The Importance Of Your Portfolio & Past Work
There is a common saying among freelancers of all kinds, whether you’re an artist, musician or a writer - 'You’re only as good as your last gig.' Humans tend to get bored very easily and the way people feel about your work is no different. So why is it important to have quality work in your portfolio (no matter what industry), if indeed people do get so bored? Why go through the effort or better still, why build a portfolio at all? If my past work becomes boring to some, whats the point? The obvious answer might be that it gets you hired and that if you show good work this will bring stability in your life.
Although these statements are accurate there is a little more to it than that. We as freelancers are always caught up in making money because we have this underlining mentality of 'This is a job and I have to treat it as such' and even though this is also nothing but the truth, we forget about certain things like - the reason why we started designing (or whatever it is you do), the feeling in your gut that you created something beautiful and/or unique. We forget that we became freelancers because we desired to love life more, smile more and create an overall lifestyle that suits our dreams well. So in the midst of all that, we become so afraid to lose the lifestyle that our quality and love for the craft suffers dearly. Which leads to, you guessed it - a portfolio you aren’t so stoked on anymore.
I always tell anyone I meet and majority of people agree when I say - only add things to your portfolio you’re truly proud of. The reason for that is, if you treat freelancing like another day at the office, that's exactly what it will be and you’ll become numb to the fact that your job is to create beauty and not 'just stuff people need.' Now does that mean you can’t create stuff people need? NO. Do that too but don’t add it to your portfolio if you’re not stoked on it. If you have a portfolio with everything you’re immensely proud of, then chances are you’ll meet people/clients who share the same values as you do. Which in term, leads to you being happy, having a great life and being in love with your job - which is the fucking reason you started in the first place.
Your portfolio should be who you really are and not what you think clients want you to be. Leave that at the office where it belongs, it's got no place in your world. Your portfolio is your 'creative tinder profile.' If you write that you love to Netflix & Chill, you’ll probably meet someone who does too and that will 100% put a smile on your face. Quality lasts forever and nobody can ever fault you for that and in 5-10 years time, you want to look back and think 'Damn I did great work' and not 'Wow, I don’t even like this anymore.' Sometimes it pays off to be a little rock n roll, so if you haven’t got enough work to show in your portfolio? No bother, just create something you love and it might not be instantly but the right tribe will find you and you’ll find them.
Words: John Bresciani
Copyright © 2018 Judy Is Punk ® All Rights Reserved.