Live Encore: Creating the Perfect Portfolio | Temi Coker | Skillshare

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Live Encore: Creating the Perfect Portfolio

teacher avatar Temi Coker, Digital Artist and Illustrator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (36m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:52
    • 2. The Value of a Portfolio

      7:21
    • 3. Creating Portfolio Templates

      8:53
    • 4. Building in Behance

      5:45
    • 5. Q&A on Portfolios

      5:23
    • 6. Q&A on Creative Careers

      5:58
    • 7. Final Thoughts

      1:14
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About This Class

Learn Temi Coker’s tricks for showing off his work and building a thriving creative career.

Just doing great work as a creative isn’t enough—you’ve got to be able to show it off so more people can find (and hire!) you. In this 35-minute class, recorded using Zoom and featuring participation from the Skillshare community, photographer and designer Temi Coker shares the tricks he uses to quickly build a portfolio he’s proud of (and that helps him get more of the work he wants). 

You’ll get to follow along as Temi builds a page to show off his “While You Create” playlist project, sharing the exact process he uses to find inspiration, create templates to make his job easier, write the project description, and more. While Temi will be using Behance—Adobe’s portfolio platform—this class will help you learn some new best practices for putting your best foot forward when sharing your work.

Along the way, participants of the live class were able to ask Temi questions, so you’ll be able to learn more about how he balances his myriad of creative interests, the value of personal projects, how he got his first clients (and his first agent), and more on building a self-made creative career. 

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While we couldn't respond to every question during the session, we'd love to hear from you—please use the class Discussion board to share your questions and feedback.

Meet Your Teacher

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Temi Coker

Digital Artist and Illustrator

Teacher

Born Temiloluwa Coker in Lagos, Nigeria, Temi's creativity became apparent at an early age. Temi is a Digital Artist & Photographer in Texas. He was one of the seven Adobe Creative Residents for the 2018/2019 year.  

Temi Coker is widely known for his creative approach in photography and design. His goal is to help people tell and share their stories through different digital mediums. Being creative is more than just a hobby to him — it's his passion, and every day he gets the opportunity to show everyone the power of creativity and how it can change the world. 

 

