Yea, that sucks, you were training to be a car designer not a clay modeler right? Not sure why they would structure program like that.
You can sign up for some online courses, there are tons out there. I don’t know what is best but do some searching a post them up here. https://www.inktank.academy/ for example
OR maybe better is find a designer or skilled student who’s work you like online. message them on behance/instagram whatever and say you love their sketches and need some help(and you’ll pay them) Students would be especially motivated to help because they need money and have time. Many professionals won’t have the time but you never know. Set up a schedule with them, go through your portfolio with them project by project, spend 1 or 2 months per project redoing it. Maybe meet 2 times per week on skype for an hour, they can give you crits and demos.
Budget at least 25/30 hours per week minimum to build your craft, more if you can. take a part-time job, live at home. work your ass off. join sketching competitions/communities on Instagram, localmotors etc. Seek out guidance from former teachers/mentors/classmates from school. take a figure drawing courses at your local university or art workshops to build your sensitivity.
It’s really not rocket science. It’s all about putting in the hours, and getting good guidance on how to improve. I don’t believe it’s talent that gets you there, it’s hard work (while being intelligent/focused on how you work). Talent only comes into play when your at the top of the game.
If you do that for a year with 100% focus you should be good enough to get an internship. Take one or two, since you already have a degree if you do well they will probably hire you.
Sound hard? that’s what it takes to get your foot in the door. We’ve all been there, gone days without sleep, lived on floors, stayed with parents, gone deep into debt etc. I have a friend who took care of his two children while teaching private classes and going to ACCD all at the same time. He didn’t even start ACCD until he was 32. I slept on his living room floor to get by.
I didn’t switch, I wasn’t good enough to stay in the ccs program, they make yearly cuts and I didn’t make the cut from 2nd to 3d year. Yet another reason for prospective students to skip AAU and go to real design school.
Every studio and designers have different priorities, but most people have similar ideas about what they want.
When I open a portfolio I go right to the ideation sketches on the first few projects. That is how we speak, that is our language, if you can’t speak our language I don’t care about anything else. (product designers often give us crap for only caring about sketches, that’s not true, but having the ability to quickly communicate visual ideas is the basis of our job. You wouldn’t apply for a job in Paris if you don’t speak French, so why would I look at your portfolio if you don’t speak our language.)
If they are decent then I go back and take an overall bigger view, looking at how they translate the research into physical ideas and then how those ideas manifest themselves in a final design. I care less about models (physical or digital) and more about the initial design process and how that is translated to the final design. We have professional digital/physical modelers in the studio, I’m not hiring you for that. So it’s good to have those skills, but they can also be learned as junior designer. I don’t really care about the final design as a whole, just the decisions made along the way. (as long as you justify the final design with your initial work)
After all that it’s a feeling I get from the portfolio. Are they using nice typefaces/graphic layout? Is the work presenting clearly/nicely/ in an interesting way? Do I get inspired when I see the work? Does it look like they give a shit?
And then in an interview, I try to make sure they are a good person and a hard worker, nobody likes working with a dick.
If you’re good they should be one in the same.
If I’m honest, when I look at your portfolio I’m not sure you give a shit. Your clay model photos look like they were taken with a potato. Get a decent camera, light the scene, photoshop over it. Not having a milling machine isn’t an excuse. The text is different sizes/styles on every page/project. Random titles are capitalized and some aren’t. Make sure you are proud of what you show or don’t show it at all.
Hope that helps.