HOMEWORK: WEEK ONE

Hello!

Great first class everyone. There was a bunch of different homework assigned so get to work! You can post pictures, links or ask questions. Use this Forum to your advantage!

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Comments

  • I ask you some questions: which website is good to create a portfolio? Can I put the portfolio in my facebook page, too? Thank you very much
  • Connor AsherConnor Asher Chicago, IL
    Great question Francesca, I have two extras myself:
    1.) Do you recommend putting a "store" on our main site or to create an entirely different website for it ourselves or go off of another website:eBay, etsy, etc?
    2.) For companies, I'm having a tough time deciding on a headline. Originally it was: "Creating creative & innovative ideas to the world, through various arts", which is a bit vague but, as an artist myself (running the entire thing) I do a bit of everything similar to a network where they produce a multitude of various media including the production of videos, characters, stories, etc. as a brand.
    Then also offer services as well (live workshops/shows, merch/art/custom orders) that's the problem of where I'm trying to combine them.

    i also have my own personal website as an artist: www.connorasher.com

    Any thoughts? 
  • HEY Francesca and Connor -

    Let me see if I can answer your questions -

    First off, Francesca, you can use wix.com to create your own web site.  If you cannot afford the $125 a year, you can make one for free (but it will have wix advertising all over the page - which I don't recommend).  They have customizable templates and make it very easy for the user!  Start ASAP!!!  Otherwise, you can use a Flickr or Photobucket account, but in my opinion, host your own photos (don't forget to watermark them like Matt suggested).

    Connor (and all of you) - Here's what I think about blogs and stores on your sites -
    If you are creating a site that is to represent you as an artist, than no.  I'd rather you link to another page where your alternative business lives ("Please check out our Premium Prop Replica Page HERE kind of a thing).  The philosophy is this - FOCUS your selling. Also, NEVER put the price of your custom work (appliances, makeup, creature puppet heads on-line like a catalog) unless it is RENTAL product and then you NEED to have organized photos of what you are renting along with the prices (that is, Connor, if you INSIST on listing prices).  If it were me, I'd have clear, beautiful photos of my work, and then make it VERY easy for customers to contact and communicate with me.

    Lastly, if you are like KD creations, and have your nifty logo, yes, you can put up a little store button that offers T-Shirts and such with the company logo on it.

    Does ANY of this make sense?

    Let me sum up - Host your pictures if possible on your own site

    Store button on your Makeup/Creature effects page should be company logo stuff

    Rental area is a GREAT way to make money

    If you are making/selling custom props from existing Intellectual Property (ie - Captain America stuff) - send your customers to another page/site completely so they don't get the idea that you are a collectible creator that does custom work on the side.

    It's all about perception.

    Hey, it was great meeting everyone.  Sorry it has taken me a bit to get back to you!  Can't WAIT to see everyone's homework.  REMEMBER, I don't expect to to COMPLETELY change your websites, portfolios, but I DO expect to at least see
    Photoshop or some kind of image that reflects your proposed improvements!

    Good Luck, see you all Tuesday!

    Shannon
  • Hi Shannon,

    How many divisions should we have in our portfolio? Should we separate prosthetic work from out-of-the-kit make-ups?
  • BTW Francesca - weebly.com also has website hosting and they have a number of different price packages from free (but like Wix it will say "Powered by Weebly" on the bottom) all the way up to $234/year for all the bells and whistles.

    But their Starter Site package is only $40/year plus $10 or so for a domain name.
  • Connor AsherConnor Asher Chicago, IL
    Hi Shannon (everyone),
    For creating websites, I've been using "zoho sites", I believe the membership is free, then there's a bunch of add-ons that are relatively cheap. I've been using it for the past 2 years, and it's fantastic what you can do with it! Hope that helps!
    https://sites.zoho.com

    Btw, thank you Shannon! I'll be working on revising my sites over the weekend 
  • Thank you all
  • Hi Kate =

    Your portfolio should be organized like this:

    Electronic -

    I.) One image that sums up the excellence of your ability (make up, sculpture, silicone head, whatever)

    II.) Your PRIMARY employment focus (ie: sculpting, painting, makeup, etc.)
         a.) No less than one, no more than 8 SUBJECTS (remember how I explained that
             it was acceptable to have smaller "support images" of detailed work like
             sculptures or maquettes?)
    III.) A few photos of your SECONDARY focus
          a.) For instance, if you are a makeup artist that also is a sculptor or prop maker
              you might put one or two images of the secondary focus to illicit the
              question: "Oh, so you make props as well?"
    IV.) A selection of SMALLER folders that showcase more examples of your PRIMARY
          focus work as well as folders containing examples of your other talents.
          a.) Again, what we are looking for is the ILLUSION of brevity - In the additional
              folders we don't need more than 4 to 10 photos in each folder.

