My five tips for creating a stand-out Games Art and Design portfolio
We caught up with Norwegian student Tiril Schjerven, who is in year 2 BA (Hons) Games Art and Design, for her top tips in creating a stand-out Games portfolio.
Tiril was recently awarded a Student Portfolio Award in the Women in Games Global Game Awards.
After reaching out to various art directors and professional artists within the games industry, I have collated my top five tips on creating a stand-out portfolio.
1. Structure your portfolio
The best way to structure your portfolio is by showing 70% of your specialisation, or applicable work to the position you are applying for. The remaining 30% should be other relevant skills.
For example, a character concept artist will show mostly character designs, and perhaps end their portfolio with environmental design and 3D modelling projects.
2. Best work first
Have your best piece first, to keep the viewer absorbed in the rest of the portfolio. End with your second-best piece to leave them with a good impression.
3. Quality over quantity
The viewer will judge the entirety of your pieces, therefore it’s better to have five excellent pieces that show your greatest skills, rather than 15 mediocre pieces to bulk up your portfolio. This way they can’t judge you on your inferior pieces!
4. Show your progress
Employers are interested in seeing how you ended up with your final piece. They want to see how your workflow is applicable to their studio. Instead of just finished images, include the iteration, exploration and experimentation.
5. Categorise your portfolio
Make it simple for your recruiter to access your work by categorising your portfolio. For instance, on Artstation you have the option to sort your pieces in categories that can be easily reached by the viewer. This way it’s smoother for the recruiter to find what they are looking for.
Ultimately, have fun with the pieces in your portfolio and show it through your work. Make sure it’s something you’re passionate about and willing to work with every day. Art Directors and recruiters can sense the passion if you show it to them!