by Francie King

Portfolio Reviews: Best Practices with Mike Morris

Applying for a professional art, illustration or animation gig? You're going to want to polish that portfolio. Preparing a body of work to show a potential employer can seem daunting, but Mike Morris demystifies the process drawing from a career working as a storyboard artist on The Simpsons, at Disney TVA and more.

Read Mike's key points and watch our full Google+ Hangout with the artist below:

Be yourself.
Focus on that which sets you apart, and that you enjoy doing. Let your personality and strengthsshine through by having a distinct style that’s uniquely your own. Style and quality of work willtrump knowledge of programs.

Put your best foot forward.
Begin with the end in mind and showcase only your best work. One portfolio doesn’t fit  all, andshouldn’t show all that you can do. Use your online presence to expand upon certain skills orstyles. Do your research and become a company expert before you apply to a position. Curate your portfolio so it’s at it most concentrated state. Show breadth and depth in your skill-set.

Make friends.
Spend time with other creatives, and ask their opinion of your work. Don’t just work on your online presence; work on your in-person presence as well.  Be where the action is! Attend events. Let people find you by providing easy access to your online portfolio and social channels(and keep them clean for goodness sakes). Don’t be a jerk, because the creative world is small and word travels fast.

Learn as much as you can.
Utilize free online tutorials to learn new skills. Attend conferences and don’t just meet and greet but learn by taking advantage of unprecedented access to experts. Discover new skills to add to your toolbox by developing relationships. Don’t get offended when people offer criticism –gain from it.