    As for out-of-the-kit makeups, I want to you be COMPLETELY honest with yourself.  Are you including it because you were RESOURCEFUL or because it truly is a masterwork.  Resourceful is commendable, but needs to go into a support folder.  If your prospective employers are interested in hiring you as a makeup artist, then you can show them your resourceful photos to get an idea of how valuable you can be on set.

    HOWEVER!!!!

    If you are going to work FOR YOURSELF and are going to have a company website that features your work.  I might have a tab that read: "Miracles" or "Saves" or "Solutions" so that when a filmmaker clicks on the tab, they can see an image and read a SHORT story beneath the image.

    For example: Let's say you had to makeup 20 zombies on set, and you were able to do it using $40 of supplies from a grocery store.  Then, you show an image of the zombies (make sure that they don't look like crap, otherwise don't include it) and you write beneath it: "For (insert name of project here), I was asked to makeup 20 zombies with no prior warning.  I was able to make these using only materials I purchased from a local grocery store."

    Get it?  That way, if the image is compelling, they will want to speak MORE about how you managed to pull off such a feat!!!

    PAPER PORTFOLIO -

    You have one of two options -

    I.) Again, keep your prior focus in the forefront of your collection, and then, have obvious DIVISIONS (tabs) that indicate further examples of your work (ie: hair work, props, collectibles, cosplay, etc.) That gives the viewer the option to continue or stop when they reach the end of the section.  The same goes for if you are applying for work in one of your SECONDARY disciplines.  Show the "hair work" section and if they ask or are curious, they'll continue to explore.

    II.) Have multiple small, professional looking folders that contain your SECONDARY work.  In the course of conversation, if your interviewer says some thing like: "Oh, did you make the armor for this?" You can respond by handing them a NEW folder of specialty costume pieces.  You give them the opportunity to discover something new about you. 

    Get it?

    Boy, for someone who preaches brevity, I sure do go on!  Don't be me, be BETTER than me! ;-)

    Shannon

    P.S. - Thanks to the student community for sharing information.  I'm proud of you all for doing that!

  • Hi Shannon,

    Boy I wish I'd checked the boards more than once today  - I didn't see this until I was about to post the portfolio I worked all afternoon on - Doh-eth!
    (BTW, no I didn't destroy my other site - this is a separate portfolio site that I was planning to link to from the retail site. This is a temporary URL and I'll look at getting an actual domain name in the near future)

    Here's what I have so far - I thought I had greatly simplified compared to my previous portfolio/tutorial/retail site but it looks like I might have to simplify further.

    http://katedaleymakeupartist.weebly.com/

    I would _like_ the focus of my portfolio site to be SFX make-up but I think as you'll see most of my make-up work is a few years old. 

    All my latest work is, as previously mentioned,  a) prop related and b) based on other intellectual property.
    (the good news is though that I have lined up several willing models and have at least 4 new original-concept make-ups that I can do in the next few months)

    So my questions are as follows:

    1) Is the general format of this new site OK?

    I tried to keep it as bare-bones and simple as possible (although Weebly's formatting made changes in certain areas hard).

    2) Are there any photos here you feel I should eliminate entirely? Any that you feel should be emphasized or work as that 1 excellent "sum up" photo?

    I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with most of these pictures and lost objectivity with them a long time ago (hence .

    3) Based on your advice above would you suggest perhaps organizing the remaining photos into "SFX/Prosthetics", "Props/Puppets" (and place the portrait heads under this category) and then "Other" for everything else? 


    Oh and as for my retail site here are my current plans:

    - when people go to www.daleykreations.com (or .ca - I own both) they will have a choice between choosing my portfolio site or my retail site (like how when you first arrived on Dick Smith's site how you used to have to choose between his filmography site and the site about his make-up course).

    - I will remove all biographical and portfolio info from the site and change the focus to retail only. 

    - I'm going to ask a friend who is more Photoshop savvy than I if she can spruce up my logo a little. In particular she's good at making things 3D-ish.

  • WOW Kate!

    What an IMPROVEMENT!  LOVE IT!  So here are my answers to your questions:

    1.) I LOVE the format.  LOVE the splash page and how you handled it.  It is great to see these soft photos of you working because it immediately sends the sub-conscience message that you are a working professional.  I know you like the CONTACT button, but I would put my phone number (smaller) under your name on the splash page.  That way, no clicking is needed.  See the photo, have your name, have your number...boom...I call.

