How to build a portfolio?!

Hello all,

as a student who is 100% determined to start a career in advertising i started a "agency" with 2 friends. Basically we do some webdesign stuff, graphic design on the side while tryng to make fictional ads to build a portfolio. We do this to try and get a real assignment in advertising and if our agency fails, we still have a great portfolio to apply at an agency.

But heres the thing. I can draw "semi-good" (im no artist by any means, but i can visualise whats in my mind good). But the problem is, when we actually start working on an ad in photoshop (as our 3D skills arent good enough atm to combine with PS) the major problem always is...footage.

Every idea we have is basically impossible for us to do since we do not have the budget as students to buy or make footage to use.

For example:

recently i was working on an ad where i needed a foto of a bar (ofc in the exact pov as i drawn, including how the bar looks), with 2 guys sitting there, and a classic bartender.

- I dont know a bar like this
- People ask for money so as a student thats not really possible
- the quality of the photo will be...meh (we dont have top quality equipment)
- and searching google/stock websites for images for 3 weeks resulted in nothing

So my question is, when you didnt work for an agency and you had something in mind. How did you final the ad? where did you get footage? Did you draw it with sick photoshop skills? combine 3d? searched stocks?

Would love some input as we feel stuck!

15 comments

Shawali's picture
Shawali
8429 pencils

To avoid all this "finding the right image" conundrum, I usually resort to what I called "advanced sketching": not a top notch illustration (which would be unable to do) but better than a simple hand drawn drawing. This way, you have no limits to your imagination and it makes your ads look relatively good without the use of shitty images from the web.

That being said, you'll find a lot of great student ads with near perfect art direction. There's always a way.

No one cares about child labor, eye donation or saving the Earth: NO PSA!!! http://adsoftheworld.com/forum/135094

certaintly's picture
certaintly
4056 pencils

flickr.com and digital art videos on youtube.

there are some really great videos that show you the entire digital art process with voiceovers/explanations.

so if you have a knowledge of art and know photoshop, what you can do is endless.

it takes time though. once you stop thinking of photoshop as a quick solve, and put genuine time into your work, it should come out well.

certaintly's picture
certaintly
4056 pencils

check out this guy's videos. i found them extremely helpful.

http://www.youtube.com/user/FZDSCHOOL

Rezyuz's picture
Rezyuz
47 pencils

Thanks for the comments guys!

Working on an ad for a food delivery company, will post it later on in the ex section :D

bakamono's picture
bakamono
1004 pencils

I have the same problem I can see it in my head but I can't put it together in Photoshop and if I try and get it done by the time its finished the image is very different from what imagined.

I spoke to few Agency people (by that I mean unfortunate souls who were willing to look at my craporama book and give me genuine feedback). Anyways these creatives told me the best thing is

A. Find artist to work with, its hard but some people can draw but cant think and like you struggling and looking for partners.

B. Sketch

C. Find art style you both comfortable with and build your entire book using this art style.

because therefore it is

certaintly's picture
certaintly
4056 pencils

i disagree strongly with C. I think that if you use the same art style throughout your book, it could be interpreted as an inability to conceptualize based on each individual brand/product.

For example, a certain brand, execution, or concept may merit an illustration while another one may merit realistic photography

bakamono's picture
bakamono
1004 pencils

then take a photograph

because therefore it is

certaintly's picture
certaintly
4056 pencils

that was a broad example.

even illustrations and photographs can vary greatly in style

Shawali's picture
Shawali
8429 pencils

I forgot to give that link, it's a great way too find some good pictures : http://compfight.com/

No one cares about child labor, eye donation or saving the Earth: NO PSA!!! http://adsoftheworld.com/forum/135094

Rezyuz's picture
Rezyuz
47 pencils

Wow this is a great search engine! Thanks shawali!

mattndan's picture
mattndan
953 pencils

Always always sketch / scamp, you'll never be let down or waste hours trying to find the right image.

Hippo on the moon? 15 minutes sketch or a day looking on the internet for images.

Trace and re-trace to combine different elements if you're not brilliant at sketching.

Rezyuz's picture
Rezyuz
47 pencils

i always sketch, but when i like the sketch i still need the footage to realise it. Having the issue atm with me sketching out a scene in a jail, with a guy sitting on a chair. Looking from the side.

Searched for jails, guys on chairs etc. But none even comes close the idea i have. Thats the problem im having. I assume in reality it goes like -> sketch -> we like it! -> budget -> photoshoot.

bakamono's picture
bakamono
1004 pencils

Look at MADD AD jail friends. Might help you or give u an idea. You can always do spec work.

because therefore it is

MindDrift's picture
MindDrift
1141 pencils

I wouldn't recommend spending hours on Youtube learning digital art. That's really a waste of time. Unless your aim is to become a digital artist.

Shawali's picture
Shawali
8429 pencils

Well, you can learn some pretty cool stuff on YouTube, but it won't teach you creativity.

No one cares about child labor, eye donation or saving the Earth: NO PSA!!! http://adsoftheworld.com/forum/135094

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