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: I think it's important as a creator to have your work living somewhere. I think it's important to have a portfolio that screams to tackle style that you do in the type of work that you do. My name is Temi Coker. I'm a photographer and graphic designer based in Dallas, Texas. My wife and I currently run a creative house called Coker Studio, and we specialize in photography, graphic design, art direction. This lead class is pretty much about organizing your portfolio and making it look presentable. We're going to talk about random description. We're going to talk about making a good layout, and importance of just having a portfolio in general. Also, we're going to talk about your growth as a creator. Is it okay to redo an old project, is it okay to step out of your boundaries and work on something unique and different, is it okay to share your work as you're growing? Today, we're going to work on Behance. Behance is pretty much an online portfolio by Adobe. It has photography, it has video, it has graphic designers, it has a wide range of creatives on there. You can also find jobs on there as well and apply. People can actually see your work based off of your Behance profile. I'm on Behance daily and no other companies are on Behance daily looking for people for the project. I think it's important as a creative to have a portfolio somewhere online so that people can see your work, people can get a description of the type of projects you were working on, and so that people can actually see what they want to hire you for. Thank you so much for attending my Skillshare live class and a big shout out to the Skillshare community and the Skillshare team for making this possible. Let's do it. I'm excited to have you guys on here. Let's go. 2. The Value of a Portfolio: I'm Kaye Toal. I'm a senior content producer here at Skillshare and this is Tammy Kokur, our wonderful teacher today. What do you want to tell us a little bit about yourself and your work. Yeah. My name is Tammy Kokur. I'm a photographer and graphic designer. I'm based in Dallas, Texas. I was originally born and raised in Nigeria and I went to University of Houston to study Biomedical Engineering for the first year and I was like, nope. I can't do this. Yeah. I notice I don't know. I thought I mentioned it but yeah, I initially went to study biomedical engineering and I did it to make my parents happy and after a year in, I was like, nope, I can't do this. So I switched to digital media and that has like photography, graphic design, video, printing, which was the class that I hated the most. But yeah, so that's pretty much all about me. I previously was an Adobe creative resident and before that I was a high school teacher at my old high school, I started with photography program at the school and now kids, can you take photography from freshman year to senior year. I'm really glad I got to start that at the school and give back to the community that helped me out. That's really awesome. I knew that you were a high school teacher. I don't think I realized you started the photography class. Yeah. Today I started this project called While You Create. It's a playlist that I designed and I curate every three months it's quarterly playlist and today I'm going to put on Behance, because I want people to kind of follow the project and learn more. I think it's going to be a lot of fun and you guys are going to see my process on how I tried to make my portfolio, because I really believe in creating a type of work you want to be hired for. I really started this project because I love music and I always listen to music whenever I'm designing. But I also wanted my community to be able to find new artists, find new inspiration from songs or lyrics or the way it was designed and then I also want to design a lot more coverage. Since I don't have a lot of that coming in, I just decided to use this kind of playlist project to scratch that itch and I've gotten work for it, which is pretty cool. Yeah. Do you find that when you start making the kind of work you want to get hired for, you start attracting those jobs? Oh, definitely. I think and I mean this is the most respectful way, I don't think a lot of companies know what they wants. I've had people come and go to my website and see my work and they decide to come up with the project based on what they saw. 3. Creating Portfolio Templates: One thing that I always do on Behence, is whenever I have a product ideas I want to share, I always look at other people who might have done something similar. What I'm looking for is just didn't lay out, how did they lay out the project and the way that was cohesive in a way that captured my attention and in a way that allowed me as a viewer, to kind of understand its flow and follow along with what they were doing. Whenever I look at those things, I find inspiration and I'm able to make a template for myself and apply it to my projects. That helps me as a designer, or as a photographer, be able to make more products in a way that is cohesive and allows the viewer to follow along well and understand what the project is about. I'm showing you guys what I'm looking at right now. I searched album cover, because that's the inspiration with this playlist covered that in doing. This one right here grabs my attention. It looks amazing. I loved the color, so I think that's pretty dope. Now me being intrigued, I'm like, man, I want to learn how this guy did this so I'm actually watch this later. Here's a little trick that I learned from doing art. A lot of you guys might look at this and be like, man, how did he come up with this? What is the size? Because it fits so well. What I usually do is I click and I drag it out and then goes into my desktop. What I'm going to do here is on my desktop, I'm going to try to find it. Gosh, I have so many things. Let me see. Yeah. It's right here. Your desktop looks like mine. Yeah. I'm going clean it up later today. Yeah. As you guys can see, this is what it looks like. This is the person's cover and he put it, I mean, it looks like this is a white background on the actual VN editing page. I'm going to go and another one, I'm just going to look probably at three more. This is pretty dope, cover art season 2. I might try to do something like this, this is dope. I'm going to click and drag this one out as well. Just because I'm curious. When you're doing this, the purpose is to see the dimensions and size, right? Yeah. Why is that valuable? That's valuable to me because I get to see how they