Thursday, March 22, 2012

RISD Portfolio Reviews : Illustration/Animation

I was invited by my supervisor to accompany her to the RISD portfolio reviews, focusing on Class of 2012/13's Illustration and Animation majors. I came as a representative/talent scout for Converse, and I have to say I was blown away by this experience.

RISD is a truly prestigious school (one way out of my league price-wise when I was 16 and heading to college). So many amazing artists have come out of RISD, and I'm grateful to have been apart of such an important experience for students.

My portfolio reviews at Mass Art were truly nerve-wracking. I spent hundreds of dollars printing my portfolio, and even more on my "leave-behinds" (acrylic keychains designed by me and laser-cut with my name and website). Basically you get dressed up and make your portfolio look as dapper as possible and throw yourself at prospective companies, asking for advice and feedback and potential positions at your favorite companies. I had the pleasure of being reviewed by my senior Dana Woulfe for Converse in 2009, where he dismissed my portfolio as being inappropriate for surface design, though he did like my pieces. Funny how things work out - I sit about 15 feet from him now!!

It's only been a short while since I was on the other side of the table, so I was really nervous on arrival - such a big school, so many amazing talented young adults, and sitting eating lunch with all the other company representatives was pretty intense! I couldn't help but think, "OMG I'M NEXT TO PIXAR AND OMG OMG," totally star struck!

The work from the Illustration students we saw (which was around 30) was truly inspiring. I was suprised to see how many students worked in gouache (well), and it was interesting to see the differences between what Mass Art had expected from students versus RISD. (Black and white graphic-less resumes, and almost no postcards!) But overall I was truly blown away by a lot of the work. I even handed out some personal business cards! Why wouldn't I want to keep up with such talented artists?

Overall, this was a great experience for me and hopefully for all the students who attended. I was able to share some of my newly-inherited insight as well as gain some inspiration and a renewed sense of "blossoming" and eagerness from so many fresh faces.

If I were you, I would seriously check out :
Sunny Ren
Leland Goodman
Melanie Steinway

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