My old student portfolio for Visual Development (Character Design) based on “Wicked” - PART 1 -
Because I often receive questions about portfolios, I thought, well, maybe it would be helpful for some to share my own personal experience accompanied by some visuals. Namely, my own portfolio I submitted to transition from the Animation department to the Visual Development department of Disney Feature Animation.
Now one thing that I will mention here as a disclaimer, and something that will probably be reiterated through out this post is that this is only my personal experience, and there is definitely not any sort of “formula” to make a portfolio for the Disney’s Vis dev. Portfolios that look nothing like this, share no common element, is just as likely to get you into the vis dev department. The acceptance is made by a committee of people, and not just one person’s personal taste or criteria.
Way back in the summer of 2007, I was an artistic intern at Disney. (Mainly 2D character animation, but also some story and vis-dev on the side.)
I was having lunch with one of our mentors at that time, Claire Keane, in which she gave us some advice on structuring a visual development portfolio.
One of her suggestions that stuck to me was to take one story, and dedicate the entire portfolio to it, as if you were developing that into a feature film.
This idea sounded good to me, because it made sense. It’s a semi-simulation of the kind of things you would be doing as a professional artist at Disney anyway, (which gives the reviewers a much better, reliable idea of how you would perform as a contributor) but it also gives the spectator a slightly more immersive viewing experience, as they are taken through one continuous story, with characters they understand, rather than having to adjust to brand new content with the turn of each page.
The many times I have reviewed portfolios, I have also found it a slight handicap to have to ask the artist, “Now, what is this thing from?” 4 or 5 times in one portfolio.
So in 2008, while I was working on Princess and the Frog, (still as a full time student at Calarts), I started on this visual development portfolio. I chose my story to be Wicked, the musical, which I am sure many of you are familiar with.
When I look back at this portfolio, obviously I see so many flaws in terms of draftsmanship, design choices, character choices, taste etc, and I want to fix them all. But again, the purpose of this post isn’t to show who I am as an artist right now, but to dig up my past and say “Well this is how it happened for me in the past.”
Here is part 1 of the portfolio. I know for some it may be frustrating to have this divided into 2, but the nature of tumblr posts seem to want things kept short. So I’ll try and post part 2 of the portfolio as soon as possible. I want to say within the next day or two, but there’s just never knowing with when I’ll get another free moment.
I think what is probably most important to show in your portfolio is a strong draftsmanship, a good taste in design choices, and a special intuition for characterization.(I’m speaking for my own criteria when I review portfolios, and I don’t claim to represent anyone else’s.)
As you can see I also tried to pay attention to the presentation of the portfolio, which is why I tried to design the layout of it with the theme of “drawer of a Shiz student”.
I’ll probably try to address some of those things that I mentioned in future posts perhaps.
I hope this old student portfolio of mine gave you a better idea on who to shape your own. One thing I would recommend is to not copy exactly the method I used to form a portfolio, but see it more as a solution that will hopefully help you come up with your own solution on how to structure a portfolio.
Next up is Part 2, with some development designs of Fiyero, the Wizard, the Flying monkeys etc
↪ Art by Mike Mignola.
This is the perfect explanation of why I love Hellboy.
Redesign Set Post. Male Versions. I didn’t change much for Twitter since I liked his first design. I used my Red Rabbit pic for his attire. Thought it would be nice to have them altogether. Enjoy!
UPDATE! Added in Redesign of FireFox. I’ll prbly have a separate post for both Twitter and Firefox along with their previous design.
Steam blows out of my nose
Harry Potter as a teen comedy.
Evidence that music placement is very important.
I swear I watch this every time it comes on my dash.
I’VE BEEN STARING AT THIS FOR 2 MINUTES AND 44 SECONDS AND I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT I WAS EXPECTING FROM THIS NOW I’M JUST MAD
I’M AT 5:50 AND IT’S STILL COUNTING
THAT’S A GIF RIGHT? IT NEEDS TO RESTART AT SOME POINT AND I WILL BE THERE TO WATCH IT!!! 8:39
MY HOPES WERE ON 10:00 BUT I GUESS IT WAS WRONG OF ME… 11:13
GUYS ITS 12 HOURS LONG
Most Reblogged in 2013: Anime and Manga
- Shingeki no Kyojin / Attack on Titan
- Dangan Ronpa
- Hetalia: Axis Powers
- Sailor Moon
- One Piece
- Neon Genesis Evangelion
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica
- Kuroko no Basuke
- Fullmetal Alchemist
- Kuroshitsuji /Black Butler
- Soul Eater
- Magi: The Kingdom of Magic
- Dragon Ball Z
- Kyoukai no Kanata /Beyond the Boundary
- Ouran High School Host Club
- Death Note
- Cowboy Bebop
- Tamako Market
- Princess Mononoke
This needs to be rebloggable …
number 9 tho
number fucking 9. there was a dude that would play his guitar outside of my window at 1 am all the time
Some bits that I’ve picked up:
There’s a general rule of college that if you were sitting in that seat for over two weeks, that is your seat. Not many if any professors have seating arrangements but switching seats will fuck everyone up.
