Mentor Portfolio Case Study
Westchester Community College – Visual Arts
I can’t believe I’m going to get my Digital Arts certificate very soon. After three years of working through arts-related classes to build up my credits, the certificate is almost mine. The Mentor Portfolio is the final step in the process. It brings together my progression in the Digital Arts field and showcases the fruits of my labors, so to speak.
My goal for the Mentor Portfolio class was to make a digital portfolio of my work. These end products would be showcased in a website. Images I created in the past would be reworked from the point where I stopped months ago. Several of these, like images in the portfolio page, would receive tweaks like digital linework and gradient coloring, while others, like the website, would be redesigned from scratch.
Before I could make the portfolio itself, I had to make pictures for the galleries for my portfolio. Prof. Krikun and I had a discussion about artwork I could put on the site, and it turned over to artwork I posted on a fanart site. The original images were charcoal-based works of video game characters as zombies. Though, personally, I think zombies have had enough over-exposure nowadays, I still was up to the challenge. This process started in Photoshop, where the brightness levels were altered, then it was transferred to Illustrator and completed with redesigned linework and gradient swatches. I have to say, they look better in color than they did as gritty, black-and-white charcoal. There’s a fourth image I did in pencil, then with digital color. It’s a picture of a character from the anime Crayon Shin-Chan, Himawari (Or Hima, in the English version) Nohara, a baby who happens to be one of my favorite characters. Other than the initial medium (Pencil rather than charcoal), this went under the same process of creation.
The website was rebuilt from a class I took last semester, Web Design I. Since I’m taking Web Design II (With a different teacher), Prof. Krikun and I thought it would be a good idea to revamp the site I made in the fall semester. The index page no longer calls my site the “Artisserie;” it is now my “Art Space.” The image on this page is an idea I came up with one day when I was looking at other artists’ webpages. I took a picture of myself with my arms crossed, copied and flipped the photograph so it looked like I was standing with myself “back-to-back,” added filters to one side and attempted to smooth the border in between so it looks like a continuous image.
Like any project worth doing, there are bound to be some challenges on the way to the finish. The biggest one to me regarded my redone website. When Prof. Krikun asked me to come up with an idea for the new site, I tried to redo an old wireframe image in Photoshop. The conflict was that I was trying to think from a programmer’s point of view, rather than a graphic designer. The reason for this was because of the other class I was taking this semester, Web Design II. This class was taught by a different teacher, who is also a programmer. He delves deep into the code for CSS3/HTML5 without the use of the presets in DreamWeaver. I was in that mindset at first, trying to make something I would easily replicate for the web. It was during this process that I got stuck. I brought it up to Prof. Krikun and we worked together to find a solution.
This class took a good amount of effort to bring it together, but I think it worked out in the end. My charcoal and pencil drawings on the site look better than ever, thanks to my use of Illustrator’s pen tool (for lines; I have trouble with a stylus), blob brush tool (for applying color to any layer behind the pen tool retracing), and gradient swatches (to give the color a little kick). The website is still under progress at this time. The links all work, and the portfolio page, while not perfect, is at least up and functioning.
Since this is my last semester before I get my Digital Arts certificate, everything I learned needed to come together. I can say that this goal has generally been reached. I’d like to thank Prof. Krikun and all the help she gave me over these three semesters, and all the other teachers I worked with, including Profs. John Creagh (Digital Imaging), Joe Thomas (Intro to 3D Animation), Lisa Steffens (Drawing 1), Jenny Evans (Digital Video), and Michael Enright (Web Design II). Now I’ll need to work towards my Associates…
Here will be a list of tasks needed to complete a
Digital Arts Portfolio:
1) Production Management
a) List of software programs used in final projects
b) Documentation of how documents were modified
c) Documentation of projects that were newly designed and developed
2) Design projects
a) Render 3D models (previous 3D Animation class)
b) design and create a personal portfolio website
c) Modify existing works for professional end product
3) Modification of existing work
a) List of modifications
4) Resume and presentation materials
5) WordPress blog updated
a) research archived in specific categories for the Posts:
- drawing in illustrator/traditional
- digital imaging
- video editing
- web design