No classes today, but I spent most of the day downtown talking with students at the Cleveland AIGA Student Portfolio Review. I've done this for many years now, and always enjoy seeing new faces and new work.
The fact that I'm teaching a Portfolio Preparation class myself makes it almost too close to home. I found myself saying the same things that I tell my own students. The issues aren't all that different whether you're from Cleveland State, Kent, or Tri-C.
Why did you choose that color? Why that typeface? Pay attention to kerning! Look at that typo!
I talked with about ten students and only two really stood out: a Kent student who obviously loves doing handmade books, hand-lettering, really thoughtful and beautiful things. Her work was heads and shoulders above the rest, but she seemed discouraged that she's not had much success finding an internship. I think the issue is that what she does is beautiful but not terribly commercial. I hope she's patient enough to keep looking for the right situation where her talents can be put to use.
The other student that I remember clearly is an older Tri-C student whose work was visually not terribly polished, but was based on better-than-average ideas. Younger students often produce work that is slick on the surface but with little meaning behind it. Combining these two is what we should be shooting for.
He would have been 94 but died nearly a year ago, on April 3, 2006.
This photo of him as a young man with the foreboding shadow behind kind of gives me the creeps. I never paid much attention to the shadow until after his death, and now it seems to dominate the picture.