were thinking. As you can see, I loved this layout. Like as I'm scrolling, regardless of how big or small my theme is, I can see the whole thing. I was very curious as to how he did it. What I did right now is I just got the screen grab from it. Then what I'm going to do is I'm just going to right-click and say Open or Photoshop. This gives me the exact dimension, so if I go into image size or canvas size, this is exactly what the guy used, 1920 by 1384, right? Then he had a square see, so now I can make a layer, and now this layer I get exactly the pixels that guy used. By put this on this under neat, so I'll put this on top. I get the exact same dimension. Now I'm going to make a square right around here. Doesn't have to be perfect, but just close, as close as possible. We're going to give it a different color. Now I know that this is the layer that he used. If you go down here and you keep scrolling, he used is for everything, right? Now here comes the easy part. Oh my God this dope, wow. Once you find what you're looking for and you find the size and you're able to make a fake mock-up template, then you can go in here and start bringing in your work. For me, I have stuff like this, right? This is essentially what I was going to use, but I really like the way this guy used, this new one. I'm just going to bring this in here. What do you like about it, Timmy? What I like about? I like that it's not a squared, he literally takes use of the whole space within and the Behance editing page because I'm going to show you guys what the Behence editing page looks like. Then if I want to know the size of desktop that he just put on there, I can go in here and I have it and I can make a template and write my own stuff on there. Well, yes, so now that we kind of have that, I'm just going to make us a little bit bigger, so that it fits square. Yeah, I think I'm going to just use the cover for this one. Since my cover are already squared, I'm just going to bring them in here one-by-one. Yes, this is going to make them small. Also, what I'm going to do that is different from what he did, is I'm going to try and make my background kind of bringing more emphasis to the artwork. I'm probably going to change it each time. I like this, I already have it. I'm going to just click on File, Save as and I'm just going to save it here as WYC01. Now that we kind of had this template, I'm just going to get the next one, number 2. But before that, I'm going to make sure I know what size I had mine on. As you can see up here, it's 47.99 by 47.99 and that's very important, because initially when we brought it in, it was really big and I had to add to scale it down so it fits. So now what I'm going to do is I'm going to bring the next artwork in. Since we already know our size, we're just going to go up here and bring this down to, I think it was 47.99, yes. If you have this selected, is going to make sure that the sizes are proportionate. Now that we have this, I need to make sure is centered. I'm just going to hold down command and select these two, gotten my move tool and it looks centered, cool. Now this is number 2. I'm going to kind of use this color and change this down here and add some noise. Why are you adding noise? I just loved the texture, obviously. If you just look at it. Yeah, that's a good thing. It's better than like this. This is boring. This says, I know what I'm doing, some people might not notice it, but I notice it and I really loved it. What do you give them something that's less like this designers super sleek gets very graphical. Would you add noise if you had something more elaborate like a poster, for instance? No. I'd like to add noise regardless. I think I just like to also get a feel of the project. But a lot of my work, yeah, I like adding noise to it. I think one thing I could also do if we have enough time would be to use add some shadow down here. Let me clean this up. I'm just going to reduce the opacity here. I could do that but that has to be at, so I'm going to move this up really quickly. I learned how to do this on your other class, Timmy. Yeah. Okay, so I'm going to save this really quick and we're going to go to the ends and start putting this in. this we put here. 4. Building in Behance: Now, I'm on Behance. I'm going to go to my profile. Can you explain what Behance is? Yeah. Behance is almost like Dribbble. A couple of years ago, it was acquired by Adobe so now it actually connects with your Adobe Software. So Behance is almost like a page where you can put your projects for what you're working on. They also have like an in-progress state. So people will do videos at the top right here of work that you're doing in progress. Then there's been live streaming now for some people. So you're able to kind of live stream what you're doing as you're working. As you start liking stuffs, it starts to kind of curate of feed. I think every week of stuff that it thinks you like. Yeah. It really good. To say to host your portfolio. It sounds like lots of people use it for that but it has other functionalities to statements explaining. Exactly. You can literally hire somebody from here. Let me see. I'll go to this person's page right here. You can save as a candidate. So you literally want to hire somebody who can do that here. They also have job posted as well up here. So it's almost like it's the full-fledged working machine. You can put your designs on data. You can get hired. You can be a candidate. All of this stuff. So yeah, I'm about to create a project that's literally up there. Once you bring your profile page, it says create a project. I'm gonna call this "While you Create". So this is kind of like the white boy that you guys saw earlier. So you can actually upload files. So I'm going to go right here. I'm going to upload this one. This is number one. So you can see, it fits perfectly. Right? I can go up here and add texts. I kind of already have something that I started. So the other thing is if you're working, if you're like me, I worked from myself, my wife and I have Cooker studio which is pretty much both of us combined our work together. This Behance is no longer my Behance. It's our Behance. Right? So I need to make sure that as I'm talking, I'm using we and not I. So you need to think about that. If you're just working for yourself and by yourself, then you can just put it as "I made this". Or you can talk about yourself personally, you have to use we. So I kind of had this started and just to kind of get people's attention. So I say, we've always tried to think of ways to combine