As a 3D rendering artist, your portfolio is your lifeblood. Here’s how to get the most out of the digital projection of your working self.
There are few things more important to the continued success of any artist, designer, or creator is their portfolio - a curated collection of previous work that not only showcases their technical talent, but their ability to handle projects that vary in scope and size. For 3D rendering and visualization artists, this is especially true. In most cases when looking for new work all the prospective client has to go on is the side by side work of a handful of artists they are potentially willing to hire. You better make sure your work is good enough to point them in the direction of dialing your number, or you might find yourself struggling to pull in new work down the line.
This article aims to outline a few things you can do to make your portfolio stand out among the sea of others, and why it is so important to sell yourself not only on the art you are capable of producing, but on the stories you tell and the person you are. These tips should help you craft a portfolio experience that is more than just a handful of pretty pictures.
Here are 5 tips for a better 3D artist portfolio.
1 | The Story of You
Clients may not know this, but when they set out to hire 3D visualization or rendering help, they are looking for the person behind the work just as much as they are looking for the work itself. There is immense value to presenting yourself as someone who is not only talented, but easy to work with and gets their work done on time. Personality matters, and when you are relying on an online, digital portfolio to sell yourself as a designer and a person, it can be incredibly tricky to let that shine through.
This is where the development of your personal website comes in. If you haven’t invested the time and resources into building a clean, straightforward, and unique online presence, the time to start is now. This is the best place to build a bit of whimsical storytelling into your personal brand, and can go a long way to making you stand out as an artist. Yes, your portfolio should showcase your ability as an artist, but it should also allow clients to connect to you on a deeper level. This will help establish trust before you even walk in the door.
2 | Put Your Best Foot Forward
Even if you only have a small handful of renderings or animations to showcase in your portfolio, you should still be incredibly critical in which ones you are presenting to the viewing public. The worst way to look for new work is to take the ‘quantity over quality’ approach to your portfolio. Clients or architecture firms will be turned off by work they see as substandard, even if it is something you produced in your first year of design school. Scrap it. Edit your collection as if you were curating your own personal museum.
Eventually, you will have a big enough body of work to help fill in the gaps you might have previously had. That’s great, but be sure to continue to edit your work down even as you become more successful. You should have no more than twenty or thirty projects to show people and they should be of the absolute highest quality. This will help you garner better work from better paying clients.
3 | Visibility is Key
What good is all that beautiful work you’ve done if nobody sees it? The ability to get as many eyes on your portfolio as possible will ensure you’ll never be going long stretches without being tapped for new work. This starts with your personal portfolio website, and should branch out to other freelance job finding services like Easy Render to increase your chances of people running into your work. If you do have a personal website, you should consider some a weekly blog that helps boost your SEO ranking and drives traffic to your website. This blog can also help establish your brand and tell your story (as we mentioned above).
There are a variety of places you can get your work presented on the web. You might even considering contacting other, more well established blogs to have them write about your work. There should be a couple of hours you square away every week on self-promotion, press, and brand development if you want to keep your work fresh and your voice heard.
4 | Variety: The Spice of Life
If might be hard when starting out to present enough good work to show a wide range of rendering skills. However, once you have a bit of work under your belt, it is important to showcase work that comes from a few different sub-industries of design and visualization. This can also help you organize your portfolio, and start categorizing different jobs by the type of work you did, or even the process you used to create the finished product. It’s up to you how best to approach this organization, but by breaking things up you’ll sell yourself to prospective clients based on your ability to handle a variety of project types.
And if you only have experience doing architectural exteriors, find a different way to sub-categorize that work anyway. If you’re portfolio is presenting as a one-trick pony, clients will scare away if their project needs don’t align exactly with what you’ve worked on previously. By mixing it up a bit you are, at the very least, creating the illusion that you’re work experience is more vast than it might initially seem.