    2.) Weeding out photos, like any type of editing is "killing your children" and it is very tough.  Obviously, you'll take BETTER photos soon (we're going to do a brief demo on Tuesday to help out) and I must emphasize that as you continue to work, don't ADD as many photos as REPLACE the ones you have.  Having said that, I might lose the sepia photo of the wizard-guy.  It is nice, but redundant.  Not sure if you are planning on doing this, but your site instructs me to hover the mouse over an image for additional info.  I LOVE THIS...but I need the info.  For instance, the guy in the loud jacket...what did you do on him?  The makeup is so good it could literally be a guy that you did straight makeup on, so I'd like the add'l info when I hover.  Hey....you offered! ;-)  So here's the deal:  Don't get rid of anything JUST yet.  Do some more work and replace what you have there.  For the four subjects that are willing to be SFX subjects, do at least one add'l. beauty makeup for that page.

    3.) Yes, move the "portraits" into the puppets/props category.  No one has to know WHY you made them.  They look like excellent theater-type puppets so put them there.

    Listen, the bottom line is that you took the advice, got pro-active and made HUGE steps to improve your exposure and YOU DID!  Very proud of you!

    Keep up the good work and I'll see you on Tuesday!

    Shannon
  • Hey Aaron -

    So, I know, I know, I know, I know that you sent images for me to review and they were not necessarily "portfolio" photos but rather to give me an idea of your skill level.  However...

    One of the LAST places you want to direct ANYONE to is IMDB Pro.  Here's why:  While most professionals have accounts, it is yet ANOTHER step to get information and you want the info to get into their hands effortlessly.  Shannon Gans will talk a little about that on Tuesday.

    The good news is that the shot of the Troll in the grocery cart should DEFINITELY be in your portfolio.  Whomever asked if you could you production stills in your portfolio, the positive answer is in that Troll photo.  I can see the makeup, it is well photographed, all of the attention goes right to it.  Bravo!

    I also liked your puppet sculpture. I know, I know, I know, I know that these were not meant to be actual portfolio pages, but many of the images could be used as such.

    Nice work Aaron, thanks for sending that along.

    Shannon
  • Julie....

    I'm not picking on you but since you have had the advantage of taking a class with me previously, I'd like to think that I can push you a bit more.  Okay?

    What did I tell you when we spoke in class?  You have the tendency to overwhelm.  You do so much work and so much of it is good that it becomes like a tidal wave of images and after a while, I'm exhausted.

    Not only that, but I'm left with an impression that you do good work rather than have one or two images that strike me.  This was based on your FB page.  YES, you SHOULD keep posting photo, after photo and the fact that you have over 1K likes is commendable!  I'm going to go back and review your web page to make some
    specific comments later.

    There is NOTHING wrong with be prolific.  That is EXACTLY the right thing to do, but when you are prolific and do great work, then your burden becomes editing.

    Keep doing excellent work Julie...let's just see the best of it organized in an appealing way.

    Shannon
  • Shannon,

    Thanks so much! I will definitely make the changes suggested!

    The hover thing I think is one of those Weebly-format problems I mentioned. I used their gallery feature and although they add captions the captions only show up on hover and it must only work on certain browsers.

    I'll change this so that they are more hard-wired into the site and not browser dependent.
  • Connor AsherConnor Asher Chicago, IL
    Shannon,

    Thank you for all your advice/tips, just had a chance to finish watching the full-day 1 last night. I've also been working on revising both my company and personal website, both almost there...working on branding all the photos with the watermark, as talked about in class. Trying to get more professional photos taken of both my work & myself, studio is going under a bit of renovation.

    Let me know what you think/what I can improve on, thank you!-
    Personal: www.ConnorAsher.com
    Company: www.CreventiveStudios.com
  • Hey Connor -

    Okay, when I first checked out your sites, I was compiling notes and then I remembered: "This kid's still in HIGH SCHOOL!"  I know that sounds like I'm
    going easy on you, but you have to graduate first before you can go to work full time on a movie.  Graduate Connor!

    However, I love the sites, love the content.  You have something VERY powerful and that is Intellectual Property.  I.P. reigns in this world.  Just keep developing your artistic skills, your characters, and your stories.  I'm going to stick with what I said earlier about the puppet-making tutorial.  To me it is like selling fake blood and posting a "How to make fake blood" video.  I'd rather see a demo of your puppets and puppetry skills.

    Nicely done!  Now get back to your studies!  Is your portfolio for college in order?

