Critiquing 2 Portfolios: 1 Student, 1 Pro


Hey hey party people in this video I’m going to critique two portfolios one student portfolio and one professional portfolio Let’s start with the student portfolio. The student portfolio was submitted by person named Liv and this is their portfolio for a school to get accepted into a design program and my critique is not going to determine whether or not she gets accepted into this program, but she didn’t want to know my thoughts on her work. Liv did send me the list of requirements for her portfolio so I am also critiquing based on how well she fulfilled the requirements the school sent because working designers we’re all about you know, can you fulfill the design brief and that’s any field fashion graphics all of it Number one on the list of requirements is her CV and earlier work I’m gonna skip the CV I’m not gonna show it either because it has some of our personal information Just be aware that every country has their own rules my only piece of general advice is to if you are going to study abroad or if you’re going to Try to get a job in a different country Look up the resume requirements for that country. For example Some countries require a headshot with your resume US companies typically do not so look into that kind of thing. So here’s Liv’s page two they asked for her earlier work and Look, this mood board It’s so pretty. I love this combination of colors and textures so much and I just get this I It’s so yummy. I just love looking at it. Her color story follows her mood board, but I wish she had incorporated some of this beautiful rich brown which Really brings her mood board to life. It really kind of pumps up that green In comparison her materials are not as exciting because they’re all flat fabrics Whether, I mean, she only has color swatches but lawn and twill they’re both pretty flat Not much texture at all, and I got really excited for some textures in this mood board here She has a little collection She shows that she can sew and put garments together Which is an excellent strong suit to showcase Second piece of older work is a prom dress commission and My whole thing is the format is a bit messy I wish the photographs were a lot cleaner. They don’t you don’t need a professional photographer I see a lot of portfolios and I see people try to include photos of their work and I love that That is definitely a great thing But take the time to take good photos Whether they’re on a dress form or you get someone to model for you Just the basics: clean lighting, daylight works the best so you don’t need any fancy lights or anything like that and Be in focus. I see a lot of fuzzy photos and This channel has been entirely shot every single video, thumbnail photograph, Instagram pic has been shot by my iPhones so, you know, you don’t need a fancy camera You don’t need fancy lights. You do need to be in focus. You need clean lighting and you need your photos to be dead-on not this weird angle where the head looks really big or like looking up So the feet are really big and the head looks like no weird angles just really clean photos of your work so I wish this had that and the format Would have been easier to follow if she had gone like left to right We started with sketches we moved on to colors And etc, etc. It’s just, just composition in general Readability in general. Number two on the requirements list was create a collection with seven outfits answering the question What do you think will be important within clothing in the future? and in what direction will fashion develop? Liv has a text response here and she talks about sustainability, using recycled eco-friendly materials, making timeless versatile pieces, and durable materials, better production methods, longevity, and quality. I love that answer I think that fashion is going there and if it’s not it really should go there I think, one of Liv’s strengths is definitely putting together mood board images. This cluster of images is really beautiful The ravens are a little bit random and then she kind of loses me over here But look at these colors How the colors work together how the different textures work together You’re, you’re really giving me kind of an enticing like I want to look at what clothes come out of these images sort of feel. I love that. We have your color story and I see that you tend to go for a really narrow color story and then some black. The previous one was a lot of greens and then some black and this one is a lot of these creamy rose peachy tones and some black so Consider breaking out of your comfort zone every once in a while in a future collection. I know at this stage you probably don’t know a whole lot about fabrics, I know before I went to fashion school I didn’t know a whole lot about fabrics, but do try to incorporate fabrics that aren’t all flat because You have all of these more simple straightforward silhouettes and I think that you can bring some design interests to these simple shapes with the introduction of a more varied color story and or texture. This is the design development page. You have a fabric sample here But I don’t see it in your sketches or your flats, so I don’t know how that relates so… When you have a picture of a sample, I think that you had to submit this digitally so you couldn’t have a piece of fabric on your thing. So, that’s fine but maybe include something for scale so that people can get an idea as to how it would work on the body maybe um a ruler a measuring tape next to it something to show scale. I do like these flats Liv had mentioned that this was her first time doing flats in Illustrator, which I find impressive for the first go. I love that they have put in darts and seams and gathers and really tried to show how these garments will be constructed and yeah, you know I could be really nitpicky and be like Liv, darts are too short and these seams are weird and this one is slightly– like no. Okay. We are still looking at it in terms of this student She has had some schooling but she is Applying to go and study And so we always have to make sure that we’re looking at it in terms of where the student is in their own education overall the collection fits what you set out in the beginning: natural fibers timeless versatile pieces colors that work for every season. So yeah, it’s pretty good You know You set out the brief answering the question and then you followed your own brief Number three according to the requirements list pick a material and explore how it could be shaped transformed etc And how it can create awareness for the people wearing it and viewing it. 10 pictures plus write out your reasoning Liv wrote a little bit about the material she chose which is organza and she wrote about how she wants to work with the opacity and work with the volume and like flowiness versus structure all those things and My favorite pieces from the ten are the ones that I feel really show a deliberate design Deliberate being she did it on purpose Regardless of specific aesthetic or style your work should look like you meant to do that I’m a big fan of Bob Ross and happy accidents and all that good stuff, but in general your design should look like It shouldn’t look like I have series of happy mistakes. On that note. I think that one and two and five Look a little bit like random scrunching. Four, six and nine look like beautiful garments that are the most wearable depending on how you personally deal with sheer clothes. I really like them. And then… And three Seven, eight and ten look the most like they’re garments, but also pushing the boundaries a little bit My personal favorite is eight Number four one croquis sketch and two optional objects. This croquis, she looks like she’s going to fall over a little bit cuz she so much of her with her arms like it feels very heavy over here and Then her feet are a little