Portfolio Review: Craig Oldham

My first portfolio review was on Thursday at design agency Music over in the NQ. Before the meeting with Craig Oldham I was really anxious and constantly questioning my own practice and whether my portfolio was right, but I suppose there was to be no right answer. Previous to the meeting we were asked to email Craig, approaching him to give us the opportunity to have a review with him. Even though the sessions were guaranteed the way in which we approached was to be included in part of our feedback, in my email I talked about being familiarised with the work done at Music mentioning a particular piece. I felt that it was important to show I knew who I was approaching and their place within the industry. Craig metioned it was important to be personal on the email, including the actual name of the recipitant rather than just sir/madam. I had also made the right decision in attaching my C.V and few images of my work. Receiving positive feedback on my approach put me at ease and the rest of the review was an enjoyable and inspiring experience.

There were four of us in the review, each showing a totally different portfolio's and own methods of working which illustrated the establishment of our own developing practices. It was an insightful experience hearing how others presented their work and Craig's responses and feedback especially because throughout the year we have rarely seen the work of others on the course.

I had recently purchased a new portfolio, I had to because it had purple suede lining and I was excited to be able to show it off! I had kept the pages of my book quite simplistic and the images quite large although I feel it might need refining before we have to display it at the degree show. When it came to talking through my work, there were certain points when I just wasn't able to communicate what I actually wanted to say about the pieces, in particular my response to the brief, '100.' I had no specific reason why I chose to hand cut 100 ways to say hello on 100 postcards, other than because I wanted to. Immediately Craig told me if I didn't like a project and couldn't discuss my reasons behind it, then it simply shouldn't be in my portfolio, a very valuable piece of advice which I will take with me when assembling my portfolio to take to interviews. All in all, the feedback I received was positive and Craig pointed out my portfolio was illustratively strong with evidence of my training in design. It was pleasing to hear someone in industry hi light the areas of my work he felt were strong and the process in which I worked, providing me with some confidence to continue working in a way I choose and to stop doubting my own practice so much.

Sometimes it can be hard when your on a design course being up against some very talented graphic designers who work predominately with digital media, especially when your like me, and all about the hand-made and hand rendered techniques. I was really pleased I attended the session, I had many reservations surrounding the work I have produced up to now, but talking to Craig has reassured me that just because I do not have a graphically strong portfolio, it is still strong in other area's which will hopefully allow me to withstand a position within the industry.

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