Saturday, August 21, 2010

The thinnest veneer of legitimacy

This semester feels to me like the buckle-down, come-to-Jesus, now-or-never semester, both in that my writing skills have been exhausted to the point of spouting cliches, and in that I'm taking classes advanced enough that they are teaching me skills I will actually use in my career. I had my first in-class meeting today for Document and Information Design, which I've been looking forward to ever since I knew I had to take it, because you are Someone when you know Design. Seriously, I am going to soak up everything in this class and name-check the shit out of it for the rest of my life. Heck, I already do it with the fact that I own CS5 and have seen Helvetica.

However, I learned today that this class was not just about making oneself comfortable enough with design to be semi-douchey about it. No, I go to a state school, and as such we are required to learn real-world things that will make us less douchey (and, maybe more honestly, less of a liability to the taxpayers). So today, with the threat of participation points hanging over my head, I was forced to do something I've been putting off for the last year and a half of my life.

Ladies and Gentleman, I portfolio.

Okay, I made my portfolio today; I didn't fill it. And I'm still getting used to WordPress - after using Blogger it's a bit like making the PC-to-Mac transition. But developing the portfolio is part of the class too, and of course, the more work I do, the more I'll have to fill it with (Do you need me to do work for you? I'm a competent editor and less douchey than average document designer! Plus I'm cheap because I have no idea what the industry standards are!)

It's actually a bit unnerving to have my work on the internet where people can find it. I'm a little hesitant to show people things that I know are student-quality. And yes, I know that's a pointless thing to be scared of, especially since I constantly Tweet about being naked am a musician who performs on a weekly basis in front of a large group of people. The point is, developing a thick skin/shamelessness about a skill set takes time, and to be honest, I'm glad I'm being forced to do it now. My stage fright completely disappeared just months after I got a regular church job, to the point where I pulled off an entire Easter Sunday's worth of music with less than a week's preparation without thinking twice about it. I'm hoping something similar happens here. I won't be scared to post my portfolio, because I can't afford to be.

So stay tuned. Bookmark/RSS that shit up. Forward it along to your hiring manager friends, you know, once there's actually stuff in there (coming next week: my resume!). And please, be gentle :)

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