No luck finding my first job in the creative industry. Would really appreciate any feedback on my portfolio as I am really struggling. | The Dots

No luck finding my first job in the creative industry. Would really appreciate any feedback on my portfolio as I am really struggling.


  • Hi Jessica,

    Just saw your post and thought I'd offer some advice to increase your chances of getting your first job in the industry. I understand your situation as I was also in a similar situation after graduating from university. There's nothing wrong with your portfolio, but you should definitely add more to it. Here's what I'd suggest:

    1. Leverage on your strengths and what you enjoy doing. Know what your strongest skills are and always put those at the front of your portfolio / showreel and C.V. - as you start to build more work, remove the weaker projects from your portfolio.

    2. Identify your weak areas and develop them - Collaborate with others as much as you can.

    3. Sign up and attend networking events. Be honest about your experience or lack thereof. Connect with like-minded professionals who may also be in a similar situation, work together and leverage on each others skills and experience.

    4. Know what kind of jobs you don't want to do and avoid them.

    5. Get on Linkedin

    6. Keep going and never give up :)
  • Looking at your animation portfolio, you have a four or five clips of "okay stuff".. but you should really focus on only including your very best stuff.
    Take for example your "Hermine Granger" clip. I would recommend you go back to that and really focus on making her more expressive. Study a clip of the way Emma Watson's face moves as she says that line. The motion of her eyebrows to emphasise "real spell". Put a mirror beside your desk and study yourself in the mirror acting it out as you animate.

    Your portfolio includes a lot of different thing (motion graphics, design, 3D animation). Pick one thing that you are really pasionate about and double-down on that. Make that the focus of your portfolio and then put in your very best work.

    Take a look at my buddy Floy'ds animation reel as an example:

  • Hi Jessica
    Never give up on your dream. When I started in the industry twenty years ago the word UNFORTUNATELY was the buzz word - but I was put off applying for jobs.

    Moving forward:
    . Directly target agencies that appeal to you.
    . Get on the books of recruitment agencies
    . Find creative networking events to attend
    . Work for free if you have to
    . Look out on the job section on Indeed and LinkedIn

    Good luck.
    If you need any further advice.... connect.
  • I would encorage you to keep creating content, remember that your portfolio isn't perminment, keep working and building it. Try to find out which direction you want to take and hone in your folio a bit more. At the moment it comes across as a generalist, which some companies are interested in but I've found people who begin to specialise get hired quicker. I hope this is helpful!
  • Hey Jessica, I know exactly how you're feeling, I've been there also.
    Here's everything I wish someone had instilled into me when I was at your stage:

    The ideal working environment exists, one where both parties expect from each other, exactly what the other wishes to give.

    That means take the time to learn what you like, in general, in work, in design, and in what you'd like to deliver, whether it is 3D animation, Motion Graphics, Visual Design, Graphic Design etc…

    Then look for companies or studios that do, exactly ( or closely ) the type of work you'd like to deliver. Look at their work, look at their designers portfolios, read some of the philosophy behind why they do things they way they do… and learn whatever process resonates with you.

    After that, you'll need to reflect how you're similar or better than those designers in your portfolio. Good people hire better people etc… At your stage you might have excellent software skills ( Adobe, Final Cut etc… ) or you might have the forward thinking philosophical mindset to propose great ideas in any industry ( this requires extensive knowledge in how people think ( comsumption, survival, entertainment, self-fulfilment etc… )

    If you're interested, I'm willing to share more and answer questions directly concerning your portfolio. For now I recommend brutally comparing your work against the top studios in the world and asking yourself the following questions:

    Would I hire myself? why and why not?
  • It took me a few years to get a “proper” job after graduating. Unfortunately it’s a very competitive market. Hold in there, it will happen!!!
  • And fuck those weak works. really. dont be afraid to cut your weakest parts of portfolio. Try everything but dont put everything in your folio.
    You have ambition and wide spectrum of possibilities. You just have to grind those skills. I suggest getting some part time job somewhere near the art/design/video not exactly where you can do the things but maybe have time to work on computer during working hours. because you have to explore and experiments and grind skills for 8h daily, 5 days a week for 1 year. Sooner or later you will hit the score. Its better not to think when. so give yourself long deadline for hard work.
  • Depends from your position... if you can give yourself time I would suggest exploring programs and apps plus painting and drawing... to add depth to your perspective. And finally find one thing that you think you are the best and pursue it. Depends from your interests. But it has to be something special and demanded on the job market. If you like doing motion... start explore 3D and compositing. really give yourself time for everything. Struggling may be difficult but this is the time when you really have to take a deep breath and keep working on your skills and perspective. Do those crazy stuff and do them more and more crazy. And when you finish it do it in diffent way. be bold. and study works of others. Why their work are best? find those points. and do it in your way. these points are principles of geometry, perspective, contrast, light and color harmony, nice movement, something edgy. Dont follow styles and topics.
  • Hi im a motion designer aswell i graduated in 2018 a year and a half ago and it been hard for me also !

    But i would say just practise practise practise!

    I was getting turned down alot for about a year, my advice would be to pay attention to design trends every studio wants 2D animation so that would be a good place to focus, I was 3D focused so ive had to alter my approach to mograph and really find myself!

    Right now employers want someone they can use as an asset and unfairly want Graduates with a skillset uni doesnt actually provide you with.

    Im still interning and applying for junior positions and doing bits of freelance work and ive been out of uni almost 2 years...its very difficult !

    Theres a few graduate intern programmes in London such as DMG and Landor in London Bridge who do Graduate Intern positions for motion designers so they are there!

    Keep practising keep learning keep developing your own sense of style, do lots of tutorials a recent employer put me onto School Of Motion which is excellent !!!

    Keep going !!!!!

  • Hello Jessica,

    First things first don't panic the first is not easy even for the rock stars.

    Second as a high level comment on your portfolio if you want to get a job as a digital designer and do really mean it than make a portfolio that soughts about. When I had a look at on your stuff it wasn't obvious at all. I would recommend you to have / develop 10 projects that shows crystal clear how amazing digital designer you are.

    For example having 2-3 different kind of websites both desktop and mobile, 1-2 interactive project, 2-3 that truly shows the technical skills you have in the digital space and maybe one absolutely out of the box experimental project fi. showing some app based VR stuff. Hope it helps. If you have any further questions feel free to get in touch on
  • Hi Jessica,

    Great work and your portfolio is good too.
    You have a lot to show, which is great - but for an initial overview of your portfolio you may want to select a few pieces/sections and make them into one video/portfolio. By not showing everything you will get there interest to ask you to show them more, and get an interview.
    Also, don’t be afraid to show your initial idea sketches and personal work - this will give them a better sense of your style and creative method, your finished pieces are lovely, but how did you get there?

    Hope this helps
  • Hey Jessica, I really like your portfolio, maybe try adding a few more examples? Also I would suggest using sites such as People Per Hour or Fiverr to get your first few jobs. The pay might not be as good, but it's a good way to get your name out there. There are also many facebook groups etc. you can join (creative networking, freelance heroes) which could help. Just don't give up or get disheartened, you can do this!

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