It is that time of year where we are looking at our promotional material, websites, business cards, letter heads, self promotional postcards and such like – and it seems like an added stress that we could all probably do without at the moment, with all the other work we have on –

However – there is no point in training in a profession and learning how to produce great work if you don’t know how to promote yourself to get the work and end up penniless is there? All would seem a bit of a waste of time to say the least!

So, for me, it is a little difficult as i aim to work in 2 areas, not just the one, so this can cause problems with business cards ( where i have realised i need to have 2 designs, one for the children’s illustration and books and one for the repeat pattern design) where as i can only have one letterhead, that needs to incorporate both….etc

I am at the moment working on a brand name for the design aspect that is created from using both my boys names, and i have asked for feedback from some people who find it quite catchy and rememorable so that is a good start!

I have also sat and watched the you tube video below from a guy who is a games designer for ‘naughty dogs’, and although a lot of it isnt’t relevant to me as it is about game design, some of the basics held some really good instruction abotu how to promote yourself through a portfolio site, and then how to get work from the site and how to promote the site itself.

It was interesting what he said about resume’s (C.V’s to us that is) about how your past experience should not be in it if it isnt relevant and also about the amount of time people will spend reading them before they discard them – so in other words GET TO THE POINT!!… i think that most of the time we need to lay things out for people and spell it out for them nice and clearly if we want to keep their attention! So a lot of my rpevious life will be deleted from the CV, but i think i will keep in the fact that i am a trained Teacher and Trainer and work in the field of Personal Development as i have been using this alongside the illustration i have been doing in the children’s workshops and the books that i write all have a strong Personal Development theme as well – so this bit of past experience is necessary as it shows what sort of person i am and what my work ethic is – the fact that i am also a Holistic Therapist and ex salon owner of 15  years, is not so relevant anymore!

I really do believe in the power of first impressions and when it comes to websites i am aware of how quickly people will click off a site, so the home page of the portfolio is very important, I was thinking about putting some animation on the home page that activated when you scrolled over an image, but i am now thinking of putting animation on it that is constantly working, in order to get the reader’s attention.

It is also important to guide the reader through step by step, and not to put too many words and info on as they can always ask you these questions once they have fallen in love with your work. Just recently a colleague asked me to look at his site and although he is a very well-informed guy the site was dreadful and i just wanted to click off it straight away, the reason being that there was just way too much written info on there, it was if he was trying to teach people how to do what he did – and i just don’t think that is what the website was supposed to be. The colours used were also dull, the font size was the same all the way through, and there was very little images used to capture the imagination.

Looking at other people’s sites is very beneficial if we make a note of what inspires us and why, and which sites we find hard to read and navigate, and then apply this learning to our own sites as well.

The next step for me now is to complete the design and animation for the home page and to get started!!!