacity in 3D work, work that out with the potential client as you talk about the project. It’s THEIR job to assess your skills.) The category headlines in the gallery section are perfect. That’s how it should be treated on the index page.

• In each image’s narrative, I’d talk about what the piece was for or in what context it was created. If it’s not interesting, (you just did it for fun), list the tools used. This will share with your visitor what software you can use.

• If you can, I’d make the images themselves link to the full-size versions. This is a typical design standard that people would expect. (And allows you to remove the buttons beneath.)

• Online portfolios allow one to inexpensively put as many images up as one wants. A dozen or so is about all anyone can really handle, but no less than 8. You want to show them JUST enough to get their attention but not so much that you lose it again. You want them to call you to talk about their project, actually. So, just enough to show them that you can do it and no more.

• Put your contact info at whatever point in your site that you expect your reader to have finished assessing your work. At that point, the iron is going to be as hot as it ever will be and you don’t want to require them to do anything else with your site… including searching for contact info. Don’t make them think. Also, for a professional site you’d post up your phone number too.

The LogicCraft site is very complicated. When you say you designed the layout, what does that mean exactly? Did you create the green flame motif, or create the CSS for all the type and divs and stuff, or choose which modules to place on the page and where? It’s tricky when you use something like Enjin or WordPress or Blogspot to show off your design chops… because the site’s functionality and “gee whiz” factor is largely coming from someone else’s incredible java abilities. So, you gotta be careful.

 
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The first one isn’t happening, I already tried “AndrewFowlersPortfolio.webs.com” and it wouldn’t allow me to do that, I also tried andrewfowler.com, Also I know it isn’t a great domain name, it’s just an alias for now. When I actually register for a .com the domain name will be completely different because of the fact that most domain names aren’t taken, however the webs alias was. As I said though I am building my portfolio before I really spend 50$ on it.

You don’t need to call it a “portfolio” any more than you need to call it a “website.” Just your name as a headline should be fine.

That I didn’t know, but I kind of like the word, it rolls off the tongue, but it lengthens the title so I will have to get rid of that.

Your welcome message should be a value proposition. Yours expresses a hope. That’s not why people are there. They’re there to see if you would be a good fit for their project. So, I’d replace this with something like, “Digital Illustration and Typography” or whatever you feel comfortable promising.

Thanks I’ll change this.

Your images titles should be replaced with a simple one-word description of what that piece represents to the client. In other words, in Skyline, what is it about that piece do you feel demonstrates a skill you have that think is worth paying for? Maybe it’s “Landscapes” or “Surreal” or even “Album Covers.” Similarly, “Door” might be 3D. (If you are uncomfortable claiming full professional capacity in 3D work, work that out with the potential client as you talk about the project. It’s THEIR job to assess your skills.) The category headlines in the gallery section are perfect. That’s how it should be treated on the index page.

Great idea, and saves my fingers the pain of typing.

In each image’s narrative, I’d talk about what the piece was for or in what context it was created. If it’s not interesting, (you just did it for fun), list the tools used. This will share with your visitor what software you can use.

Another great idea, thank you.

If you can, I’d make the images themselves link to the full-size versions. This is a typical design standard that people would expect. (And allows you to remove the buttons beneath.)

I know how to do this, but I like the buttons because it gives people something to look at and click, I considered it as being fun for them and me just trying something new. I will see what I can do about this though because I have some ideas for how I want people to see the full sized images.

Online portfolios allow one to inexpensively put as many images up as one wants. A dozen or so is about all anyone can really handle, but no less than 8. You want to show them JUST enough to get their attention but not so much that you lose it again. You want them to call you to talk about their project, actually. So, just enough to show them that you can do it and no more.

So you would really put up 8 of your best pieces then? And not really just all of your work?

Put your contact info at whatever point in your site that you expect your reader to have finished assessing your work. At that point, the iron is going to be as hot as it ever will be and you don’t want to require them to do anything else with your site… including searching for contact info. Don’t make them think. Also, for a professional site you’d post up your phone number too.

I haven’t done that as of yet because I’m not planning on showing it off for any other reason than critique, I will remember this and put up all of the info later on.

