advice on preparing a portfolio

maybe i am misunderstanding, but if they are asking for 5 images of your field of interest, and you field of interest is footwear, then I would think that you just answered your own question? I dont think that you should show appliances if this is the case…

I believe when they say field of interest they mean choice of major, in my case it’s product design.

Thanks anyway though,

I just called admissions and it’s your strongest pieces regardless of product, if it’s shoes then so be it but it’s good to show diversity.

I asked here because this morning it was a real pain getting to talk to a person. Thanks again Bbarn.

This is for entrance into the product design program in general, so I would show some variety at this point, you can easily narrow your focus once you’re in the door. If this means creating a ton of new work, it may be a little more risky of an endeavor.

I know you mentioned involvement with Urban clothing, etc in other posts, any chance you have anything there that could translate to product design?

yeah for entrance you definitely need to show some variety. Two weeks is not much time though. Hopefully you have a majority of this completed and you are trying to narrow down your work.
When it comes to picking one interest over another, go with what is a stronger piece. I would much rather see something that was done well, over something thats different but doesn’t show your talents to your full potential.

I have my patent and related product for an elongated recreational carrying device. (the USPTO accepted name for a personalized snow board carrier).

Sample (I made) of my patent pending children’s shoe lacing and shoe identification invention

Drawings of this patent pending device. The prototype is in Hong Kong at the moment though:

I have backpack concepts that I have prototyped (hard samples I have sewn)

Clothing as the day is long but this school does not address fashion.

I have models “scaled balsa wood” of complicated cnc’d seating systems that slot together, with pictures of the actual product.

Drawings of sim racing steering wheels and pedals.

Then concept drawings by the box loads.

The designs I have been producing for here for the last week or two.

I have no problem producing more or new items but is it needed?
Should the portfolio have stories for each design with images of how I came to the final product?

Should it be presented as if I am selling a product with just the item and definitions of what it is?

Sorry to seem dense but at this point in time I guess I am a little bit on this project.

Thanks for taking the time to respond you guys it is already helping me.

Hey Guys,

Here is a sample of my work.
ECRU was a brand I was going to launch but decided to hold off while I completed a construction project with my home…took me all summer, but I was fit as a fiddle :wink:

There is quite a bit going there so I’ll let you just take a look at it. All of the real products I made. I don’t think it’s correct for me to add items that have been manufactured by a manufacturer to the portfolio. What do you think?


Here are the shoes I have created and posted within the last couple of weeks.
All of these items have some unique design element.

I am going to go out on a limb and say that you’re in great shape for an entrance portfolio.

anybody else got an opinion??

I would concentrate on getting it all in a nice/neat presentation format to allow you to really tell the story for each project. You probably don’t need that (full story and process) at this point (for every project), but use it where you have it and it should help you stand out.

good luck


Thanks for the input. Actually every item has a story that can be elaborated on but it’s probably best to keep it tight. I’m sure the reviewer has seen a bunch of items with big stories behind them. I might make a flip cartoon book of how the bag proportions came to be, that would give them something to interact with and it will tell the story nicely.

–I was sitting outside my studio when a little kid went zooming by me on bike, skidz the brakes and jump off then runs into the store.

After a few moments he comes running out with a 2litre bottle of soda in a plastic bag, you know the bag type… the generic one with the two holes on the side that every store has. Brilliant design by the way.

He then throws one arm through a hole then his other, the soda bottle laid horizontally along the bottom of the bag and hit him at hip level. He then bent over… “bag staying on his back at hip level not even moving” and picked up his bike. He then shot off like a rocket all the while he was peddling out of sight the bottle stayed put with minimal movement.

If you look at all of my bags you’ll see what I am saying and the influence of that fateful day.

That would translate to a flip book easily… I’ll build a tester and make an animated gif. It will be stick like figure but it will be cool I think…

We’ll see.


I was thinking that I really don’t want to show brands that I am not involved with, this is a main reason I rarely apply an existing brand to my drawings. I try to design items that are not updates to pre-existing proprietary product but come from an inventive new perspective point of view, some time I get it correct and sometime I miss the mark but I can never be accused of plagiarizing anyones work.

So I had to analize what could be a hypothetical brand that I could develop through my educational career and it hit.


This stands for… man (me) Technically Inspired Shoes.

I also think it will be good to show my process of creating a brand for the portfolio.

Phase one:

**I do not own the rights to this name nor am I commercially marketing this brand… damn disclosures. :slight_smile:

Phase Two:

Phase three:
Starting to do first concepts for the sections.
I will vector these after I get all three ideas (concepts) worked out.

Latrodectus mactans:

Ogryis ianthus:

Morphing from a low to the ground get it done profile to taking flight.
Although interchangable heels are not unique I feel that this execution is spot on for the reference point… One more to do…

Sagra papuana:


The color I sketched here is not the final color choice but I started the layer with red and just went with it.

Now that these have been identified I’m going to work on the (5) life draw what you see type pieces.
I have some life drawings I did so I’ll post a few and see what you think.

Thanks for taking a look,
By the way, I love these scientific names :slight_smile:

Here are some drawings from a live session I attended a few weeks back.

Also there is an image of a paper rose I made using:

Petals- tissue gift packing paper
Stem- a paper handle from a gift bag
leaves of the stem- copy paper
gift wrapping tape.


Today I am going to concentrate on the portfolio case itself. Here is the drawing. This is my first sketch but I thinks it’s damn close to what I want.

After I complete the final drawings of this item I think I need to explore creating an “ideation” page for something. I have been going through my drawings and I am realizing that as in the portfolio drawing I rarely search for what I want to design on paper. I don’t think this is due to laziness, I think it’s due to how I process designing. I design it in my head, flip, turn it, re-design it and then draw it. We’ll see how it goes.

This piece will be explained when I make the next post later. :smiley:

Stay tuned,
portfolio book.jpg

I decided to build a scale model of the case. Now, where did I put that empty 18pack box of Bud bottled heaven in a glass.


This is pretty sweet. It has multiple configurations while taking up the minimal space. Both sides of the board will contain images, I’ll mock up some on the model or I might draw it in sketchbook pro loosely.

This is why one has to make models, even though my sketch is pretty close I would have never realized some of the functions if I never built it. Take for instance the way it folds and closes. You can use the drawing above for reference.

Oh I only used the tools in the first pic and some tape :smiley:

The model is about 1/4 scale.