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How to create a better portfolio

The digital age is fostering new creative jobs in remote environments. These job qualities are in higher demand in a post-Covid world. If you are an aspiring artist and would like to make your way in this growing field, you need a strong portfolio.

Kayla Tyree
Kayla Tyree

The digital age is fostering so many new creative jobs with remarkable work-hours flexibility in remote environments. These job qualities are in even higher demand now, in our post-Covid-19 world. If you are an aspiring 3D artist and would like to make your way in this growing field, you need a strong portfolio. We would like to share with you some helpful tips on how to build a better portfolio to attract top talent seekers from around the globe.

Platforms

There are several platforms from which you can choose to create a home for your portfolio. Behance and ArtStation are the leading professional networks for CGI Artists, but you may also want to link your works to other places such as Linkedin, a personal website, Vimeo, or even an art-only Instagram profile. If you do choose to add links to other sites, be sure not to add links to your personal-use social media; only professional pages are appropriate. Check up on your linked sites periodically to ensure the links work and lead exactly to where you would like a recruiter to go next. You may wish to send your portfolio to recruiters individually as a file or presentation. If you would prefer a file method, be sure the files are saved in high quality. In the CGI industry, your portfolio is your primary tool for job seeking.

Your resume alone is not enough, but adding resume information to your portfolio will go a long way

We need to see your work!

When hiring freelance artists, the job will ultimately go to the person who can produce the right quality and style of images needed for the project. Decisions about imagery just can’t be made with words alone.

That being said, your images can’t speak entirely for themselves either. Adding as much information as possible to your landing page and the descriptions of your work will bring so much clarity to the recruiter and help them make quick decisions about reaching out to you for open positions.

Always include your software. We suggest that you include a master list of all the software you use on your landing page or profile as well as listing the software used for each artwork in their individual descriptions. Many job openings for Freelance CGI work are contingent on the software for the ease of file-sharing and the capabilities of the program.

You may have group projects in your portfolio citing multiple owners or artists from previous collaborations. This type of experienced cooperation is excellent to see. However, be sure to highlight your specific contributions to that work in its description such as 3D modeling, texture, animation, or lighting. This way, recruiters can easily see where your strengths are.

Make yourself reachable! Always add your professional email address to your portfolio.

Optimizing your marketing

As a freelancer, you are essentially your own business. As a business, you should market your services to the area of the industry in which you thrive. Familiarize yourself with the different business needs of the CGI industry; Product Visualization, Game Characters or Props, Environment Visualization, Architectural Visualization, Interior Design, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and more. Each of these disciplines require different studies, skills, styles, and passions. Whichever path you choose, be sure to use hashtags and keywords to highlight your artwork’s name, the software used, and your area of expertise.

A niche portfolio versus a diverse portfolio; which is best for you?

You may find that you have one very specific talent which outshines the rest, or that your expertise may cover multiple areas of the industry. Perhaps you studied Architecture at university, but discovered you had a talent for Environment Design or Product Visualization. Ask yourself the following questions about where you should market your talents:

How sharp are your techniques and how much practice do you have in each of these areas?

What variety of CGI software do you have access to?

And most importantly; what do you like to create?

It is perfectly fine to choose only one area of expertise and grow that as your specialty. In that case, the subject of your portfolio should primarily showcase that talent.

If you are proficient enough with your tools and techniques to create various artistic styles, be sure to keep your artwork well organized in your portfolio. Separate your artworks by style (ex: Product Visualizations, Virtual Reality Environments, Characters). This will make it easier for recruiters and project managers to navigate your portfolio.

Keep improving and keep updating

With continued practice, your artistic and technical skills improve. As that happens, you will find that some of the older works in your portfolio may look a little…uhh.. Outdated. Be sure to post your most recent works to highlight your growth. It is also a good idea to remove some of those older pieces to keep your portfolio looking current and confident.

Portfolio example images are courtesy of Catalin Besleaga, Andrei Lazar, and Filip Rumin. This article was brought together by the recruiting team at RenderThat Creatives.

World of Design

Kayla Tyree

Kayla is an HR professional working with RenderThat. Being a part of a global creative community is so rewarding for her. She sings silly songs as she works and she has a chubby cat named Betty.