our love for music and creativity. I make music lowercase. As a result, we came up with a passion project called "While you Create". You can also make this bold if you want. Is this important to give potential clients context to let the project is? Yes. Never post a project without the description because they're not going to understand it in depth of what you've done. So what I'm doing right here is as people click on this, they're going to be reading and understanding. There's a playlist cover for a distinct call "Why you Create". It seems like they make it quarterly. The inspiration behind there was their love for music and creativity. Then you want to make sure that your description answers like what it is, why it's important, why should they care. If there's a link for them to be able to see more then you can do that. So for each one of these, I'm probably going to have a text at the bottom that has the link. So right here, I'm going to go to you "Why you Create" number one. I'm going to click on share and we're going to copy that link. I could possibly have the link at the bottom. While you create a line, I'm going to try to turn this into a hyperlink, open and make sure you have opened link in new tab. This is better because if they click on it and they want to go back and click on it and they want to go back again, just click on the previous method. So this is "While You Create" line. I'm going to probably had this at the bottom. Now, "Listen To Playlist Here". I'll make this bold. I'm biased but these are also like genuinely great playlists. Thanks. So I'm going to put this at the bottom because I'm one of the scroll, scroll through everything at the bottom that can have a surprise. Right? So you want to think about the end-user. So we're going to go to the desktop here. Let me see. I think I saved, yes it's right here. So here's the second one. It has shadow. So probably, I'm going to go back and add a shouts of this note later. But here's the cool thing it has preview. So now literally, as we scroll, we're seeing exactly what we put in there. We're seeing it the way people would see it. Then at the bottom, right here says listened to playlist. You click on it. It opens a new window for them to go to the Spotify and they can start listening. So I'm going to click continuously guys and kind of see what happens next. So now, you click continue. You get this page. This actually was the project title. I could try playlist cover, but that's too boring. I'm going to call it "While you Create". Then you can also crop and see what it looks like. So right there, I have something that looks amazing and good. I really like it. 5. Q&A on Portfolios: Now we're going to open it up to the audience for some questions, and Lauren have similar questions, which is, why is using something like Behance better than having your own website and is this the only way you present your work or do you present in person sometimes? I present in person as well sometimes, but I think Behance is a cool way. It's a nice little cute link you can just put in your thing. If you don't want to have to work on getting a website or making one, Behance actually has something called adobe portfolio. As you upload things to your Behance, it automatically uploads it to your website, to your Adobe portfolio, which you can use as your website. So yeah, I think it's important to have different avenues for people to find your work, and yeah, because I'm still working on mine and I hope to have it done soon. But the cool thing I like about it, and you guys are getting like a first look no one has seen this. The good thing I like about the site is people can move the posters around if they wanted to. I just think it's just a nice little touch to what I do already. In my About I have Behance there as well, right here and they click on it. It takes them to a Behance. Do you think it's important when you're putting together a portfolio of your work to give each thing its own space to breathe? Because I know some people do the mood board aesthetic. Do you think that there's something that's better or worse? Yeah, I think giving space to breathe is important because you want people to be able to focus and look at the details of things. If everything is just everywhere then the user's eye is just trying to find what is good. Whereas as I'm scrolling, I see a poster or design and I'm like man, this is really dope,or I'm scrolling, I see different color schemes or whatever and I'm like, man, this is really dope. Should you stick to one style for consistency or like include all of your best work. It seems like if giving things space allows people to interact with them one by one, it seems like you could put everything, but I'm so curious, what do you think? Yeah, I think trying to do it project by project,and so even if it's a project,you have all different styles is still a project, if that makes sense. That gives you a wider range. Whereas if you just make a new Behance project and call it samples, there's no theme, there's nothing, it doesn't really grab people's attention. I wonder, is there like, do you find value in looking at your old stuff even if you're like, oh, this was trash and I thought it was the best thing. Do you still like looking back and seeing what's there that you have carried forward? Yeah,whenever I do talks, I always go back to my first flip site. When I tell you that was trash, it was trash. It's still on the web. I don't remember the username or the password, yeah, it's crazy. I think going back and realizing why you started is important. I think as you grow, if you start getting more clients, you might start to just feel yourself a little bit too much and you might start to do work for other people that you forget why you actually started. For me it's important. I noticed that when I went back to the work that I was doing, there was always this constant thing of me wanting to express myself. I was using color, I was using textures, even though these were bad combinations at the time because I didn't understand color or textures, I was using all these different elements just to try to find ways to express myself. I had so many apps on my phone, I had one that turned you into a painting, I had one that turned you into a music thing and I had another one that had a liquid. I was just trying to find ways to express myself and that is why I started design and photography. Ananya sent a private question and asked, is there a point of picking up older projects and developing them now? Yeah,I think it really just depends on you