Presenting Your Work: <br />Ever Ready Info Kit

This is a massive subject, so read through everything and pick one facet to start on. DO NOT PANIC.

Files to Always Have Ready: Varsity Level

This is what I always have on cloud storage in case I find an opportunity. You can build up to this.

General written documents, as Google docs:

  • Your designer’s statement: why are you a designer? What do you want to do in the world? Have a point, do not be afraid to have a point of view!!
  • Contact information
    • Professional email address: yourfullname@gmail.com
    • Unprofessional: hottkittenz133$%4@aol.com
    • Only give the basics: phone and email. Sometimes giving your address can make you less a contender if they think you live too far away or in a bad part of town.
  • Your CV, with in-depth listings of all shows (solo and group), residencies, internships, publications, etc.
    • This is a overall file of info you will use to create the smaller resumés
    • CV stands for Curriculum Vitae, and it is basically a record you keep of every single thing you have ever done. You very rarely show the entire thing, but having it all in one spot is essential.
  • Your teaching philosophy (if applicable): consider teaching to sharpen your brain, skills, and compassion levels. Just sayin’.
  • Your biography, in long and short forms
    • You are important and you need to be able to tell your story well.
  • All press coverage: links to articles, etc.
  • A current list of people from whom you can get references for a variety of purposes (go read this article)
    • Only give these out when they are requested, after you have asked the references if you can use them

Other assets:

Your work, cleaned up and consistently presented:

  • Print-quality and internet ready images
  • Print-quality and internet ready pdfs

Be sure not to send huge files in an email: be able to export your documents so they do not choke the recipient’s inbox. If you cannot handle your own files, you will look unprofessional.

Images:

You have to learn how to take decent high-resoultion pictures of your physical work:

Tutorials: 1  |  2  |  3

Yes, this is a lot of work, but you are a designer, a cultural producer. Learn to produce a high-quality series of your work.

Portfolios: PDFs and Print pieces

You need a beautiful, simple InDesign template that you can keep adding to and subtracting from as needed.

  • Print it in color and use a decent display case that you can reuse. I usually use these if I do present print: Itoya Presentation Books 
  • I do not make the portfolio all fancy and I do not leave printed leave behinds other than calling cards and specifically designed promotional pieces. I do not leave behind original work as I have seen studios rip off the work of applicants without ever considering hiring the person.
  • If you send a PDF version, make sure it is an interactive PDF, that will be low resolution–light-weight and harder to rip off directly.
  • I do not make my print book fancy as I am not focusing on presenting myself as a print person. And also, I have much better things to do than making nifty hand-produced one-of-a-kind books. Unless those were relevant to my actual body of work.

Digital Portfolios:

Show that you can think: you need to highlight a full-bodied project and walk the visitor through how you defined the problem and solved it. The Pretty™ is just not enough…