I'm hoping to get some feedback from people who have experience showing their concept flatbooks/portfolios to employers, and from any professionals who have some wisdom to share as well.
First of all, a concept artist's portfolio is called a flatbook, right? How is a flatbook different from a portfolio, and what's in it? I've heard from different sources that you should have everything from characters to props and environments, and other sources just say pick a focus and stick to it, but I would have thought concept art in general WAS a focus in and of itself...
Secondly, the flatbook's presentation. How important is the outside look of it? I'm about to graduate school and will need to have my final flatbook bound eventually, and my professor suggested strongly a screwpost portfolio, like a nice aluminum or acrylic one, but they're over $100 for the size I need and depending on where I get them. Granted, I know the presentation's worthless if the work inside of it isn't worth the employer's time, but assuming my work is good or even great, would a screwpost book be worth the money? Or should I just go for a nice flat leather book? Or even just going to Office Max and getting it all spiral bound?*
I'd really like some thoughts and opinions from people more in the know How have those of you with industry experience presented your stuff? Employers, what do you like to see and how much do you care?
*I'm referring to the personal flatbook I keep with me when meeting employers face to face, aside from smaller sized portfolios I send out in the mail.
im not really into conceptart portfolios, but i'd suggest at least dont bind it! makes sure that you can add and remove stuff whenever you like, because i think, especially when you're young, new and learning a lot you want to adjust it regularly!
I carried the pieces loosely in a black case. Each piece was mounted to exactly the same size black photo board (a little bigger than letter size).
The interviewer was able to look at the pieces individually or spread them all out on the table and look at them all at once. There was also more than one interviewer at the table so it helped and made it it a lot easier for them all to look at the portfolio at once rather than crowding around a bound book.
They pulled out the pieces that they liked and were most relevant to them, setting them aside to talk about those as one grouping and lengthening the interview.
I got both jobs I applied for this way. Somehow whenever I handed an interviewer a book prior to that it was just... more awkward. So an art director I took art lessons from in highschool taught me the above method.
This approach only works for sit-down interviews though. I went with the book when the art director only has a few moments to look at the work or when I was lining up with other students to get my turn and the art director or artist was standing. In that circumstance loose pieces would be bad
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I don't know about conceptart portfolios specifically, but I've always liked drop-sleeve portfolios - the kind with plastic sleeves you can just drop pages into. That way I can change the pages constantly, and mix-and-match custom portfolios for each client... Some drop-sleeve portfolios look quite nice, with decent leather covers and all that.
Thanks for the input! I definitely like drop-sleeve portfolios best, the content is easily changeable. Has anyone ever gotten something like a custom etched, branded, or engraved portfolio cover? http://www.kloagency.com/#/portfolio/4530527781 has some examples when I googled it. It seems like a nice if not expensive (perhaps even overkill?) way to stand out.