my portfolio feedback plz~~

here is my portfolio, i’m an international student,accepted to ArtCenter 07fall , please give me some advice or comments. your kindness will be very much appreciated.


what is mr k?

it’s an mp3 player, kute and kool. i came up with the name just for name.
any comments?

You’ve clearly got skills, i.e. you are someone who can communicate by drawing and also you can ‘Model’ in 3D.

In terms of your boards however, I think there is a real lack of context, of product placement. When Mr.K isn’t being used, at home, is he sitting beside the computer? In a dock? How does it sit if it’s spherical? Also, I really don’t want to sound so critical, but to have a sphere as a pendant sounds intrusive, to have a protruding shape coming from your chest (used as a pendant?). What about jogging with it? I think you should brainstorm what people use Mp3 players for, and the contexts in which they are used, i.e. on a train, bus, jogging, etc. Also, your board states ‘Mp3 players are cubes’. That is a huge huge generalisation, and to be honest if I were you I would go and find as many Mp3 players as you can and do a simple shape drawing of each and compare them to eachother. I’ve prefer to have a nice, slim iPod nano against my chest rather than something that makes me look like a have a huge 3rd nipple.

I like your watch board (the sketch one) as you are showing good sketching skills here. Have you actually done a mock-up watch model and attempted to draw on a tiny surface and see how well you can control it? I think it may be beneficial. I can’t imagine it being to easy to write anything without some sort of surface to lean my writing hand on as I do so. If you show you have dock some sketch models (quick quick models to get a 3d and physical idea of the product) it will show you have really considered how the product is used/ its proportions etc. And you never know, sketch models may (and most likely will) change your design completely.

The Flashlight board is very hard to understand. I can’t understand where it lives… on my desk? On my dinner table? In an office or at home? Also, the scale of the detachable part, in comparison to the hand, makes it look like the whole light would be huge. Maybe do a drawing of the product beside something else that is generic (a plant pot? a laptop?) that communicates its scale and so on. The same goes for the paper chair… is it a childrens chair or an adults chair? Show it in some sort of context and you’ll soon find out.

One think I like about your boards is that you have very little writing. Text on boards is not good, people do not want to read presentation boards, they want to see/look at them. You clearly have good skills, but I have a feeling that you do very little physical modelling and it shows slightly through your designing. But I think you definitely have initiative and momentum. It may also be good for you to put some design development/ concept generation work in so people can see the process you have gone through to get to the final design/outcome/conclusion.

Well done and I hope the Art Center treats you well.

georgeous, Thank you very much for your reply, i really appreciate that! you definately point out my weekness, though a bit harsh for me, but i have to admit that i haven’t done any research on mp3s, or i didn’t even think about making a model of the watch. maybe that’s because i haven’t taken any courses of design yet,what i actually drew were just what were in my mind. but i did realize long ago that i have huge problem that i dont really know how to learn these things by myself. i’m kinda relying on the courses taugh and a little information on the internet. another problem is , i am so lack of confidence. i dont have skills or talents, what else do i have? i always doubt myself. hopefully, i will graduately gain progress and confidence at ARTCENTER.

thank you again. BTW, can you leave your email? i would like to contact you.

No problem, glad to reply.

Sorry if I seemed a little harsh, I kind of forgot that you were young! I am coming to the end of my design education (at least in an academic/institutional way) and I suppose in a way the points which I raised to your designs are the same points that my tutors raise to me even at this stage. I really hope I didn’t downhearten you at all because I think, by looking at what I saw that you have some great skill, especially drawing. What your work clearly shows is a clear way to communicate through the use of visual images.

As for Art Center, I have a good friend of mine that studies with me (Central Saint Martins, London) who spent 2 years at Art Center and his general impression is that you learn more about skills (drawing, rendering, modelmaking) than actually being able to design well, so you have the skills that make you marketable for a job when you finish college. Remember to always be your own harshest critic, to really question the feasability of your design as opposed to saying ‘well it’s a nice shape and it looks really good in a rendering so it must be good as a product’. He also said Art Center has a very limited amount of ‘contextual studies’, so I suggest to you to try reading more and more about design. Read about people like Victor Papanek, Dieter Rams, Anthony Dunne, Buckminster Fuller. Try to understand the different genres of design.

As far as confidence comes, I don’t think you have anything to worry about, you already have skill and in 3/4 years when you are finishing at Art Center you’ll have even more than skills to back up your design decisions, and that increased amount of knowledge will help you feel more confident.

My email is

Hope this helps! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions etc.