bit too much over here Proportions are pretty good But the anatomy needs work. These are the two optional objects Liv chose and this cactus Illustration is actually quite charming. It’s kind of cute. With this glass, the Perspective is wrong Because the way the straw is you see that you’re looking down into the cup if you look at the ellipse So you wouldn’t see a flat bottom of that glass Again, my critique does not determine whether or not she gets accepted to the school But I really hope she does. I think she shows a lot of potential Especially, her boards are especially great Good luck Liv. Next let’s look at the professional portfolio Michelle D’Urbano. I hope I’m pronouncing that correctly Michelle is a fashion and textile designer who Specializes in fashion and homewares and interiors and when we were talking via email I did tell her that I was not going to approach the homewares and interiors because that is not my field of expertise. Longtime viewers know my rule: if I don’t know about it, I don’t talk about it. I do not like to blow sunshine up no one’s nowhere. Let’s look here The home page is nice. She is a textile designer, so to have this sort of fabric image in the front makes sense to me She has her social media here, little blurb about herself, cum laude congratulations good work and then she has this PDF Journal and I have scrolled through this journal and it’s kind of amazing And some people, you know, the interviewers, some people like to look at those process books more than they like the resulting projects. I do think that this file size is a bit much there’s a lot of text and I know this is your research but if you are really eager to share it you want to think about your audience and You know, we are not the kind that read big heavy text Not people who are looking for designers to hire. I know that sounds bad, but I’m trying to be realistic. It’s not that these job recruiters are unintelligent and can’t read It’s that they probably get a lot of links a lot of portfolios They’re looking at a lot of these and they just don’t have the time and energy to read huge volumes. So if you really want people to understand your process, I think you would be better off doing some captions under pictures so that you’re explaining the process with visuals to make it really clear. I have a fairly recent laptop and it is not having a fun time Loading this PDF and so it might be worth your while to see if you can reduce the file size and re-upload most importantly I think that instead of having this journal on your home page that it should be attached To the final images for the project. I believe that this journal goes over more than one project and I think that it would serve you well to separate it so that you have the final images for a project and Then underneath you have the link to the PDF with only the pages for process on that project. That might help with the file size and the loading and stuff like that I’m getting all warm thinking about Michelle’s work because it’s It’s beautiful. It’s so Beautiful. It’s so like ah I will drop a link to her website in my description box below and y’all should go look at it and just I’ve looked at this several times While preparing for this video and There is just so much good on eye candy And I always end up catching something new because there’s so much going on Look at these Illustrations they are so freakin charming. I want to die. Look at them. Look at them. I love it. This is such a great example of how something can be very stylized and yet really clearly communicate the design to us. It’s really obvious what’s happening with the clothes, but it is a very stylized look. I love it. Those are cool And then she also has photographs with credits that’s good of her collection Beautiful textures beautiful colors and then here is her next project. I don’t have much to critique on with your work. You show your inspiration you show your process and You follow through and you deliver on some truly beautiful clothes. It is Wearable but not commercial as in you can wear it, but they are very special They are very unique. Michelle, and I say this with love and respect for your work. Your website is really annoying to look at The slow click click click. It’s very annoying I want to look at stuff and I don’t want someone to tell me in what order to look at things and when I need to look at things and how To look at things. I think that you should format your webpage like this So here’s the bar with all your links your header bar. Here’s your main image that we’re looking at I think you should have a series of thumbnails of all these pages So if someone wants to just go look at your illustrations again they could find the kind of vague thumbnail for your illustrations and click on that and then here you should have a link to the journal to show your process for that particular and This is a more professional easy to read Organization of your website That’s what I think and then you should have it set up like this for all of your projects instead of having them all Stacked behind each other. So here’s your sketches and illustrations. Here are your botanicals and These are too big in my opinion, I think that you should be able to see the entire image in one scroll. You shouldn’t have to scroll to see, like this is a good size. You see the entire image on the screen at one time beautiful work though Miscellaneous. I don’t think you need this miscellaneous stuff. Your work is on another level when I look at your finished projects I’m like wow hire her right now, but these do not add to that elevated level, that elevated design eye that you showed in your projects. More sketches and I also believe that These do not add anything, they do not bolster your reputation as a great designer. So this is older work I love this. The format is nice You can see each textile Works for me you have some cool work here. But again, they should be sized like this You can see the whole image in one go I don’t know why this fashion project is hidden in the “More” section. This is fall/winter 16/17–that’s not that old. You can have another tab up here for that. There’s the CV. I would recommend that you have it on the website and not just as a downloadable doc Press: perfect show off what you’ve done and contact and you might think it’s nitpicking at this point but I don’t like this going back and forth all caps and then not all caps Just, it’s just another thing that adds to the inconsistency and disorganization of the website Overall, I think the work is beautiful Michelle. The work is intriguing. I keep looking. I keep clicking Even though it’s so annoying because it’s beautiful but you know, not everyone is gonna be as patient as I am So, please do your work a favor and think about reorganizing your website. A few wrap-up notes: number one: if you choose to comment or ask a question to the two people that submitted their portfolios today, I want you to keep in mind that it’s a scary thing to submit work to a big audience for someone, basically a stranger, to critique it. So have some respect for the people who submitted work and please be kind and respectful in your comments to them Number two: I do not do private critique. I do video critique like this. Right now I have enough portfolio submissions for until the end of 2018. If you would like to submit your work for a 2019 review Drop me an email at [email protected] If your website is online, send me a link. If your work is in PDF format, do not send me work in your original email. Please like this video if you learned something new today Please give some props to Liv and Michelle for sharing their awesome work with us and creating this learning opportunity for the rest of you Share, subscribe, you know, click that notification bell All those good things and I will see you in the next video