    Shannon Shea
  • Connor AsherConnor Asher Chicago, IL
    Thank you Shannon,
    I'm currently a senior and looking towards "The Art Institute of LosAngeles" for college.

    I don't have a college portfolio currently, but will definitely start working on one from everything I've learned here. My plans were to first move out there & gain residency to get lower tuition and find some local work, then finally enroll in classes there. (What would your advice on this be?) The more knowledge the better as you described, which is why I've loved taking classes with SWSCA and everything that I've been fortunate enough to find locally.

    My main focus right now has been with puppetry, I've been involved with this art for the past 3 years, although I do a bit of everything: write, perform, direct, build, etc.
    My main goal would be to become a creature effects artist using animatronics (which I'm trying to learn right now to incorporate it with more of my builds)

    In this past year, I've been reaching out more locally: teaching a few workshops on television puppetry performance & an upcoming building workshop this January, to help get my name out there & help carry on that art form which few people get to experience face-to-face.

    I will definitely work on getting some videos up as soon as possible.
    Appreciate all your time & advice, also no need to take it easy on me, I like a challenge :)

    Connor Asher
  • Hey Shannon
    Just sending in my Basic student portfolio. Was a bit unsure of the lay out i should be taking and what not. However i sent it and my resume attached into the head of department for props in Pirates of the Caribbean  and they said they would be contacting me about junior roles opening up for me early in the new year.
    However any critiques of both portfolio and resume would be great! 
    Also would you recommend me replying with an email inquiring if there is any steps i should take between now and the time the department head said he will be in contact with me or leave it until then.
    Thanks heaps 
    Byron Roberts
  • Hi Shannon,

    I have been very busy with my homework - you suggested that I change the main image that is the background of my website. We also talked a little about changing my domain name and re-branding my business from "Gore-geous.com" to "Carmencwilson.com". I have been thinking about this for a while now for a few reasons -
    1. My business email, instagram, and imdb are all already "Carmencwilson"
    2. There is a Gorgeous cosmetics beauty line that I am unaffiliated with that came out after I had my website made.
    3. I am no longer in contact with the previous web designer and want to be able to update images myself (all images on "Gore-geous.com" are from 2012 or older)

    So I went ahead and made my new website this past weekend (on weebly.com, it was very user friendly and $49 for the year to have the weebly ad at the bottom taken off - in case any one else is interested).

    www.Carmencwilson.com

    I would like your thoughts on the images I selected. Please keep in mind I am still working on the site and wanted my phone number near the top of each page as an easy contact, so I will be fixing that alignment. My main image is something I also put next to my "fabrication" section of images. Should I use the whole circus demon image on my main page, face included? Or just the up close like I've used? I feel the up close image is a little on the grainy side but it does fit the page better.

    I only offered a few images per section of my portfolio page keeping with the quality over quantity idea. I also listed them in the order of jobs I would like to get - 1. Special Effects 2. Beauty 3. Fabrication. I don't have many fabrication or Lab images, should I remove the mediocre ones - flag and wound sculpt images?

    Resume on page? Should I keep it or remove it. I forget what you had mentioned.

    Old site - I really loved your idea of creating a makeup that is more "two face" looking with one beauty side and one fx side. I will use this as my redirect page, when folks who already know me as "Gore-geous" go to www.gore-geous.com they will see the new image and a line saying "Gore-geous.com has moved to carmencwilson.com" again with the placement of the word gore-geous to really emphasize the two different makeups.
    www.gore-geous.com

    Social Media - I've been working more on my business Facebook page, which of course I had branded with the "gore-geous.com" and has very similar name. I'll be posting with that page throughout the end of the year to create a buzz around me and my makeup work. And in January introducing my new business Facebook page related to carmencwilson makeup. There is no way (or none that I have found yet) to just change my page's name without making a whole new page and encouraging others to like the new one. I have also tried out "facebook boost post" it's a paid ad of your page or an post you created. So far it's doing well, but is this something that's a waste of money? (Sorry this may be more of a Matt question, but if you had any thoughts.)
    http://on.fb.me/1z06QX0

    Phew, okay that was long and I hope it all made sense. Also if there are any other images from my flickr that should be on my site instead of the ones I have chosen I would love to know.
    www.flickr.com/carmencwilson

    Shannon, thank you for your time.

    -Carmen C. Wilson


  • Hey everyone,

    I just had a few more questions. I know we've been talking a lot about websites and portfolios, but we missed business cards. I've been through two different sets and now with my new website I'm looking forward to printing some new ones.

    My current card lists "head shots, beauty, special effects" as skills or jobs I can provide along with my contact information, name, email, phone number and website, with a portfolio image on the opposite side. Should I change this list of skills to reflect my current website. Is there anything I am missing? Or adding too much of? 

