Expanding my portfolio

I am still a student looking to expand my portfolio with anything worthwhile, where should I start? how should I start?

I was a student too when I started making my portfolio. Try joining 99designs contests. It was like you were working with real world clients competing with other designers while earning money or could be just for fun.

Hey Noah,

How many piece do you currently have in your portfolio, and what is the range of those pieces? For example, Print (poster, magazine/book layout, infographics, etc.) to Digital (UI/UX, webpage layout, mograph, etc.)

I would respectfully disagree with Elmer in joining 99design, or any other sites like this for building a portfolio—for the sole reason of valuing your time and other professional designers. You’d also find more value in creating your own projects, that interest you.

I’d recommend picking a subject matter that interests you. For example, Space. Then reasearch planets, stars, galaxies, black holes—whatever interests you. And create posters, infographics, icons, a typeface, or anything you can think of that would expand your knowledge and push your limits based on parameters you set. Not only will you enjoy creating, but you’ll learn new things.

You’ll always have time either as an in-house designer or freelance designer to work on projects you don’t like. You may as well make time for self initiate projects you do like .

In the end, if you are applying for a job and are interviewed, you probably have time to really talk about 1 or 2 projects before the interview is over (they go by real quick with nerves and all). There really is no limit to the number of portfolio pieces.

In my experience the interviewer is more interested in you than the portfolio, they just want to see if you have the ability to create what they visually need.

i am also a student, trying to decide between the varieties of art majors. i was very into art as a kid, and am only recently getting back into it. do you have any advice on who to reach out to in terms of building a resume? or any tips on how to stay motivated and driven? i am also not 100% what graphic design entails. is everything done on adobe illustrator (which is a giant monster to try and learn how to create in) or is it a broad career that one can turn into anything, like art directing or visual designing? anything helps, i am a newborn baby in this huge world of graphic design.

Wikipedia has a good description of what graphic design is all about:

In conjunction with what @Just-B posted. Illustrator has little-to-nothing to do with graphic design, it is software that can be used to express a visual communication.

You’ll need at least some kind of experience to build your resume–who to reach out to? I don’t know, is there a service for this at your school for this type of thing? You’ll definitely need to start building a portfolio. I don’t know who you reach out to about that as much as you create projects and have people critique it for you.

Hope that helps a little.

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