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100 thoughts on “Critiquing 2 Portfolios: 1 Student, 1 Pro

  1. Love how you juxtaposed a new fresh talent with someone a bit more experienced. …I disagree on the website format. I've helped others with their websites, and I find the slide thumbnail (not a micro preview of the slide) is the best format. ….quickly uploads, allows viewer control and still permits artist ideal viewing preference. First critique video I saw from you and I live how you thoroughly break it down, but also embolden them to pursue their ambitions. …zero negativity from you.

  2. I have zero desire for pursing a fashion career but your personality is so warm and inviting and you are very kind. This student has so much potential!

  3. Quick tip: when answering a question, avoid the phrase: “I believe that”. You sound more confident and straight forward without it.

  4. I'm a highschool art student, but tbh this is so interesting I'm actually thinking of studying fashion for fun
    God why are you doing this to me both are really hard and really really fun gahhh

  5. I think your points were spot on, Zoe! One thing I think you forgot to mention is that the technical flats didn't have backs. Sometimes people grey out that area, but it still needs to be drawn into the technicals. 🙂

  6. Do i need to have flats in school portfolio if garments are very unusal (i mean that they are made out of strange materials and shapes)?

  7. 6:20 i think the author could have also used models of different figures instead of the same, typical tall, skinny models. Just my opinion.

  8. I like your objective style based on your own expertise. You know what you're talking about and it shows in you critique. You give constructive criticism that these people can work with and use to improve, that is very helpful. Thank you for sharing your views with us!

  9. That was an insightful and informative critique. It gave me a lot of ideas on how to craft a great portfolio and good tips o n presentation format. Thank you. I look forward to watching more of your videos.

