some good student online portfolios

These are UMass Dartmouth students who are graduating this year. Michelle Bowers shared these with us. They all use portfolio templates like you’re using in class.


Gallery Show Reflections

  1. Show Reflection

I see progress and perseverance in my own body of work. It has been a very difficult semester but despite that I still managed to create and that means the world to me. Usually in difficult times I feel too emotionally drained but this time the illustrations got me through it. This marks a huge change in my relationship with my work and I hope that it continues this way. Seeing all of my work arranged together was gratifying and wonderful. I was able to see my style carried through all 14 pieces plus the portfolio of portraits on the ipad. The work I chose for the show represents my time here at FSU and the progress I have made here as an artist. I can see how my professors have influenced my work and how they have taught me to self critique. For me personally it represents my ability to turn the pain I feel every day and my mental illness into something beautiful instead of something dark. I am reminded of a quote from Doctor Who, “Pain is easy to portray, but to use your passion and pain to portray the ecstasy and joy and magnificence of our world, no one had ever done it before.” This was said about Vincent van Gogh and how he turned his torment of mental illness into beautiful, colorful life. I think having this ability is special and I am very thankful for it. I have come very far from when I first started here, but know I will always be learning and experimenting with my artwork.  

Putting together a gallery show was very daunting for me because I have a hard time working in groups. I enjoyed arranging my own work into a layout which I think worked well. I was especially lucky to have my mum’s help in setting up as I was very sick at the time. I also enjoyed incorporating real flowers and the ipad into the show. I think this experience helped me to look at different aspects of my artwork and compare them. I had never placed my botanical drawing next to my travel or hat poster. Being able to see them side by side I was able to track my progress and see my personal style emerge.

This process has made me more confident in my work and has inspired me to apply for different gallery opportunities as well as specific projects.

  1. I am applying to the Spring Art Festival through the Art and Frame Emporium this year.
  2. I will be applying to the many galleries in Northampton this Summer. Aside from getting my work out there I would really like to learn more about gallery layout and design.
  3. I will be making a book out of my botanical illustrations and a deck of cards for transportable plant identification.
  4. I plan on looking into grant programs for botanical illustration when the semester ends.

2.)  Descriptions of my individual projects


  1. The Hat Manufacturer’s Convention

Hat Poster colored.jpg

Giving the atmosphere of a tea stained Victorian advertisement I have used tones of brown and deep reds. Sweeping like wild vines the lines twists and grow framing each section. A woman looks serenely over Saint Basil’s Cathedral, painfully recreated in immense detail. She wears a traditional Russian headdress made from soft green moss like velvet.

  1. Maori Culture- The Ferns of New Zealand

A Maori woman stands in an iconic pose her back to us and her face turned just enough to look up dreamily. She wears detailed, beaded traditional dress with reds offsetting the black and white. She holds an unfurling fern in her hand, seemingly offering it. Two giant ferns sweep upwards and curl in towards the woman framing her in deep forest green. Below her a Maori boat frames “Maori Culture” with detailed carvings. The tops corners depict different boat oar carvings in detail splayed in a fan like gesture. Carvings from Maori temples frame the title.  

  1. Botanical Lines

There are 10 flowers depicted. The botanical illustrations define the detail in the delicate petals, giving new life to the natural textures. I used black and white to further emphasize the details.The lines curve around the forms just as ridges in petals do. In the originals the lines can be felt, slightly carved into the paper by quill nibs. I attempted to create a sense of a scientific display by using 9×9 inch squares with the flowers centered and used the botanical binomial scientific name for each plant.    

  1. Luna Moths

Intricately detailed lines create a scientific atmosphere for viewing the insects. The moths are colored with soft fuzzy greens and pale red giving them an ephemeral air. The float in their squares silently. Their colors offset the black and white of the botanical illustrations that they sit next to in the display allowing the viewers eyes to circle back to the other colored items displayed.    

  1. Faces Among the Flowers

Carefully illustrated portraits of important women in my life surrounded by their favorite plants and flowers. Each piece is drawn from a picture of the subject in which they felt beautiful. Having these reference pictures were a very important part of the work, I needed the subjects to not be fully aware that they were being photographed so they would be themselves truly and without the context of other people’s thoughts.
3.) Images of my work Online Portfolio

My Gallery Layout

Show and tell: video scribe animations

Wowing your client with educational style animations (easy to make with scribe software).
Holding attention trough scribe videos is a great marketing tool to remember important facts about you or your client’s branding.
why using video scribe:
quick video demo, using the software interface:
Free 7 day demo (includes company watermark when saving a video)  ={

AIGA: Stuff You Didn’t Learn in School (February 4, 2016)

Hey Guys!

So a few of us had attended the AIGA Event (Stuff You Didn’t Learn in School) this past Thursday at Lesley University. I will say that it was definitely well worth the trip!

Seth Johnson is a fantastic speaker and designer from IBM. He provided us 4 key points to acknowledge when preparing for the big interview, and even for after we get hired.

  1. It is your job to tell you client or team what YOU think they need.
  2. Just shut up and listen.
  3. Keep making your own work.
  4. Always be curious, never be satisfied.

He also pointed out other tips to help you as you are starting out in the design world.

  • Find a mentor, no matter what job, or who it is.
  • Have good observation of other’s work and your own.
  • “Fake it till you make it.”

He made a point that we will have our ups and downs. He points out that we may end up hitting rock bottom before making our way to the top, and that’s okay. Seth himself never went to design school, and was a designer for smaller companies before making his way up to IBM in Texas. He was inspiring in a sense to never give up. My favorite key point of his is to learn to NEVER be satisfied with your work. Just because we finished our portfolios before graduation, doesn’t mean it’s finished forever. Always update, and push for other personal projects that say something about you.

Here is Seth’s website and some of his work:

I have learned so much from this experience and thank him for taking the time to fly up north and talk to us. I’m glad we had the chance to go, and will definitely be attending more AIGA events in the future.

~ Katie