Hello Core77, I’ve quit my job and I’m travelling for the next 3 months through SE Asia, Sri Lanka, Australia and New Zealand.
I would like some advice on things I can do while I’m travelling (I’m already keeping a sketchbook and a diary) as a designer that you think would be valuable to my career and personal development that employers would appreciate when I get back home and start looking for a job. I’m really nervous that when I’m back, my portfolio will be out of date and it’ll be tough to find a job. I can’t really "work on my portfolio " as I don’t have a computer with me.
I’m just looking for ideas, suggestions, advice, on simple things that I can do.
I would not worry about your portfolio being “out of date” by the time you return.
Your work should have a much longer shelf life than that and feel relevant for a while.
A trip like this can only help you and it seems like you are taking the right steps. Documenting what you see, feel and think may it be through sketching, photographs or objects is going to be key but it sounds like you are already planning this.
You could of course set yourself a project and see this as a research trip, maybe do some prototyping along the way if possible.
Then you could package your thoughts and process neatly into presentations once you return home and format it in a way so employers can relate to it.
I would try not to be too nervous though and instead just focus on this amazing experience. I am certain you will return feeling like you have gained a whole new perspective which will make you a more interesting designer.
Try new things. Talk to people. Take photos. Enjoy the experience.
When you get back, sit down, analyse, formulate an insight. Design. There you have your portfolio piece.
Sounds like an interesting trip. If I would interview you for a job and learned you were goofing around outside your comfort zone for 3 month, that would impress me much MUCH more than 3 month of sneaker sketches.
Yeah what Bepster said - formulate some hypothesis with an anthropological angle, and use that as a theme for research, photos, even inquiry as you go through the different places.
Remember when Casey Neistat - the YouTube guy - was given a commission by Nike to make a shoe ad, and he flew him and a buddy around the world first class and filmed it along the way? You can do sort of the opposite of that. But if you started out with a theme or even product category in mind, and then once you got back organized it, and presented it to a relevant company…they would likely be impressed.
Or you can stay free, floating, unencumbered, and let fate lead you where it may.
I know which one of these options I would probably do.
Try very hard to not be a tourist. Try to observe and become as local as possible…