Most budding or established creatives will admit that the hardest part of landing your dream job is getting up close and personal with the decision makers. So we decided to break down those barriers.
For creatives a well-crafted portfolio is a gateway to opportunities. Essentially it’s a calling card that entices clients, employers and collaborators to come knocking. The better the portfolio, the juicer the role.
But in our hugely competitive industry the all-important question is what makes one portfolio stand out from another. It’s this question that led us to launch a series of The Loop Portfolio Masterclasses, giving creatives the opportunity to sit with industry leaders and get their portfolio reviewed.
For the 2nd year running, we hosted a Portfolio Masterclass as part of Vivid Sydney. Attendees mixed with their favourite industry idols at the Museum of Contemporary Art to soak up portfolio and interview advice where the best in the business dished out honest opinions and real world perspectives on how to improve your presence in a competitive creative community.
In 2011, one session alone made the leap from student to practitioner (or enthusiast to master) possible for eight lucky attendees and this year proved just as productive, with grounding advice from a line-up of mentors including Campbell Milligan (publisher of Monster Children) animation gurus from Animal Logic, MTV creative director Vanessa Zuppicich, along with admen Micah Walker (The Monkeys) and Cam Blackley (Droga5), to name a few.
In a relaxed roundtable setting, the Masterclass broke up into two sessions; the first for emerging creatives, the second for established – looking to take their careers in a new direction. If having your portfolio reviewed by the country’s leading minds wasn’t enough, most valuable to this year’s class was listening in on the reviews of peer work, with each mentor giving 20 minutes with a group before participants rotated to the next leading creative.
“We decided to open up the Portfolio Masterclass to group sessions because there is much more insight to be gained from hearing the critiquing of your peers’ portfolios, along with your own,” explains The Loop’s Founder & CEO Matt Fayle. “We find many people walk away with useful tips from participating in group discussions about their work”.
Masterclass mentor and executive creative director of M&C Saatchi, Ben Welsh adheres to the benefits of peer evaluation: “Too often creatives don’t know what they are up against as they don’t view the work of other creatives,” he says. Mentor Ben Peacock (founder of agency Republic of Everyone) agrees: “See as many portfolios as you can to evaluate what you’re doing right or what you need to improve on.”
According to Vince Frost, founder of Frost Design, the presentation of your portfolio alone should excite potential employees. Not the only mentor to witness first hand the power of a uniquely crafted folio, many creatives on the day – from art directors to designers – expressed the importance of a portfolio’s ability to impress in its own right. “Pay attention to the little details (kerning, fonts etc) and understand that your resume can be a piece of work in itself,” says Semi Permanent founder and Masterclass mentor Murray Bell.