Get there early and stay late. As soon as you get home you will not want to do shit. Stay on campus and do some homework while you’re in the environment.
SIT UP FRONT. The best way to start understanding something is to listen to someone talk about it and you can’t do that from the back of the class trying to listen over everyone whispering to each other. LISTENING WILL MAKE HOMEWORK SO MUCH EASIER.
Be childish, but be respectful. Have a massive snowball fight across campus, but don’t aim for anyone not taking part.
SHUT THE FUCK UP IN THE LIBRARY. Some people work there, some people sleep there. It is a quiet space.
Don’t be afraid to talk to professors. They are not there to flunk you. They would rather you pass than not.
IF YOU NEED TUTORING GET TUTORING DON’T WAIT UNTIL YOU’VE DUG YOURSELF INTO YOUR GRAVE.
Get involved. It will help you make friends, give you new skills to learn, and even help you get a leg up in the work place if you know the right people.
I will add to this as a GTA:
Take time for yourself—buy a planner, figure out when your best study hours are, figure out WHERE you study best, and figure out how much time you need to complete an assignment—AND THEN make sure to pencil in an hour for video games, some time to watch a TV show, or time to just lay on your floor and blow bubbles. Whatever you like. Don’t forget about YOU.
SLEEP. EAT. DRINK WATER. Don’t die. Caffeine =/= sleep. I cannot emphasize that this much.
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY:
COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR INSTRUCTORS! If you’re sick, shoot an e-mail and say “Hey, I’m sick today. Can I set up a time to talk to you about what I missed?” If you’ve got a good opportunity (scholarships, to go to another country, to check out a cool lecture, etc.) let your prof know ahead of time. If you just need time to work on projects, all it takes is an e-mail. We understand. I gave a student a free skip day because he e-mailed me and said “Hey, look, I have two massive tests and a project due and I need the time to study.” And THAT IS OKAY.
However, sometimes you just need a personal day, and you know what, when you wake up and getting out of bed seems like the worst idea ever….just turn off your alarm and get that sleep.
Some additionally tid-bits that might help you
- Before signing up for classes, look on “ratemyprofessor.com" and see if the teachers at your campus are included. There may be two or more teachers for the same course, and you want to try and pick the good/easy one. Who your professor is can have a great affect on what grade you make, even for the "same" class.
- Look for a facebook group for your "graduating class" set up, which is a good way to make friends and find people with similar interests (particularly for introverts).
- Look for a facebook group for each of your courses. If there isn’t one, MAKE ONE and send it out via the course email or word of mouth. These groups are helpful for if you missed class and need the notes, and especially for review time before exams.
- If no one else does it, make a google doc of the exam reviews and post it on the class facebook page. That way everyone contributes to the review. 200 brains are most definitely better than 1.
- During lectures, unless Internet is required, TURN IT OFF. If it’s on, you WILL end up on tumblr or some other site, and you will miss important shit.
- For the love of God, pay attention to your syllabus. Sometimes assignments are listed there, and that’s the only place it’ll be mentioned. Also, if it says to do a reading by a specific date, DO THE READING BY THAT DATE. Otherwise you will get behind, and you will have 200+ pages of textbooks to read in one night before the test, and you will cry.
- Yes you actually need to do the readings. Yes it is a lot. Yes it will suck. Do it anyways.
- If you are used to getting all A’s, do not cry when you get a B. Take it from someone who killed herself for two years to maintain a 4.0, it feels like the end of the world when your GPA drops, but it’s not. You’ll be okay. Just breathe and do your best. Your best is good enough.
Try to make sure you leave an open hour around midday so that you have time to get food in you. A lot of people forget to do this. If you have to have back to back classes, check your syllabus or with your teacher—some midday classes allow you to bring in a drink and a snack. Some will even allow you a full meal.
If you can get an online/pdf copy of the book without busting the bank, DO IT. Sometimes there are even annotated versions online. This can make notetaking a shitton easier, because you can highlight printed-out versions of the book and they won’t dock you on the money back. Sometimes professors move through their lecture too fast for you to write stuff down. Shrugging off that old ‘don’t ruin your books’ rule you had in high school may be your only hope.
