pskidesign asked:

Hi Amanda! I was just wondering what kind of things would be in a visual development portfolio? I'm getting ready for CTNX and want my portfolio to be the best it can. Thank you!

HI HI!

Before I get started, I just wanna say good for you for already thinking about and prepping for CTNX!  The sooner you can get that ball rolling, the better, and it’s such a wonderful expo.

The answer is kind of more complex than one might think.

The first thing you’ll want to do is ask yourself the following questions: 

- Are you interested in vis dev for animation, video games, or live action?  These are stylistically quite different even though they can pull ideas from each other.  It’s important that you can see these differences and gear your portfolio toward the look of the one that interests you, because it will be the look of the field you’re trying to get into.

- Once you have that figured out, what do you want to do in vis dev?  Do you want to design characters?  Environments?  Props and vehicles?  Color?  There are definitely jacks of all trades in the industry, but typically when you present a portfolio, you’re showing what kind of artist you’d be for that company, what you could do for them, what your goal is.  When you have a little bit of everything scattered everywhere, the person looking at it probably won’t know what they’d hire you for.  You want to make it as clear to them as possible why they’d want you as an employee and what you’d bring to the table.

- What company do you wanna work for?  These questions help you specify your focus.  Different companies, even within the overall field of something like animation, have different looks to their studios.  Pixar doesn’t look like Sony, etc.  For you personally, it’s good to know what style you’re interested in so you can aim for a company you like, but for your portfolio, it’s good to know the differences so you can gear the portfolio TO the studio.  People typically have different portfolios to show different places, unless your portfolio has a sort of general mass appeal about it.

As for some organization for your portfolio: ONLY put in your best work.  I think sometimes people try to shove in everything they’ve done that shows different sides of them - but only show the BEST.  Organize it so that your front-most pieces are your strongest AND the ones that most clearly show what job you’re after.  For example, having life drawings in the front doesn’t give people a clear idea.  And putting a bunch of characters in the front if you’re most interested in environments is confusing.  The majority of what you show should be the stuff related to what you want to do.  You can always devote a small section in the back to great pieces that show a different side of you.

Hope some of this helps and let me know if you have other questions! :D
~Amanda

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME.  hahaha.  I thought I’d kick off a new decade with art, because I don’t think there’s a better kickstart than that.
Also, I have literally been waiting year with excitement to be able to say “30, flirty, and thriving” about myself.  Thank you always, 13 Going On 30.  haha
Oh, and that’s the outfit I’m wearing out to dinner tonight.  haha

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME.  hahaha.  I thought I’d kick off a new decade with art, because I don’t think there’s a better kickstart than that.

Also, I have literally been waiting year with excitement to be able to say “30, flirty, and thriving” about myself.  Thank you always, 13 Going On 30.  haha

Oh, and that’s the outfit I’m wearing out to dinner tonight.  haha

So I’m super obsessed with Sleepy Hollow.  Like in a severe way.  It’s like I spend my time breathing it and Doctor Who and then periodically I have dinner with my husband.  Something like that.

Anyway, I’m planning on using it as an art outlet in a number of ways, and I got it into my head to just start learning the characters through busts.  SO BUHBAM.  haha.  This is a WIP, still.  I went back and forth a lot on either making their designs pushed or sticking to more-realistic proportions, so these are kind of neither here nor there.  BUT IT’S A START.  haha.  It also helps that the cast is so fricking drawable.  NATURE DONE GAVE YOU ALL ANIMATION-ABLE FEATURES, I’m just saying.

Also, I’m debating either putting the horseman next to Katrina or Andy.  With Andy, I get to just dub these busts “Team Witness,” as I call them.  Hm, I’ll ponder.

art © Amanda Jolly

My main blog where I Sleepy Hollow it up.

© Amanda Jolly
It’s a WIP, but it’s almost done!
So I was groaning about what I wanted to do for November, artwise, because I’ve needed some serious outside-of-work arting motivation.  And I think I just hit the nail on the head:
Tryvember.  
It’s not a matter of characters or themes or whatever.  I just wanna try things I never do.  Well, maybe never is a strong word.  How about things I shirk constantly because just sketching a character is way easier?  Yes, that sounds accurate.
I basically get 8 hours of practice a day for characters at my job, and while I wouldn’t trade it for anything, I always want to be MORE than I am.  I miss painting and color and scenes.  And my production designer is full of bizarre amounts of faith in me to be able to be bigger than I think I am… so I should probably start betting on myself and improve my other skills.
So, yeah, I’ll dedicate myself throughout November to try artings outside of my comfort zone - things I want to get better at.  It might not be a new piece everyday, but I promise to progress pieces till they’re “finished”, whatever that may be.  I need to create that outside discipline for myself.
I’m starting with the above piece:  Again, it’s like I never go near color anymore, and when I do, I don’t try anything simple or graphic, despite how in love with the style I am.  Also, creating a cohesive color scheme amongst different characters - NOT something I’ve done in ages, either, sadly.  Also also, for everything I just said about characters a couple paragraphs ago, the stuff I do at work is a lot safer in its shape language, so I really need to keep limber when it comes to interesting shapes.  
I should be able to finish this guy today. 
WHEEEE!

© Amanda Jolly

It’s a WIP, but it’s almost done!

So I was groaning about what I wanted to do for November, artwise, because I’ve needed some serious outside-of-work arting motivation.  And I think I just hit the nail on the head:

Tryvember.  

It’s not a matter of characters or themes or whatever.  I just wanna try things I never do.  Well, maybe never is a strong word.  How about things I shirk constantly because just sketching a character is way easier?  Yes, that sounds accurate.

I basically get 8 hours of practice a day for characters at my job, and while I wouldn’t trade it for anything, I always want to be MORE than I am.  I miss painting and color and scenes.  And my production designer is full of bizarre amounts of faith in me to be able to be bigger than I think I am… so I should probably start betting on myself and improve my other skills.

So, yeah, I’ll dedicate myself throughout November to try artings outside of my comfort zone - things I want to get better at.  It might not be a new piece everyday, but I promise to progress pieces till they’re “finished”, whatever that may be.  I need to create that outside discipline for myself.

I’m starting with the above piece:  Again, it’s like I never go near color anymore, and when I do, I don’t try anything simple or graphic, despite how in love with the style I am.  Also, creating a cohesive color scheme amongst different characters - NOT something I’ve done in ages, either, sadly.  Also also, for everything I just said about characters a couple paragraphs ago, the stuff I do at work is a lot safer in its shape language, so I really need to keep limber when it comes to interesting shapes.  

I should be able to finish this guy today. 

WHEEEE!

So, first off, I had no idea that the “reply” wasn’t on, so thank you for letting me know!  That’s been amended and now people can reply to their hearts’ content!  haha.

Secondly, you guys are crazy awesome for this.  I decided to just blog all the responses, because there were so many good ideas and very much worth sharing with others.  Also, another good idea was my friend Justin's, which was to piggy-back NaNoWriMo, and write a paragraph a day which you'd then illustrate.  I thought that was all kinds of cool, too.  

I’m really intrigued by this comic idea a couple of you mentioned.  In no universe would I attempt that at this point in time, haha, but it sounds so rad.  I’m gonna pick one of these ideas and run with it.  Or like… mix and match them.  Or something.  I just wanna draw for fun again. :)

Thanks again, guys!