Just got finished doing a little work for my friends at SquidbotFX. They make some of the best props you’ll ever see. They’re currently working on two sets of armour. Go check them out.
I get into a lot of conversations about my portfolio and the side projects I fill it with.
I’m in college right now and I’m graduating in a few months. I wonder how many of the portfolios that are graduating with me are going to be filled with pure school work. School work is nice, but in the end, they’re exercises. When you’re showing your portfolio next to someone who graduated with you, it’d be kind of embarrassing having the same themed school projects in both your books.
Side projects can be the answer to wiping out those school assignments. They show you flexing your design muscles and you’re dedication. Your school doesn’t teach responsive web? Go learn it and create a site on your own. You don’t have user interface projects in classes? Go redesign an app.
Some of you may be thinking, “Well, I have work I’ve done for clients and that’s much better”. Yes and no.
It’s always great to show a project you completed for an actual client while you were a student. Definitely put them in there. The thing is that we all know that, more often than not, we must go through an obstacle course to get to the finished product. “This needs to be approved, this needs to be revised, this doesn’t fit their idea”; it’s difficult to create what you want and you’re left with a ghost of a design.
Side projects allow you to be free. How many of your favorite apps were created by people who just wanted to create one? How many of your favorite poster designs were made just to display the designer’s fandom on their wall? How many of those are examples of great design? When you have a client, you must solve their issue and collect an invoice. When you design for design’s sake, you have tons of room for experimentation, you show your skills of self-critique in the process, and you show just how much your life may revolve around design.
So next time you have the time, design something. Start your personal project. Flex your muscles. It’s fun, relaxing, and worth it.
by Matt Griffin
OMG, y’all, Zoobean is live!
We’ve been working on this project for some time here at Bearded, and man are we psyched to finally show it off. Zoobean is a unique new site for children’s books. It has a special filter system that lets you find the right books for…
No matter how low on the totem pole you think you are, we all inspire each other. That little skull icon you made is going to inspire some student in Malaysia. That poster you did as a student is going to spark an idea in some art director’s head.
Together, we’re all pushing design forward. Trends get annoying, but they’re necessary and they sweep you off your feet when they first start. Eventually, they get broken down to their essential elements, added to the dictionary of design, and it all evolves.
I think that’s a great thing.
My Heartbeat poster hanging after winning an award at the latest PGH365 show hosted by AIGA Pittsburgh.
Note: These are amazing.