Sunday, 2 May 2010

Portfolio Crit: Adrian Shaugnessy

My 4th portfolio crit was on Thursday afternoon with legend Adrian Shaugnessy.  I have met him once before when I asked him to sign his book for me after the lecture he gave us in second year.  As it was my 5th (counting James Greenhow) portfolio crit over the last few weeks I felt well practised and ready to impress.  He asked us to get in touch with him before hand and left an address and email.  I chose to email him with my CV and covering letter.  The crit was about our presentation and how we approached Adrian, rather than our work, so it was a nice balance compared to all the others I've attended.

Adrian firstly agreed with Craig Oldham in that it is important to include a sample of work when you approach someone to give them a taste of what you do.  He liked the idea of handwriting the envelope, with a name on rather than just an address.  He said this was a personal and more considered approach and meant he was more likely to open it.  I suppose I should have really made the effort to post something as well as email, always a double whammy and they are more likely to remember you.  When I leave in June it will be vital to go the extra mile to get attention.

When we got down to the presentation itself, he made more overall comments about us all.  He really appreciated the fact myself and Maaya presented our books right too him rather than too ourselves or the rest of the group (admittedly a little tip we picked up from Alison who saw him in the morning).  I have to say that I thought I would have done this anyway, but after he said no one so far had, I wondered if I would have done?

He mentioned a few people had had to over explain some of their projects which probably meant they hadn't made them clear enough in the portfolio.  Although he didn't say that to me, it is something I am always conscious of as my work is quite conceptual.  I have concentrated hard on making my portfolio as clear as possible.  

The main point that he ended on was that everyone you meet is a potential job interview and a contact that you should always follow up.  Even if you don't get anything out of it other than a meeting, you can then always keep in touch with this person for advice and an update.  It's got me thinking that perhaps I should get back in touch with a few of the contacts I made in London and arrange a trip down their soon!

He also said he liked Belle's portfolio because it stood out from the rest.  He liked single sheets that could be handled and passed around and certainly hers looked very professional.  Although I don't think that approach is suitable for a more advertising based portfolio, I have been told many times by creative directors that they're looking for the work and want it to be simple to navigate and look at.  It has given me that extra push to invest in a new portfolio before the end of term and get it printed on better paper!

Thanks Adrian!

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