The LogicCraft site is very complicated. When you say you designed the layout, what does that mean exactly? Did you create the green flame motif, or create the CSS for all the type and divs and stuff, or choose which modules to place on the page and where? It’s tricky when you use something like Enjin or WordPress or Blogspot to show off your design chops… because the site’s functionality and “gee whiz” factor is largely coming from someone else’s incredible java abilities. So, you gotta be careful.

I mean web design as in doing the graphics. I did do some HTML, no CSS. I did the scrolling image marquee and the interactive toolbar at the top. The rest are someone else incredible java abilities XD, just know that I didn’t set out with that comment wanting you to think that I programmed the whole page myself because I didn’t.

The banner was programmed in AS3 (Adobe Flash) and the Marquee is just basic HTML <marquee> </marquee> tags and of course you can make it complicated by doing the style tags and giving it actions/interactions.

 
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Yeah, I like the word “portfolio” too. It’s a tough call on whether to include it.

If the site is ONLY a portfolio and doesn’t include your sketchbook, writings, ideas, like to your blog (or facebook), pictures of your cat… then, yes. It’s a portfolio. If it has any of that stuff, then it’s your website that CONTAINS your portfolio. I think online portfolios seem a bit naive and reveal inexperience, whereas websites that really feature the artist’s work and contain “news” of their projects help sell the service.

Here are two examples. One of them is a guy sort of at the starting point of his career. The other is a veteran with lots of projects behind him. It’s easy to see the difference.

Ergun Jonathan
http://shownd.com/ErgunJonathan

Todd Lockwood
http://www.toddlockwood.com/

It probably wouldn’t hurt to just diagram out each of their sites to look at the navigation in abstract. Ergun’s site uses a free online portfolio service called Shown’d; Todd’s is basically just old-school HTML.

There are strange strengths and weaknesses to each. Todd’s site basically says, “yeah, I’ve dabbled in HMTL but seriously, I’m not your guy for that.” Ergun’s, however, says, “I would rather pay for a template service and stick to making pictures.”

I would NEVER show all of my work to a potential client. God forbid. Not only would we be there all day, but a lot of my stuff sucks really bad. And sometimes I’ll put something new together that I like way more than what I had in my portfolio before, so I sub in the new.

I think a portfolio should only focus 2 or 3 pieces each on the key proficiencies you want to convey. If you’re a UI designer with some character animation chops, I’d include 2 or 3 characters you’ve done, and 3 or 4 DIFFERENT UI suites… a group of the button states, frames, states, and so on. You want variety within the artistic discipline you are focusing on.

There are few things more excruciating than a portfolio with a logo done for their friend’s band, then the logo on the t-shirt, then the logo in black-and-white, then the logo on the CD label, and so on. Frankly, the logo being used on all these different things doesn’t make the logo better. Just show me the logo and let’s move on. This technique is good for impressing people with how much work you’ve done… but someone that is considering you for a project isn’t interested in how much experience you have; they’re interested in your skills. In fact, in the arts sometimes experience is a bad thing… “if you’re so good, why aren’t you too busy for our project?” It’s a delicate conversation when your portfolio needs to operate on a professional environment.

 
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All good tips, but if I were to hire a potential client I would probably hire Todd. Mainly because it shows that he put the time and work into his portfolio to show that he cares about it, and it does look nice. While Erguns looks more professional I like seeing where people get their ideas and you can see that in Todds portfolio.

Anyways thanks again for the tips!

 
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Yeah, Todd is an award-winning artist that has appeared in just about every anthology of fantasy illustration in the last 15 years. He’s definitely “A-List” talent. And yet, his website sucks ass. It’s kind of funny.

Here’s something I drew in chalk outside of my door a few days ago.

 
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Sketch for my online portfolio page.

 
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Scan from my sketchbook…

 
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Some paper models I mocked up for a game. The game was never produced.

 
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Last few things are looking good.
I still wonder how you got the motivation to get so versatile. xD
I get seriously bored trying to craft anything or drawing very simple digital things like that portfolio sketch thing.

 
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What method and tools did you use to draw that house and shade/texture it?

 
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Not sure, Quacamole. I guess whenever I want to convey an idea, I just immediately think about trying to draw it. The more you do, the more you want to do.

