2016 Goals – Upgrade The Portfolio

Hope everyone is having a great holiday so far! With 2016 coming soon, the new year comes planning new (or not-so-new) goals to accomplish. To be honest, I am still drafting my personal and professional goals for 2016 but I want to take the opportunity to mention at least this one goal.

One of my professional goals is to upgrade my portfolio. And I’m not talking about just adding a couple of new design pieces in my online portfolio. I mean actually changing the way it’s presented and ditching the basic black portfolio book entirely, but will keep it for archival purposes.

Even though it’s great to have an online portfolio for easy accessibility and shows your web design and content management skills, it’s always great to have a physical portfolio if in case there is no internet accessibility when showing designs to a potential client or employer. This goal was based on a couple of informative articles from Creative Bloq, a go-to resource for anything design.

Eight Reasons Every Digital Designer Should Have a Physical Portfolio
Create a Perfect Design Portfolio

One of the things that I liked from these articles is that instead of a bulky portfolio book, the samples were presented as brochures or magazine-style collateral, which is professional-looking, lightweight and shows the client/employer your print design and layout abilities. Plus, some print portfolios can be designed as good handout pieces to a potential client or employer.

There are also websites that specialize in custom portfolio books. Most of the books are binded with screwposts so that you’re able to add or remove page inserts. Plus, these printers create high-quality portfolio covers with your logo or design. It may be bulky to carry, but at least they don’t look like regular office binders.

KLO Portfolio
Studio EQ Design

Sure, creating or upgrading a portfolio can be very costly in terms of printing, but consider it as an investment instead of an expense. If money is an issue, you can work with your local printer or look into other online printing sites to see what is more cost effective. For example, if you’re presenting a saddle-stitched (brochure-style) portfolio, you’d most likely have to reprint the entire piece every time you update with new designs. Either way, it’s always good to have a back-up plan in presenting your design work to potential clients.

Does anyone have a printed, physical portfolio? Feel free to share your ideas. Also, what are your design professional goals for 2016?

Getting Back to Art Basics at Pinot’s Palette


Yesterday, I was at my cousin’s bridal shower at Pinot’s Palette in Montclair, a BYOB art studio that provides a really cool concept of teaching a painting class while having fun with friends over food and wine.

I never heard of Pinot’s Palette until I went to the bridal shower and I have to say that this place offers a fun atmosphere for everyone, whether you’re an artist or not. You get to network and catch up with friends while admiring the artwork hanging on the wall. The place is also great for date night, a girl’s night out, birthday parties, and even for unique bridal showers. All you have to do is bring your own food and drinks, and Pinot’s provide the paints, brushes and canvases. Depending on the location, the Pinot’s Palette also offers general art classes and holds private parties at their spacious studio, which you have to reserve in advance. I definitely recommend this place if you want something different than a usual happy hour at a bar.

One of the activities we did at the shower was to paint flowers in celebration of spring (even though it’s snowing right now!). I haven’t used a paint brush in over 15 years and it felt like I was a student back in my art school days before all the things that adults had to do — working, paying bills, having responsibilities. I definitely have to thank Pinot’s Palette for bringing back the artist in me after not painting (or doing anything artistic outside of the computer) for many years.

Portfolio Update – Logo Concepts for Conference

The communications organization that I’m part of originally wanted to host a conference for communications professionals this fall in New Jersey, but have decided to delay the event until next year. I usually provide final designs in my portfolio, but in this particular case, I decided to post some design concepts for a logo that’s NOT going to be used. Click on the image below to view a couple of concepts that I have designed for the non-event.


Design Inspiration – Japanese Toys Exhibition at SFO Airport

I’m here in San Francisco on vacation for a wedding. It’s my first time here in this city so I’m very excited to explore the place.

Once I arrived at the SFO airport, the place has a museum while walking towards baggage claim. Wanted to show you quickly the Japanese Toys exhibition here. An array of posters featuring Speed Racer, Godzilla and other Japanese animation. Very nostalgic!

Design PINspiration: Home Office Ideas

One of the things that I want to do with my one-bedroom condo is to redecorate my bedroom/home office. I want to create an area where I can sleep peacefully, while at the same time, generate creativity and establish a more efficient work environment. Unfortunately, my home office looks like a storm just hit it (see below)! So much clutter, so much junk. Plus, needs more lighting and feels uninspiring.

Even my iPhone can't lighten up my home office photo!
Even my iPhone can’t lighten up my home studio photo!

I can’t believe that I’m actually showing my horrible office. Embarrassing, I know. It really doesn’t look like an area that a graphic designer/business owner would work in.

Redecorating my home office (as well as my entire bedroom) is one of my personal projects in 2014. To start off, I found some ideas on Pinterest that really help inspire my dream office. Here are a few images I like because the long table gives an illusion of a larger space (however, on the first photo, pink is not my color when it comes to home decorating). In addition, I need a new filing system, inspiring imagery and other decorative elements so that I can reorganize myself and showcase my work. You can also check out other ideas I found in Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/yvenia/condo-ideas/

Photo from Houzz.com
Photo from Houzz.com
Photo by iBrandStudio.
Photo by iBrandStudio.
Photo by cdn.home-designing.com.
Photo by cdn.home-designing.com.

I will update you with an “After” photo once everything is complete. For now, I’m looking for more decorating ideas. If you have any ideas or if you have a home office/studio that you are proud to show off, please comment below.

Design PIN-spiration – Valentines Day Cards

Valentines Day is tomorrow. If you’re still looking for some inspiration to create your last-minute V-Day cards, here are some really cool cards from Pinterest. Here are a couple images I found (NOTE: I did NOT design them.):



You can also find more Valentines Day inspiration in my Pinterest page. Happy viewing!

Halloween Graphic Design “Pin”-spiration

With Halloween coming up very soon (plus, using my Pinterest account a lot more), here are some top inspirational designs that I saw throughout Pinterest. It’s always interesting to see other Halloween designs that are more than just pumpkins, vampires and the colors, orange and black. Check them out here.

Here’s one poster design that I like, especially for The Walking Dead fans like myself.

For more graphic design inspirations, plus other pin-nable treats, visit my Pinterest account at www.pinterest.com/yvenia