as the person. I have some old projects that I might want to bring back, I just don't know when, but I know want to. I think as you grow, you might want to redeem yourself from your past projects. I don't think it's anything bad about it. I think that's actually a good idea to see how am I reenvisioning this vision that I had five years ago, now. It's a great answer Temi. 6. Q&A on Creative Careers: We've got a lot of audience questions coming in about your career, so I'd love to talk about that. How do you balance multiple interests and developing your skills in them? For instance, you are into photography and graphic design. Do you often combine those things in your work? How do you decide what to devote time to? Honestly, I'm still trying to figure it out if I'm being honest. There's some days where I'm like, "I'm want to do design," and there's some days where I'm like, "I want to do photography," because I had a scare this year, earlier in January. I hadn't touched my camera in like five weeks. I was known for photography, but now I'm getting a lot of design work. So I was like, "Man, are people just never going to ask me for photography anymore?" So I started picking my camera again. My friend hired me for something, and I was able to deliver. I was like, "Oh, Tim, you still got it. You can still do photography. You are still talented." So I try to find a balance as it comes, but I never try to force it. Lydia is asking if you're new to all of Adobe, but want to visually express yourself, post a diet, design, and also learn how to make layouts, what should you start with? Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, what would you recommend? I would recommend Photoshop. If you draw, I would recommend Illustrator. But those two, I will say are the top two that I would definitely advice you to learn. SkillShare has different classes for you. I have a class that you can check out as well. This will just help you get familiar with Photoshop and how it works. Also InDesign as well. They also have Adobe Fresco for the iPad, which I use quite often. They have Photoshop on the iPad as well, and Adobe Illustrator on the iPad. This class is not sponsored by Adobe? [inaudible] you like Adobe products. Folks have asked how you get started as an illustrator, if you're just starting out, like how you acquire clients. Yeah. Do you wrap your hands to that? If you're starting now, use the people around you. Find friends that you want to make stuff for. Because they can actually be people that can help you advertise your work. You might do some stuff for free. You can't be charging $300 if the first time you're doing the project is the first time you're doing illustration or design. It doesn't work that way. Because when money gets tied into it, they get really tricky, and you need to know what you're doing. Someone previously had asked, do you use an agent? Do I use an agent? Yes. I have recently just got an agent. Congrats. Thank you. This was about four months ago. Yeah. I knew I had to get one because there was a big gig that came in and I did not know how to price it. I was scared. So I reached out to my friend, and my friend told me about this agent. I talked to her, we figured out how much is it going to take from it and all of that. She's brought a lot more work for me. It's just been awesome. It took you some time to get an agent though? No. Yeah. It definitely did. I was very skeptical because I've heard horror stories. Some agents will be taking 50% of what you may make, which is too much. So I talked to her about it and she understood my concerns, and my friend spoke highly about her, and they said she'd doubled their income business-wise in a matter of months. I'm seeing that right now. Even when this whole Corona thing happened, she sent my portfolio out to all of these agencies, and that's how I started getting work. A couple more questions about agents which everyone is so interested always in. How to find an agent. You said that your friend connected you to your agent, correct? Yeah. Is that usually how it happens through networking? Yeah. Definitely to networking. But don't expect every agent you meet to be down to hire you. It's competitive, because your work has to fit into niche of people they work around. So you can't have an agent that focuses on only illustration and you are a photographer. But there are also some big agencies that are looking for people. So you can make a nice portfolio, which we have one as well, that we send out sometimes to companies. I need to update it, because we've done a lot more work. But this is a PDF. If I'm talking to an agency, I will send them this stuff. It's just a PDF of the work we've done, and of course, a very brief description. This was inspired by both shape and color we saw in today's hyped up sneaker drops. We've created our take on a few shoe release posters. So they kind of have an idea of what it is. Then we broke it down into graphic design, and that included all of this stuff. Then photography and art direction, that included in this stuff as well. So that way, one its they have to download it, and once it's downloaded it's going to be on their computer. So if they ever need to reference, or work that you've done for them, or if they ever want to send you to other people, they can easily just send this portfolio for you. It's a cool thing for you to have. I used InDesign to make it. You can use Keynote, you can use Camber, and all of these things. 7. Final Thoughts: Thank you so much for attending my skill share live class. You guys can find me on Instagram is just instagram.com/temi.coker and our company, Coker Studio, is instagram.com/cokerstudio. We put some of our work on there as well. My wife and I had pretty much do this together and I've had a lot of ladies that are really like what my wife does, so this is her Instagram as well. I'm going to shout her out, Afritina is her name and she's getting into illustrations just like me as well. You can reach us there. Our website is just coker.studio. You can contact us from the website. If you ever want to get inspiration, we have this thing called Archives. It's just a bunch of work that we do for fun that we just put on here. Well, thank you so much Temi, I really encourage students who have not had their question answered to go to the Temi's profile and ask him in his discussion section of his existing class. Temi's wisdom is just overflowing. Thank you guys so much for tuning in. Please, check around this Skillshare classes on Skillshare platform. I hope you enjoy. Thank you.