    Portfolio - printed version, what do you see these commonly represented in? A nice folder? Hole punched binder? Any tips?

    Thanks!



  • I'll be with you LIVE in just a few minutes!  YES!  Let's talk a bit about business cards, but I'll tell you that you are DEFINITELY on the right track.

    Shannon
  • Hey Shannon, here is my homework for week one. There are a few photos of hair punching and a face blown out I didnt include because it is a feature still in production.



  • Hi Shannon, about the homework i hired a web designer to build my web site and optimize it in google search and clear the  photos backgound. The big question is I got some skills and dont know how to use them. There is money in decoration weddings and i don`t want to  get them. I try to make funtional sculpures from wood for direct selling. Is the television the way and what you recomment? 
  • Hey Dimitar -

    First of all, let me apologize to you because I thought you were a different Dimitar who is friends with me on Facebook!  I've looked at your artwork and I understand the suggestions given to you, but let me expound on them to you:

    You have mad carving skills and there's no denying that.  Sculpting food for seasonal/celebrations is fine, but there are better ways of making money.  Let me think about this a day or so and I promise, I'll give you some alternative suggestions.

    GREAT work though!

    Shannon
  • Hi Shannon,

    There is not a new thread open for "week 2 - homework". But I was just hoping we could get the document files for the top sheet and the breakdown? So I can see it up close instead of viewing the youtube screen on pause. Also, where we supposed to tell you what we were going to write our bid on? Would a makeup bid be just the cast makeup and wounds? Or do I include the creature, even though that's more creature suit fabrication and puppet performer?

    Thank you,

    Carmen
  • Yeah Carmen, I was wondering about that as well!
    Teresa, what's up?

    S.
  • Connor AsherConnor Asher Chicago, IL
    Shannon,
    I just started a forum for "HOMEWORK: WEEK 2", since I'm figuring Teresa's busy.
    Also we were taking about college/schools, I was originally looking into "The Art Institute of LosAngeles", and was wondering if you know any schools that particularlly focus on creatures/animatronics or have any other strongly recommended places?

    thank you!
  • Hi Connor.  I saw the above post for Shannon and I'm sure he's going to be able to recommend some awesome places that focus on this type of work.  I'm chiming in to talk about private trade/tech schools...like The Art Institutes.  I'm not here to pick on them specifically, but they are who I have experience with.  I went to the Art Institute of Las Vegas.  While my experience there was fine, it was NOT worth the amount of money it cost.  Any of the things I learned there could be learned at any college for a fraction of the cost.  I am nearly 50 years old and there is a very real chance that I may never pay off my student loans before I shuffle on from this mortal coil.  Not trying to be morbid, just stating a fact.  I think you would be better served to study art in general at a "regular college" and FX work specifically at somewhere like Cinema Makeup School.  In the meantime, take advantage of all the wonderful lessons the Stan Winston School keeps giving us  =D

  • Hey Connor - I haven't heard of that school in particular either, but I'll ask a friend of mine about animatronics. I know first hand that Cinema makeup school doesn't offer that type of class where I think the Tom Savini school in Pittsburg might. However I just found out today that MEL (Makeup effects lab studio) in LA (burbank maybe?) is going to start offering small one day classes coming in January or Feb. I would call or email about them, I heard something about one possibly being animatronics. It would be worth the research. Again, it's a new field for them but I am assuming it will be taught by an industry pro.

    Good Luck.
  • Hey Connor,

    I want to chime in here as well about schools.  Nothing is going to beat having a B.F.A. or a B.A. behind your name vs. a certificate from a trade school.  AND, the most prestigious places to get any sort of Motion Picture training remain: USC, UCLA, NYU and CalArts.  More alums from those particular schools work in the industry far and above the competitors (unless you want to count the Harvard alums who have a strangle hold on the writing department).  I would rather you come out to school at Cal State Northridge and then enroll in the Gnomon school for VFX training at their Culver City location.

    Listen, Langley is correct.  Amassing college debt is tough and it isn't worth it unless your credentials are going to work for you.  My wife and I went into debt sending our daughter to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago because she works in the Fine Art world and that school is highly regarded.

    You'd be better off going to a local state college for a year while trying to get into one of the colleges I mentioned above.  Get your critical studies out of the way so you can get into the specialty programs sooner.

    I know it is frustrating, but NOTHING is more frustrating than sitting in a classroom thinking to yourself "This is a waste of my time and money."

    Give it a thought.  Okay?

    Shannon
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