My final week of Winter Intersession at El Camino College was Monday and Tuesday of this week. Although I only had one class – Portfolio Development and Artist Career Issues – it was one of the best and most practical classes I have had so far! Looking back, I really learned a lot about myself and feel more confident about pursuing my goals.
Finding a job or gaining clients is all about presentation – displaying your talents in such a way that the employer is convinced you are the right person for the job. However, the first step is not to go “out there”, trying to see what employers want. The first step is to look within and evaluate what you have to offer. Once you are very clear on who you are and what you have to offer, the next step is to find companies that are a match for your talents and skills. It also really helps to get feedback, since we all have blind spots.
What I learned about portfolio development is that it is a work in progress. You have to constantly compare your current body of work to the industry standard, and constantly be working to improve your skills. There are no shortcuts. You have to do the work to improve, but it’s also healthy to be proud of whatever skills you have right now. As artists, we are constantly evolving and improving; we have never “arrived”. I have learned that although I have a long way to go in developing my skills, I have achieved a lot so far that I’m proud of.
I have also learned that there are a lot of resources out there to help me hone my skills. Autodesk, the maker of the 3D animation software 3d Studio Max and Maya, has a free download program for students. Their website is very user-friendly and provides a great forum for beginning work. It is also a smart move on their part because they are building brand loyalty in all the students who learn 3D modeling on their software!
Animation magazine has a digital subscription service and newsletter to help beginning and established animators stay informed about what is going on in the industry. They have a list of animation schools and job postings as well.
Well… the next few days will be rest and recuperation while I wait for Spring Semester to start on Saturday. This will be another busy semester loaded with art classes and my MBA program. I will do my best to stay in touch as I try to stay afloat! I can honestly say that all the work is not work because I am doing what I love!!
Now go follow your bliss…