Portfolio Critique


I’m looking for ways to improve upon and be able to add more work to my portfolio. I’m currently working as an engineer but have an interest in doing more design work. I’ve had some opportunites in which I was able to use the work I’ve done to add to my portfolio but these projects have come few and far between. The job that I currently have seems to be more creating documentation (i.e. installation instructions) instead of actually doing design work. So I’ve started taking continuing education courses in the evening (i.e. Illustrator, Photoshop, graphic design, drawing etc.) at a local art school nearby in order to try and generate work that can be used towards my portfolio.

I’m looking for advice as to how I can generate more work to add to my portfolio and how I can get my portfolio to the quality that would get the attention of a design manager, if I decide I would like to persue more of a design job. Are the projects that I work on in the evening classes design oriented enough to be able to use towards my portfolio? Are there other things that I could be doing in order to generate more projects that could be used towards my portfolio? Any critiques/thoughts would be greatly appreciated. The link to my portfolio is below.

Thank you,



No one’s responded, so I’ll start the conversation.

First, you should feel good that you are taking the initiative to go to night classes and filling in the gaps in your skillset. You won’t be able to compete with people with BFA’s and 4 years of art/design education, so don’t try. Instead, leverage your strengths as a creative engineer.

Conceptualize some products, maybe use some design competitions as a starting point ( you don’t even have to enter.) Flex and build the muscles you have and apply some of the new things you’ve learned in your night classes to add more life to the story you’re telling in your designs.

An engineer that is creative and understands the creative design process should be able to productively interface with designers. This is a selling point to design / engineering managers in my opinion: someone who can comfortably break out of their respective silo.

Right now you show architectural rendering, logos and a website. This is how most people learn the software. If you want to design products, work towards that going forward. What do you think? What role do you ideally want to have?

Yup to echo Benny competitions are a great way to to build a portofolio.

The reason they are good is because your given the brief, all you have to do is solve it. There are stacks and i mean stacks of competions floating about and as benny said you dont have to enter, but from my experience there is no reason why not, worst that can happen is you don’t here anything back, it is a win win situation.

Set yourself aims and deadlines of what you want to acheive. Also set a benchmark in regards to standards. E.g. i want to my sketching linework as good as Carl Liu’s, or sweet renders liek Scott robertson etc… By setting benchmarks you will be able to self evaluate your work against others. I,e constantly improving to get to that benchmark.

Some examples aism and deadlines of mine are:

From X competition i want to show my branding skills (of an awesome product)

From X competition i want a kick ass sketch render ( " ")

from X compeition i want a sweet looking render ( " ")


that way you are not only improving your skill set but beefing up the portfolio at the same time.

And again definately push forward the creative engineer

Best of luck!


Thank you for the great advice. This helps alot. How can I find out about design competitions?

Thank you,


I agree with bennybtl, I think leveraging yourself as a creative engineer is the way to go.

I’m an engineer in the same situation as yourself. I know I won’t be able to compete with someone with a degree in industrial design on a design level. What I do have is an immense amount of knowledge about the field those designers are designing for.

Focus on your strengths.