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Re: [TheCostumersManifesto] Portfoliio Help!

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  • Cheryl McCarron
    Hi Nikki, I just taught a semester of costume design and spent the last class discussing how to put a portfolio together, so here are my suggestions. Start and
    Message 1 of 2 , May 19, 2008
      Hi Nikki,
      I just taught a semester of costume design and spent the last class discussing how to put a portfolio together, so here are my suggestions.

      Start and end your portfolio with your best stuff. You want something that will catch people's attention right away and something they will remember at the end. You should put sketches and their corresponding photos next to each other as directors do want to know that what they see when you show them a sketch is what they are going to get. I try to have some original sketches in my portfolio, but I also scan and print smaller versions sometimes too as I have an 11 x 14 portfolio and I often can't fit many original sketches. I would not go smaller than a 4 x 6 photo and try not to cram too much in. People tend to flip past the more densely packed pages. You want to make sure both your sketches and photos are clearly showing your designs and getting too small will not help your presentation. Remember that people read by starting at the top left of a page and finishing at the bottom right so that is how the eye travels across a page. I line my photos up on grid that
      everything ends up looking crisp and balanced.

      I have seen portfolios where people use different colored or textured papers. Be careful of this since the point of your portfolio is to show your work at its best and you don't want to distract from it. I stick with basic black. Also, mount your photos on one side of the paper only. That way if you want to change out a page, you won't be taking out another show that you have mounted on the back. I regularly rearrange my portfolio depending on who I am interviewing with. If a company tends to do more classics, I will put more of that stuff in my portfolio or if they tend to do more modern stuff, I will adjust for that. I usually put about 10 shows in my portfolio. I also try to have the whole show on facing pages so that the director can see everything in relation to each other rather than continuing a show on a page you have to flip over.

      Regarding size of the actual portfolio, I mentioned that mine is 11 x 14. I started out with one that was twice that size, but found it unwieldy on the NY subway. Plus many of my intereviews with small theaters took place in Starbucks so the large portfolio size was cumbersome. I find the smaller size much easier but a little more challenging to fit all that I would like to put in it. I still keep the larger size for certain occasions. Also make sure that the pages hang from the side where the handle is. The first portfolio I owned secured the pages at the bottom of the case, so when I carried it, the pages slid down and creased which really looked awful when I opened it up.

      I hope this is helpful. Good luck!
      -Cheryl McCarron
      NYC Fabric Finder

      nelkiegrl <nelkiegrl@...> wrote:
      Hello All! I have been designing for a number of years now as a
      resident designer, but I have started branching out-thus I have the
      need for a portfolio. I have things to put in it, I'm just not quite
      sure how to put it all together. So..any directions, examples, or any
      good resources you know of would be GREATLY appreciated. I want it to
      look nice and clean- but I'm not even sure how to do my page layouts.
      What are director's looking for? Do I put renderings with pictures by
      shows, or do I separate them? I'm lost. Please, Help! Thanks! -Nikki

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