DTC Students Have Their Portfolios Reviewed at the
2021 AIGA Portfolio Festival
In July 2021 two DTC Students, Paige McNamara-Pittler and Ciara Parkhurst, were given scholarships to participate in the 2021 American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) Portfolio Festival. On their site, AIGA describes the festival as a chance for: “…students, recent graduates, emerging designers, and those looking to refresh their portfolio. Focused on mentorship, collaboration, and learning, the Portfolio Festival features content from design practitioners, influencers, educators, and partners, who can help you tailor your portfolio to your next opportunity.” The 2021 festival was online, but both Paige and Ciara still found the experience interesting and engaging. Below they elaborate a little more on their personal experiences.
The 2021 AIGA Portfolio Festival was filled with insightful presentations and support for emerging students and seasoned professionals alike. Specifically, I had the pleasure of receiving constructive feedback from Oona Stern, VP Design Director at Nickelodeon. Her experience as a creative professional brought a refreshing perspective and critical perception to my constantly changing portfolio. Some memorable feedback relayed includes suggestions for enhancing my professional portfolio, such as scaling back on the number of works included in my portfolio. As we further discussed the portfolio, she mentioned that some works were more memorable than others because of their uniqueness and creativity. Often in visual communication, there are layouts and compositions that are mundane or predictable – she encouraged me to extend past the obvious or expected and take a project “as far as it can go.” Overall, Oona’s responses have propelled my design and visual communication comprehension, while also posing critical advice necessary for acquiring a positive future in the design community.
I recently had the privilege of attending the 2021 AIGA Portfolio Festival. As a designer, my portfolio is a very important part of my job application. During my time in college, I was able to create many pieces that demonstrate my design skills. At the AIGA portfolio festival, I was given support from professional designers, educators, and industry leaders to enhance my portfolio. The festival included a week-long series of keynote speakers. After each talk, there was the opportunity to have a live review of your portfolio. I found these sessions especially useful because I was able to get inspiration from other designers and learned about different critique processes. The best part of the festival was my private review session, where I was matched with a professional designer and given feedback on my portfolio. We discussed aspects such as page layouts, and the content that I should edit. In the session, we also worked on a new User Interface (UI) for my portfolio that will optimize the employer experience. Lastly, the reviewer and I also discussed how to create case studies for my UI/UX projects. Overall, the mentorship, feedback, and advice I have received on my portfolio has given me the confidence to apply for high-level jobs.