Monday 8 June 2009

A trip down portfolio lane...

The answer to "where am I going to put all these drawings?!" gets easier over time. Portfolios come in all types, and I'm loving the slick new one my pixie-wife picked up for my birthday.

Here's an example of some of my early ones.The wooden one is an heirloom from my paternal grandmother, whom I never met. These days I store my final pencil drawings in it to keep them nice and flat. The one with the painted image on the side I've had since early high school. When I applied for university, half of acceptance was based on marks, the other half, your portfolio. I suffered from horrible portfolio envy that day. I can remember a glamorous blonde and fast talkin' pushy guy each coming into the waiting room with massive paintings, friends helping carry them in and coordinate around corners. And me in the corner with my wee portfolio.

Me and the blonde got in, so whatevs.

Years later, my wife picked up this spectacular deep red plexi and steel portfolio by Pina Zangaro.
I love how whatever image is inside becomes saturated with red hues, and dark paintings hint to the eye at things underneath. Mysterious and outstanding at once. I still carry this for face to face with people. I consider it a win if people comment on the art and not the flashy portfolio.

Now, I've entered a new age. Most of my technology is hand-me-down, and I'm grateful for it, --erm, quirks and all. The new Wacom Intuos 3 tablet is pretty awesome. At home, we're trying to upgrade our technology this year, not cutting edge, but at least a step up.

Enter the new portfolio: an iPod Touch.
Okay, maybe I'm out of touch, (ha! oh...) but it had never occurred to me to use an iPod or pda as a portfolio. Earlier this year, I purchased an iPod Nano for my wife, and after it self-loaded her hundreds of family photos on it, and she saw how little space it used, her idea was sparked.

Currently I have over 80 images loaded up. I can pinch-zoom, flick through them in seconds with no loading times...this is like a dream. Years ago I was sketching in a coffee shop, and a man asked for my card. I didn't have one back then, and he said, "oh well" and left. I always have one now. And now, I could go further: show off some of my best pieces, my completed contracts and zoom in on details. I'm hoping this will help advance my career in those unexpected moments.

I added the Brushes app (by Steve Sprang) and it's pretty cool. If I produce anything worthy, be sure I'll post it. I love how I can import my drawings, and paint with them almost like using a junior tablet! Transparencies and everything. Suh-weet. There are galleries of this type of sketchy little art (here at Wired, and a blog called Touch Art). I've read some criticisms of this type of drawing ("looks like fingerpainting") but I'm taking that as a challenge to produce something cool.

Oh and the iPod Touch plays music too, or something.

Flick, flick, flick...

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow under Creative Commons Licence.

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m said...

That's a really good idea! I don't have the Touch one, just an old nano... if it ain't broke, why spend money I haven't got on a new one? I keep meaning to do the business cards thing, I will one day! I love the red portfolio case, it's perfect for the Darwin portrait!

Glendon Mellow said...

I thought it was a good idea too, Mo. I was pretty excited waiting to go pick it up. The screen size is plenty big enough. Like glowing trading cards of artwork.

Portable images and huge storage...I don't know why this hasn't been more popular up until now.

(...make your business cards...!)

traumador said...

that is brilliant... if only i weren't opposed to all things mac! (they screw up my 3D software)

i SO need to get some business cards... the question is whose name should be on them :P

Glendon Mellow said...

Hmm. Y'know, I'd say double-sided for you and Craig, Traumador.

Heather Ward said...

Hey, you have some pretty unique portfolios there! I just have a simple black mini portfolio I carry around with photo prints of my work. I've heard that you should avoid the black ones that everyone has so you stand out, and you certainly do.

(My business cards just came in the other day. I'm excited.)

Glendon Mellow said...

Hi Heather!

Really? I thought flashy portfolios were a sign of feelings of inadequacy and plain black ones speak of confidence. Umm, uhh, I heard it from some guy one time.

I love new business cards. I like to hold them and look at them. Walk around just hoping I have an excuse to hand one out...

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