  10. Hey!! i love all your input and it really helps me to start thinking about my portfolio I'm still in grade 10 but next year i need to start choosing the subjects for ib and I'm kinda confused is sciences useful for fashion designer and if it is useful what science should i take?
    This year I'm taking art for IGCSE and can i actually input it in my portfolio if i actually get a good score in it. My counselor is suggesting me to start joining fashion week but it's hard to get in. what fashion designer college do you recommend at the moment other than london or paris
    Sorry for asking a lot of question but thank you for reading this and thank you for making this kind of video it make us understand what should be added THANK YOU

  11. Zoe, I'm Brazilian and I have a lot of talent, but I don't have money at all to deal with college expenses, you know if I can get it for free on a good fashion school? if I be properly educated I will definitely be one of the bests designers of the world, can you help me?

  12. 12:12 Every artist knows that ‘it’s kind of amazing’ voice, when you find something artistic that you really like and you just want to say ‘LOOK AT THIS – IT PRETTY’

  13. Wow, I've learned a lot. You've already given artist hints who's desiring to be a fashion designer or any one who's going to submit a portfolio. Thank you! ❤️ More power!

  14. I'm not a fashion designer but I'm learning&studying graphic design and illustration so it's still kinda close – and I noticed one thing. In Michelle's portfolio (first project), is the text on top of photographs by chance or on purpose? It lookes a bit unreadible to me?
    (it's great work anyway and really matches my personal taste)

  15. I have no idea what you’re talking about but I was so engaged and interested the whole video. Really amazing work

  16. Im a painter but end up in a fashion photography job..I love all your videos your fun to watch…all the comments and evrything very entertaining 😁✌👋🎂🎂🍭🙏

  17. I just discovered you and I live for this! I’m actually a web designer who almost became a fashion designer. I really love your recommendations about the website. Especially the font comment. Being consistent with fonts both in style and format is more important then people think. Especially if you are trying to build a brand.

  18. A professional website should just be all press and sketches and boards. Also, if you are a working designer – pay to have the WIX banner removed- i mean….. please

  19. I thought this was a graphic design portfolio critique. I only realized it wasnt when you started talking about fabrics, and I was like "what???" nothing told me otherwise, not the title or intro. Anyways, have a good week!

  20. Thank you for kindness all of you Zoe, Liv, Michelle for sharing the great work here. I’ve learned much today. Koobkun ka.

  21. Fuck the rules it’s a new world * learn the basics just so your able to create your own style but after that fuck the rules … one people learn that the market feeds of the youth they will gain creative control

  22. I’m only 11… I’m in grade 6… why am I stressing about what I’m going to do for my portfolio for college…

  23. Hi Zoe! I'm currently a fashion design student who really loves sustainable fashion and want my portfolio to reflect that. Do you have any criteria as to how I could do that?

    Also I'm so sad I only found your channel now! I loved your video. Keep it up!

  24. The critique is really on point and the way you explain everything really reminds me of my Fashion design teacher (Hi Ms. Kay li haha). AND I feel the tension inside me while I was watching and listening to the points youre making because I'm currently doing my portfolio for my finals and seeing you being intricate and nitpicky to the whole portfolios makes me so nervous! BUT also getting new ideas on what dos and don'ts that I should be doing.

    I'm going to try and achieve your expectations for portfolios! and also I'm gonna try to send my Portfolio too for you to see if I did good or bad hahaha.

  25. 9:14 Yes. Intention is crucial. I was asked to "make something ugly" in graduate school (an MFA program), and I think it was because there was a little bit too much belief in happy accidents.

  26. This might sound obnoxious, but: Consider your strengths when choosing a school, and tailor your portfolio to the kind of schools you think will be the best fit. There is no such thing as "the best school." There's only "the best school for you." Don't think a school is right for you just because your favorite designer is an alumnus. The kind of education you get varies widely between schools. Think carefully about what area of the industry you think you'd like to work in, and go to portfolio days if you're unsure. Don't automatically assume that you're geared towards high fashion.

    Some schools are very development focused, and they'll want to see lots of process photos. They'll want to see collages. They'll want to see quick research sketches. They'll typically also want a fine art portfolio. They want to see how you think more than what you can produce. If you like extremely avant garde fashion, this is probably your track. (A lot of big name schools in Europe fall into this category.)