UNLESS YOU NEED THEM OR REALLY WANT TO KEEP THEM TRY TO SELL BACK YOUR BOOKS—maybe even offer them online to incoming students. You won’t get nearly the worth of them but someone after you will thank you a million times over for providing a used copy. If you take good notes, you can sometimes buy/sell those as well. A lot of professors teach literally the same class every time.
IF YOUR PROFESSOR PUTS NOTES ONLINE GET THEM. GET THEM NOW. TRUST ME. YOU WANT THOSE NOTES. Bring them in with you if it’s possible to get them before class.
Keep change on hand. Always.
The Best Way To Make Friends:
Bring a printer with you to college and offer to print people’s stuff for half of what the school does or for free if you can afford it.
Carry around small candies with you and offer them to people while waiting outside of class. If you are the ‘candy person’ this gives you an in for starting conversations.
Buy a jumbo pack of chalk and find an open sidewalk on a free day. Write the words ‘Come draw with me?’ and begin doodling.
Have a pack of cards.
Last But Not Least: if you go onto campus and you can’t find what you’re looking for, and you are afraid to go up to someone and ask, find an open, well-populated area, hold your schedule/map in hand, and walk in circles for a few minutes, looking up and around in obvious confusion. Other students know this body language well. Someone will stop and point you in the right direction. (if you are worried that the person’s directions are a joke or faulty, wait for them to leave and take up the stance again; if the directions match-up the second time, they’re legit; do not allow a person to ‘show you the way’ unless EVERY STEP is along an obvious walkway, just in case)
For those of you who fear assault, most campuses aren’t much for small blades or mace. Carry a pocket air horn or a hand bag of those little pop-rock fireworks unless you can get a concealed weapons permit.
I may be only a freshman finishing their first semester, but I have to say, college is not anything like they warned me about in high school. And some of this stuff maybe just applies to my professors or my university, but…
-They told me that my professors wouldn’t remind me of due dates, or that all the responsibility was on me. Not true! My professors are really good about keeping us updated on assignments, and not letting us forget when due dates were coming up- they didn’t want us to fail, and they didn’t want to grade bad papers! Most of my professors offer review sessions and let us send rough drafts of papers to them.
-Your syllabus and planner are your best friends and your lifelines. Like seriously, if you don’t plan your days out at least a few days (better, a week) ahead of time, you’re screwed. I make a week-long plan of what needs to get done and when I have Supernatural or Doctor Who club meetings and when I can work on assignments and in addition I have a to-do list everyday. Lists are the best. I’d be lost without them.
-It’s not just schoolwork you have to do. Laundry, grocery shopping, errand-running, you have to make time for those things too. Factor those things in. This is of course, assuming, you live on-campus. Cleaning your room is a big thing. It gets pretty gross pretty fast. So much dust…
-If you are a morning person, go for the 8 o’clock classes. My roommates prefer to be done by 11. I prefer to get up at 11. Do what works for you. A lot of times, if you have labs, you can have a 3-hour gap between your last class and your afternoon lab. Use this time for homework. Try for big gaps instead of hour gaps in between classes/labs, or no gaps at all (although you don’t want more than 2 back-to-backs) because you will actually have time to eat and do work instead of rushing from one place to another. But let me say this- you’re not getting to bed before 1am. That’s just a fact. I’ve yet to see any all-nighters by anyone in my hall, but 3, 4am… a few times. I stop doing work by 11. I’m burnt out by then. I take the next hour to relax.
- It’s true, there is not much “regular” homework, at least not for my major/classes. I basically had all lab reports and a paper or two, and just a few online assignments. So, there’s less assignments but they take up a lot of time, and so you have to plan accordingly for long-term assignments. It’s important to do your best and not procrastinate because there aren’t many grades in your classes, just these big ones and tests. I feel as if there’s no satisfaction because it’s like nothing’s ever done like back in high school when you finish one subject and go to the next. You’re working on one thing for weeks, and then when it’s done you have to move right on to the next big project with no time to stand back and admire your work.
-Your laptop is your life. I am on my laptop any hours not in class. All assignments are completed either online or typed (which can be annoying at times with the site our university uses that isn’t the best). Never lose or break that thing. You will die a slow painful death.
-Eat. Don’t miss meals. Make time for it. Skipping is not an option. You will regret it. My university has one of the best dining halls in the nation but nevertheless whatever your college has to offer, take advantage of it. You need to be alert and have energy to get work done. 3 meals whenever possible!
I hope that helps a little. Hey, a month off for Christmas, it’s worth the hell they put you through!