My old student portfolio for Visual Development (Character Design) based on “Wicked”
Because I often receive questions about portfolios, I thought, well, maybe it would be helpful for some to share my own personal experience accompanied by some visuals. Namely, my own portfolio I submitted to transition from the Animation department to the Visual Development department of Disney Feature Animation.
Now one thing that I will mention here as a disclaimer, and something that will probably be reiterated through out this post is that this is only my personal experience, and there is definitely not any sort of “formula” to make a portfolio for the Disney’s Vis dev. Portfolios that look nothing like this, share no common element, is just as likely to get you into the vis dev department. The acceptance is made by a committee of people, and not just one person’s personal taste or criteria.
Way back in the summer of 2007, I was an artistic intern at Disney. (Mainly 2D character animation, but also some story and vis-dev on the side.)
I was having lunch with one of our mentors at that time, Claire Keane, in which she gave us some advice on structuring a visual development portfolio.
One of her suggestions that stuck to me was to take one story, and dedicate the entire portfolio to it, as if you were developing that into a feature film.
This idea sounded good to me, because it made sense. It’s a semi-simulation of the kind of things you would be doing as a professional artist at Disney anyway, (which gives the reviewers a much better, reliable idea of how you would perform as a contributor) but it also gives the spectator a slightly more immersive viewing experience, as they are taken through one continuous story, with characters they understand, rather than having to adjust to brand new content with the turn of each page.
The many times I have reviewed portfolios, I have also found it a slight handicap to have to ask the artist, “Now, what is this thing from?” 4 or 5 times in one portfolio.
So in 2008, while I was working on Princess and the Frog, (still as a full time student at Calarts), I started on this visual development portfolio. I chose my story to be Wicked, the musical, which I am sure many of you are familiar with.
Now one thing before I elaborate further…
If I thought sharing with you my Frozen artwork was uneasy, showing this portfolio (which is my student portfolio from many years ago)… I honestly cannot shake the embarrassment.
But, as Tarkovsky once said, artists are there to serve.. And for one thing, after years of deciding never to show this portfolio on a public platform, I came to the conclusion of this; that it was always rather difficult talking about the type of portfolio that gets you into the doors of the animation industry, and because portfolios are so visual, visual accompaniment just makes more sense.
And for another, I always liked to see other artist’s various stages of development. Obviously nothing here represents me currently, but more shows where I used to be in the past.
When I look back at this portfolio, obviously I see so many flaws in terms of draftsmanship, design choices, character choices, taste etc, and I want to fix them all. But again, the purpose of this post isn’t to show who I am as an artist right now, but to dig up my past and say “Well this is how it happened for me in the past.”
Here is part 1 of the portfolio. I know for some it may be frustrating to have this divided into 2, but the nature of tumblr posts seem to want things kept short. So I’ll try and post part 2 of the portfolio as soon as possible. I want to say within the next day or two, but there’s just never knowing with when I’ll get another free moment.
I think what is probably most important to show in your portfolio is a strong draftsmanship, a good taste in design choices, and a special intuition for characterization.(I’m speaking for my own criteria when I review portfolios, and I don’t claim to represent anyone else’s.)
As you can see I also tried to pay attention to the presentation of the portfolio, which is why I tried to design the layout of it with the theme of “drawer of a Shiz student”.
I’ll probably try to address some of those things that I mentioned in future posts perhaps.
I hope this old student portfolio of mine gave you a better idea on who to shape your own. One thing I would recommend is to not copy exactly the method I used to form a portfolio, but see it more as a solution that will hopefully help you come up with your own solution on how to structure a portfolio.
Next up is Part 2, with some development designs of Fiyero, the Wizard, the Flying monkeys etc
all 46 excuses on my friends wall,
1. i was just really, really early for tomorrow
2. we can’t all be usain bolt
3. in this day and age, we shouldn’t need labels like “late”
4. i had pe first period do you blame me
5. i really, really didn’t want to sing
6. my brother thought it would be hilarious to drop me outside the prison gates
7. you can’t tell me how to live my life
9. my legs fell off and i had to roll all the way to the emergency clinic
10. there was a freak yachting accident
11. i am a fucking retard
12. this is just for my wall
13. do you even read these
14. “it does not matter how slow you go, so long as you do not stop”
15. i spent my entire night writing tom daley fanfiction
16. my father left my mother for an air hostess seven years ago do you expect me to get over that emotional trauma overnight
17. sarah palin and i got into a twitter war and i couldn’t leave and let her win
18. traffic jammy jammy jam
19. how can i go to school when alex turner
20. my sim was having an emotional meltdown and i needed to be there for her
21. i was sticking it to the man
22. i spent my entire night worrying if i would ever lose my virginity
23. fifty shades of late; i was walking and then i caught the eye of an attractive member of the opposite sex and we began exchanging significant looks and i knew we would one day make sweet love so i just walked alongside him and tried to catch his eye and to be continued
24. part two he was playing hard to get so we walked and walked and he had the perfect hair colour it was sort of beige brown anyway it turned out he was walking to a bus stop so obviously i had to catch the bus because true love and silently we rode out to papakura and into the sunset
25. my meth lab caught fire
26. my bed is more comfortable than your school will ever be
27. i was sad
28. it was a nice day, so i walked leisurely
29. i had beat my younger brother for saying “swag”
30. i had to travel back to the 1950’s to ensure my birth
31. 2 kool 4 scool
32. i had to stop, collaborate and listen
33. i tried
34. i’m sorry i’m late
it’s not my fault
my auntie was killed
and i joined a cult
35. a haiku about lateness:
late late late late late
late late late late late late late
late late late late late
36. my best friend was telling me how to give a satisfactory blow job i wish i was joking
37. i was fashionably late
38. i was caught in a flash mob true story omfg
39. i did not choose the late life, the late life chose me
45. i was fighting al qaeda
YESSSS IT’S ON MY DASHBOARD AGAIN
the post that doesn’t age
Johanna does not have time for this Hunger Games nonsense
she’s just one of those contestants who is constantly having her mouth, hands, and other parts blurred out on television.
I do too.
If you don’t need Wilfred Mott with antlers on your blog then I don’t know what you’re doing with your life.
i woke up to my mom yelling “WE’VE GOT AN UGLY ASS CHRISTMAS TREE, WITH SOME GAY GUY ON THE TOP” and i
|Song: CONGRATS YOU DID IT|
|Played: 113,934 times.|
Jerk of the whole fuckin milenia
This is the best picture of my dog ever taken
Dumb little iPhone doodle
I AM FREAKING OUT
WHAT? You’re so lucky!!!! Congratulations, dude!!!!! ~ UwU
|Played: 53,024 times.|
Every Supernatural fan tonight.
If I had a sonic screwdriver
I would give it a setting that goes ding
it would be a sonic screwdriver that dings