    Some schools are fine arts focused, and they'll expect a fine art portfolio with a fashion design supplement. It's rare to get in with an excellent fashion design supplement, but a poor fine arts portfolio. Generally speaking, a good fine arts portfolio will take you farther than a fashion design specific portfolio when it comes to college applications. Most admissions officers look at portfolios submitted for multiple departments, so they might miss subtleties as to what makes your fashion segment so strong. Your work doesn't have to be bat shit crazy to apply, but if you lean towards basics, or follow current trends that you already see in stores, this track might be a bit cutting edge for you. (Pratt and RISD fall into this category.)

    Some schools are very production/industry focused. You'll want to demonstrate that you can already sew a bit, can sketch clothing, can do flats, and know the basics of Photoshop/Illustrator. Some schools will require a small fine arts portfolio, and some will just require a specific fashion design portfolio. The fashion design portfolio is going to be the most critical. If your work is pretty commercial, pretty basic, or you like to follow trends as they filter down to stores like Forever XXI, or Anthropologie, this type of environment is probably the place for you. (Schools like FIDM fall into this category.)

    I've studied in all three types of school, and believe me, the difference in culture and what you end up learning is night and day. Really think carefully about what's going to be the best fit for you.

  27. You make a good point about blocks of text. I work in a VASTLY different industry (accounting) , but when I finished my latest round of additional professional qualifications I ended up in the top 5% of the country in every submission.

    People always want to know how I do it and the answer is you should ALWAYS write your text in a way that YOU would like to read it. NOBODY wants to read a large block of text.

    Use headings, small paragraphs, spacing etc. make it easy for people to skim and still get the gist.

    if you look at what you’ve written and think you wouldn’t want to read that much block text in one sitting, then there is no one else on the planet who wants to either, no matter what industry you are in.

  28. The warm brown tone would work better with the green then the black that they chose, the black makes the green look duller to me idk

  29. Kind of a random request, but do you think you could do a series/video on web presence? Like maybe how to use Instagram as your portfolio or how to create an online portfolio? Thanks!! 💖💖💖

  30. I'm not sure if this is a difference between the UK and the US. But when doing Textiles in Sixth Form. Our portfolios had to be absolutely filled with text and analysing. Haven't finished the video yet so maybe the professional portfolio will be similar to the work we did there.

  31. Am I the only one who read 
    Critiquing 2 Profiteroles: 1 Student, 1 Pro
    but then clicked on the video anyway

  32. i might be wrong but i think Liv’s illustration of the straw in the glass was intentionally meant to become increasingly abstract from top to bottom

  33. Omg Zoeee i missed you!!! i haven't been watching you videos because i have been busy! But now i will be binge watching all of the videos i haven't watched!

  34. As of you designer suddenly or ever lost interest in design all together so much you’ve packed away your sewing machines and art supplies :/ lord help me it’s been 4 months

  35. Clicked on this video thinking it was a graphic design portfolio but I was not disappointed. Love the vid. 😆👍

  36. Your channel is very interesting.Now I am in the-sis final year. This make me a lot of positive energy to do my work.
    Your critiquing is very light and can make it useful for someone like me.

  37. Sitting here in Lusaka watching some videos and I am amazed to find the professional designer in the video is Zambian. I saw the sign for Kitwe and wondered, could that be the same Kitwe?? Glad to see an artist from here doing great work and getting the attention she deserves.

  38. Hi Professor!!! I am a #1 fan!!! I was wondering of a "softwear" you recommend for making designs and patterns.

  39. Hey Zoe, First of all, I looooveee your videos, been binge watching and rewatching them ever since I discovered them in 9th or 8th grade _ Secondly, I wanted to ask you if it's better to be more Avant Garde and super crazy with the designs or more chic and pret a porter like (but still creative) when applying to fashion schools? I already tried to combine both n try to find a middle way but I didn't really like the results :/

  40. I’m about to begin my senior year, I wanna do fashion design but I dont know how to sew, is it possible to get into parsons or fit

  41. I Enjoy Video Very Good Lots Great Fashion Tips On Profoilo, Size Image /Whats Makes A great Fashion- Designer/In Fashion Illustrator , Im Designer that Take My Skill to Next level Im Also a fashion

  42. I definitely taking all of the advice given! I’m looking forward to enrolling in FIT or SAIC for fashion. I’m slightly nervous but this gave me hope about my ideas.

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