Stealth15, the sketchbook drawings are done in Pigma pens. They’re like disposable rapidiographs. I don’t use them too often any more… I’m preferring Sharpie markers because they’re less expensive and I can buy them by the box. (An individual Pigma is about $3, while a Sharpie fine-point is about half that.)

For the shading, it’s just a simple cross-hatch. Hatching is a little faster than stipling (points or dots), and doesn’t end up looking quite as precious, if that makes sense. For the general forms, I just eyeballed it.

I generally start with the main lines; the long verticals, the eaves, the apex of the roof, then the arches and such. Those lines I put down in sparse dashed lines so that if I screw them up and have to move them they’ll get covered up with the hatching later. Fortunately, they looked good enough, (even though I see plenty of errors… like, the roof over the porch is actually uneven; the front eave is much lower than the back one, and given the nature of the perspective it should be WAY lower.)

The house was drawn from a photo in a magazine. The embankment was drawn while my dog ran around in the field. (Trees are difficult to draw but great practice.)

 
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Here’s a picture of Harvey Keitel I drew the other day.

 
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Work like this makes me so amazed. Where do you find the time to relax, travel and whatnot when you do so much art! The range of design is incredible and quite intimidating. I’m just about to enter college for 3 years of graphic and package design, I look to artist to learn and get inspired; however, I find myself more and more intimidated and unworthy. Did you ever feel the same way? And do you have any advice to really get past this feeling?

 
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Thanks for the compliment, Zedzero. I’ve felt the way that you’re describing but you should know that I’ve been doing this for a very long time. I’m in my 40s and have literally worked on thousands of projects. Some of them are bad… and that’s the stuff I’m not showing off.

When I was just starting out it seemed like I could count the “cool” pieces on two fingers. Those illustrations (or whatnot) would show up again and again, and it felt a bit embarrassing to rely so heavily on such a small body of acceptable work. If you remain prolific and try new stuff, even if you’re not very good at it, (ESPECIALLY if you’re not good at it!), you’ll notice your body of work start to grow. Eventually you’ll have stuff in all kinds of creative categories; drawings, designs, packaging, logos, diagrams, industrial design, type treatments, book and magazine layouts, and so on.

All of this is WAY easier with a formal education in the arts. I can spot “self-taught” illustrators and cartoonists immediately, and often based on one or two drawings. So, you’re on the right track.

Finding rewarding design work is challenging but if you remain engaged in the language and movements in design and illustration, you should be able to find enjoyment in a wider range of its aspects. Many uneducated artists only draw for the social accolades they get from their friends and family… so they end up drawing the same things again and again and rarely challenge themselves with new subjects and techniques. Don’t be that guy. Be the “art geek” guy that has 5 favorite type designers and knows what illustrators are hot and who are fading, and have opinions on the validity of Shepard Fairey’s approach to design, and be able to advise on copyright matters, and so on. Immerse yourself in the arts and your body of work will grow like crazy.

 
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As always, great work Pete! I always love returning to this topic to see what you put up next.

(Sort of off topic)

A few days ago, I met a guy at my college orientation who reminded me of you. He worked for many years as a freelance artist in the States, and he decided that he was going to go back to college and do a 3d design/animation course. It was pretty amazing to see how confident he was as well. He’s also not very good at math, so I guess I’m weird for being good at math but also wanting to be a good artist someday too.

 
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Dude, totally.

Today I’m geeking out over database design and doing data analysis. The logic behind raw data, (and what it means to humans), is the same kind of interpretation that artists use all the time. As a mathematician, you have this opportunity to interpret numerical information in graphical or artistic terms. That’s a very unique hook that should serve you well as you develop those skills and explore where those interests lead you.

If it’s not interesting, it’s crap.

 
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Jesus Pete, that’s a lot.. Well the thread did say “art dump” lol.. I just didn’t know it would be THIS much.. This is awesome! You ever upload any of this to www.deviantart.com ? If you did I’d watch you :D

 
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Yup, though mostly the same stuff that I post here.

I prefer sharing my stuff with my fellow Kongregate artists because of our shared interest in games and game design. Deviant Art is great but it’s so crowded and popular that stuff often gets lost. There are too many collections, and conversations about specific topics are more difficult there. (I think.)

http://peterwhitley.deviantart.com/