What I've been up to...

I’ve been designing like crazy mostly focusing on footwear. I probably need 2 go to school but it seems too expensive these days. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. thank u in advance.

here we go…

My critique…

Don’t use “2” instead of “to”.

I didn’t even look at the images.

You want professional opinions, be professional.

I appreciate the passion meka don. I think that if you’re serious about pursuing design you should consider going to school. The ability to network, learn from your peers, intern at potential employers etc. is critical. There are affordable design programs that you can check out. Hit up the Schools and Education forum.

As far as the work goes I think that you’re selling yourself a little short because your layouts are so cluttered and colorful. I think it’s a mistake to include that much graphic layout, it distracts from the true content.

Focus on more sketching and don’t worry too much about renders right now. You have some interesting forms going on in a lot of your concepts but I think they could use another round of refinement.

Good luck!

choto thanks…but
How are the graphics a distraction? and how does one refine design?

Take off all the extraneous stuff, and just have the shoe on a white page. You need to start with the basics. To be honest, I would like to how well you can mimic an existing shoe render from someone else. Im not a shoe guy, but all of yours are reading very flat due to issues in shading. Learn from others and see how they are rendering. Also, make us focus on the shoe. You can do small call outs (such as material) with plain old text and a leader, but that is about as much ‘extra’ as I want to see at this point. We will be able to critique the work, and not the presentation. I made it through 3 pages of trying to figure out what was going on, then just gave up.

@joyride :how didn’t you look at everything but still left a comment? not a good critique

Meka Don, you seem disappointed with the feedback. Don’t be. What has been said is valid and the visual clutter does distract the viewer from your content and some good ideas.
But putting together a strong presentation and to receive critique is just as important as to know how to render in PS. These, and many others are taught and learned in school.

It is great that you put your work out there and I can tell that without doubt you have put in a lot of work here. Unfortunately though in order to get the questions answered you ask above in the quote, you will have to learn from somebody in some sort of context and this forum isn’t it if you are looking for a crash course in design methods.
School will most likely offer you the easiest path but it is not the only option.
In fashion, many successful designer have worked their way up through experience and getting to know the right people. That being said, it is a tough and most likely not that much cheaper way to go as you will probably offer your services for free in the beginning just to get a foot in the door. Which is hard enough.

If you are passionate about this try to get into a school, somehow. There is always a way. What you are showing here probably wont get you a job in a footwear studio but in my opinion it is a strong offering for an application portfolio if you can supplement with some other work in other fields.

not disappointed just wanted a more concise constructive critique not a “i’m strapped for time” opinion.! Thanks Bepster!

I think you missed Joyride’s point and should probably re-read his post. I don’t believe he was “strapped for time” but rather overwhelmed by your presentation.
He mentioned quite a few good points and he stressed that you might be a bit ahead of yourself, where a focus on simple basics would be a better approach.

I’m not a graphic expert, but I think a lot of young designers (myself included) sometimes fall into the trap of not leaving enough white space left on the page. Fight the urge to fill up all your space with “stuff”. I think that your designs are already so colorful and impactful, when you add the backgrounds (ie. the Xtep entries) it’s visually too much to look at at once. I think that’s why joyride had that reaction. Don’t take offense, you just have to understand that’s how the work is perceived at first glance, and sometimes the first glance is the only one you’ll get. If I were to redo them I’d drop the backgrounds, give yourself more white space, and drop your font sizes down a bit. Let the work shine through.

I think iterative sketching. Just keep working out the details. I think the designs that you have that have the most sketches backing them up are more refined. The Phoenix fire dance, for instance feels like you just went from a couple of sketches to final render, so the final outcome comes off a little less interesting. This might not be the case, maybe there are more sketches you are not showing but, that’s just my perception. The Jordan project feels a little more refined and thought out. Maybe seeing sketches biases me.

I think you’re on track, keep posting your work up for feedback, keep an open mind and don’t take insult to sharp criticism, because at the end of the day that how people in the real world will critique your work, and if people are giving you feedback it’s because they’re interested in seeing you get better.

don’t take this as a slight to your abilities, it is not meant to be, but you DEFINITELY need to go to school! it may be expensive but if this is something you really want to do, you should invest in yourself; because although not everyone takes the same route into footwear design, going to school best prepares you for the job…

with that said, definitely a lot going on on the page(s)…and the reality of getting someone to take the time to actually look at your work is that, it needs to be laid out in a way that makes the work both easy to understand and follow your progress from concept/problem to solution. Right now there is too much text everywhere, it is too big in some places, and the graphics & text on some the pages compete/take the focus away from your content…

everyone goes through this to some extent, wanting to have the pages look interesting & ‘designed’ but remember that you are trying to tell the story of your design(s), fancy borders and a jumbled layout don’t really help that. I think it might help you to look at each of these project individually and reformat them to this structure:

-What is the problem being solved? You can use images, analysis of the problem, even create a scenario to make it more impactful/relatable

-How you went about trying to solve it; so that may be some research on the problem, how other products have addressed this problem, and/or inspirations.

-Sketches!!! these should explain how you arrived at your end design, the what & why of the decisions that you made along the way; using scale and a little text to highlight key ideas in your progress.

-Finally the end design, does it solve the problems you laid out? how? or did you end up discovering other issues to lead you somewhere else, to a better/different solution?

some projects may require more/less based on the goal(s), i also recommend checking out portfolios on coroflot for examples of how others are doing it and see what you can use in your own way

Hey Emeka,

I agree with a lot of the folks above, in that right now your presentation is doing a disservice to your work. Too many graphics, bad typography all distracting us from looking at your work, too much noise to focus on the content (signal to noise ratio all out of wack).

I found your coroflot and it is much easier to look at your sketchbook images than the presentations you’ve posted up here.

I think you’ve come a long way on your own, but you would really benefit from more formal design training. You’re in Savannnah right, go visit Savannah College of Art and Design or Georgia Tech and talk to someone from the Industrial Design dept.
See if you can audit a class or something.


thanks a guys for the crits and advice. Less is more…