On the evening of March 9th, an outstanding number of young designers, illustrators, and web creators came out to have their portfolios reviewed. Volta Labs in downtown Halifax was filled to the brim with students, recent grads and young creative professionals looking for a variety of feedback on their work. It was a busy and satisfying event for everyone.
Our Reviewers: a perfect representation of the larger creative community
The event is nothing without the generous mentorship of our industry reviewers. These were a powerhouse mix of professionals from agencies, design studios and business development programs. A well rounded and diverse set of voices is key to getting maximum feedback. Our reviewers were:
- Meghan Fildes, designer at Breakhouse
- Danielle Autran, art director at Breakhouse
- Nick Woodmen, mobile and UX designer at MindSea
- Jessica Doiron, designer at Kula Partners
- Melinda Stanley, illustrator and designer
- Charlene Boyce, communications officer of SMU Sobey’s School of Business
- Jason Turner, community manager at The Spark Zone
- Alison Knott (panel participant), designer Eraserheader Design
The Panel Discussion: a treasure trove of information
After the presentation, four panelists from the reviewer group engaged in the topic ‘What it takes in a portfolio to land an interview’. Lead by moderator Liz Mac, the panel was an informative conversation. Some takeaways were:
- In your portfolio, focus on what you love and play to your strengths.
- Get to know companies before applying so you can make sure you’re a good fit and will send appropriate portfolio pieces. Following their social media is a great example.
- Make your application and cover letter creative because if they are not, you have already lost the opportunity to impress and stand out.
Reviewing: more than just talking presentation
After the panel Q and A, it was one-on-one time with our reviewers. Sessions were held in 10 minute intervals to go over portfolio pieces and get valuable feedback. Often conversations lead to questions attendees asked reviewers about the job market, personal struggles in the industry and other topics perfect for this intimate setting.
This experience is nerve racking. It can make participants feel vulnerable to have their work and career expectations laid out for critique, but the rewards outweigh the jitters. From the feedback of pieces that need more work or better explanations arises stronger and more rounded pieces. Pieces that land dream agency, animation studio, or client jobs. Pieces that help a young creative send a clear message to perspective employers about their intent, skills and goals.
While people were getting their work reviewed by our panel of reviewers, small groups of peer reviews were happening constantly. It was so exciting to see people come together and look at each other’s work and offer suggestions and critique. You could see the passion for their work and the motivation to make it better happening on the spot.
Goodies of all sorts
Participants of the E3C Portfolio Review 4 were also treated to free food and wine. Not to mention the coveted door prize: a one year Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, donated by Portfolio Review Night sponsor Behance. Melissa, a current NSCAD student, was the lucky winner!
The evening was a successful night and E3C was brimming with pride to be able to bring so many people together for a positive experience. The best of luck goes out to all attendees in all their career paths. We look forward to see you at Portfolio Review Night 5!
Photos by Crystal Picard and Alison Knott. A warm thanks to Behance Network for spearheading the Portfolio Night movement, Volta Labs for being an amazing venue space and to Tara and Rob on E3C steering for helping with the event.