Sleepless in San Francisco> rendering? inspiration? etc..

So i just moved to San Francisco from NYC this past October. Rent is covered. I have a cool job designing whatever custom furniture/mansions i want for millionaires. i live in an ideal neighborhood. But i am “design” depressed. Here are my dilemmas:

  1. My true passion is Industrial Design, and my life goal is to make it into your “typical” San Fran ID firm (i.e. Smart, Frog, Lunar, IDEO, Method, etc.) I am a Product Design graduate, however my past 3 yrs. post-grad experience has been working for top high-end architects (how did that happen?..) I feel like i’m a designer stuck in the wrong field, can’t get out, but shouldn’t be complaining. What ID portfolio reviewer is really going to pay attention to my architectural experience anyway?

  2. I’m trying to get out of the shadow of my senior thesis project from school- which has been hugely successful and great, yet pretty much the only major “Industrial Design” portfolio achievement i’ve made in a long time.

  3. I am trying to get inspired to get my Industrial Design portfolio updated. I’m having difficulty finding any local courses for Alias, SolidWorks, Rhino, etc. (my rendering skills are really rusty), or any “continuing education” courses in ID in San Francisco.

  4. After being rejected by “the big San Fran firms” when applying as a resident of NYC, i need a little morale booster. So i’m trying to find the best portfolio examples/ advice geared toward the firms above to help/inspire me to generate new ideas and products.

  5. Where is the ID community here? I’m ready to network…

Any thoughts on any of the above? Help a sista out! :neutral_face:

Start by leading us to your online portfolio so we can better gauge our advice.

ok- I was hoping not to post this until i get my act together, but here it is:

www.sondrafranceslaw.com

password: law0207

(this site is badly in need of an update!) But here is the work that i have in “portfolio” format at the present time. note, this is pre-move to san francisco

thanks!

I think there’s a I.Der’s from san fran here:

And It’s also a great place to see examples of great work and how to better comunicate work.

I remember seeing the airplane seat in Metropolis. You should definitely include a magazine clipping, when you present.

Have you addressed the reasons for the rejections? What about the areas that you have applied in? NY is probably saturated. Try smaller companies or more rural areas. You might be able to affect more of the process. You could also go in and further improve past projects with explanatory sketches rendered well or further detailed engineering.

Your portfolio shows critical thinking skills. You could do with some improvement in your sketches, but I really dont hold that against you because the ideas are sketched real quick and refined in Illustrator or AutoCAD.

Personally I would keep the relationships with the firms you applied to going strong. Send them constant updates to show that you are interested in working for them specifically. See where their needs are and get better in those areas.

Oh- and I would definitely get rid of the password. You want to make entry as easy as possible and also allow the dissemination of your information. Put your signature and contact on your best images- all of them if you can pull it off with class.

I would definitely get rid of the password

Popup windows are very annoying as well. I left after that point and never even looked at your work. The longer it takes someone to actually see your work, the less likely they are to actually stick around and look at it. At least that is how I feel about it. Good luck!

THANK YOU for all of your feedback! yeah, i know my website has really annoying points to it. i basically struggled trying to learn flash, and the .pdf “pop up” was the easiest and quickest way i could go about it i thought. i will definately improve this in the future…

the password idea i get positive and negative feedback on. sometimes i just shudder at how much us designers have to throw all of our work out into the open without any protection, but i guess thats the way things go? but my reasoning was mainly for showing more professional work: i didn’t want to be accused of posting work from firms that i worked at as my own, or over-riding other peoples websites. so for this i’ve gotten positive feedback. maybe others have feedback about presenting “professional work”?

AND i know its probably a lot easier to get jobs in other parts of the country, but i will be in San Francisco for a few years at least for “relationship” reasons if any of you can relate to that.

password requirement sucks. ditch it. ive never seen a portfolio site with a password. client area maybe, but general portfolio? all you are doing is restricting the possibility of someone seeing your stuff, and giving the impression that you think you work is so precious you need to protect it. gives a bad impression to start with.

the PDf pop-up i can live with, but you should mention its a PDF so people will know what they are getting into.

that being said, there is no real reason i can see why the portfolio stuff should be PDF and not online.

portfolio work wise, i find that your stuff is hard to get into. very text-y and doesnt show much in terms of process, development, etc. i only checked out a few projects, but its not a good thing when the first project (the airplane thing) is almost entirely text and not much to see…makes me want to leave the site entirely.

certainly at least an image compliation of portfolio work would be a good idea.

overall i found its hard to really evaluate what you have in terms of skills/experience based on the site and portfolio work. i just found after a few clicks that i didnt want to get further into it.

to start with, i’d suggest a major revamp on the portfolio site, or even just scrap it and go for a more straight forward coroflot site. then it would be easier to evaluate where you are at and give advice on how to move forward.

R