Tips on portfolio building when coming from a non-design background


Personal fluff

Ok so I studied business and absolutely hated the crap out of it. I feel like it was a waste of a degree -however- I taught myself how to use Rhino, Vray, Grasshopper, Adobe Suite.. etc. I taught myself these skills on the side and I started designing products.  Now, every job or gig I receive comes from my 3D skills and, again, my 4-year business degree hardly helped me. The degree only taught me how much I love designing shit. 

I made an architecture portfolio during my business degree and at the same period I started learning Rhino. This was around 3 years ago, and since then, my intuition for design became much much better. (The work on my site is mostly very shitty compared to what I know I am capable of -especially the architecture page: But, again, the architecture work is mostly from years ago. 

I have beautiful ideas in my head- the sort of things I dream about when Im in bed. And, although my work sucks, it was all a fantastic learning curve. I know Rhino cold, I have a better intuition for design, and I see progress since the days I was modelling buildings during Accounting class. If someone gave me a solid year to work on whatever the fuck I wanted, I would create an amazing portfolio. The issue is that I am an adult -soon a married one. Where can I find a year? Most of the jobs that I have had did not yield anything I could put on my portfolio or website. I created renderings for a watercooler company. I worked for an interior designer to render his designs. I can’t put those designs on my portfolio…

I want to get into a decent graduate school to further build my skills, my resume, to network and to build my portfolio. But you need a great portfolio in order to get into these programs in the first place. 

Main question

The question is, where will the content of my portfolio come from? My business degree did not give me anything. My work experiences didn’t either. The only way I could build up my portfolio would be if I found the time to work on some very elective personal projects. But is this ever done? Is it responsible? How would schools view these random projects? Has anyone created a successful portfolio coming from a non-design background? How did you do it? We live in a society where you are either working or studying.

Thanks all

Oct 23, 20 9:56 pm
Wood Guy

You could take some design, art and/or architecture classes at a local community college.

I went to an excellent school for undergrad but didn't study architecture. When I started thinking about going back for grad school, an advisor recommended the community college approach as a way to build up a portfolio. I had been working as a residential designer so I had house designs to show, but a good grad school wants more than that. I ended up not even getting through two classes at the community college before life issues got in the way, and I never made it to grad school. But it still seems like a viable approach. It takes time and money, but what doesn't.

Oct 24, 20 10:29 am  · 
1  · 

Block this user

Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: