I had the honor to be one of the graphic design judges for the Art Institute of California Orange County 2012 Portfolio Show at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity in Costa Mesa on June 13th, 2012. I love to see what other students and different schools are producing and it also gives me a chance to get outside my own bubble of designers and students. I had not been to the Chuck Jones Center in Costa Mesa (there is one in the Orange, CA in the circle that I have been to) so I was excited about just going and seeing the building. It did not disappoint at all, and to my delight they still had many of Chuck’s pieces still on display.
The center was a perfect location for the portfolio show. The show was a mix of graphic design, web design, 3D, illustration, photography, fashion and interior design students either graduating with an associate of art or bachelors degree in their respective fields. Each student had a booth space where they presented their work and also had to pitch themselves to all the attendees. This made for a busy and energetic atmosphere in the building.
My job as a judge was to review the associate of arts candidates and to assess their skills as a designer and how they interact with the public. I put a lot of emphasis on the “soft skills” when I used to hire designers, and still do to this day with most of the work I do. The “soft skills” are the group of personality, socail interaction, communication, friendliness and communication that come together to characterize the relationships that a person has with other people. There were four candidates in the AA group and all four impressed me with their portfolio and presentations. I always ask a newly graduated designer or student to tell me about the real world work they have in their portfolio and tell me the stories behind it. I want to know what went wrong, and most importantly what they did or how they fixed it. This in my opinion is one of the best ways to learn, and if a designer has this skill they will do just fine in the real world. Each of the students had work like this and all had great solutions to everyday issues that will come up in their career as graphic designers. Most importantly all four had excellent “soft skills” that impressed me. I spent over and hour and a half talking with them and going over their portfolios and career options.
I also was impressed by the bachelors candidates work as well. The time and care put into the presentations and portfolios showed the dedication they have to the craft of design. I had a great time and met some wonderful people at the event and hope to be back at the next Art Institute of California – Orange County Portfolio Show!
Here is a list of some of the designers portfolios from the show.
David Forsyth – Graphic Design
Sarah Woloski – Graphic Design
Joseph Choi – Graphic Design
Kim Nguyen – Graphic Design
Chad David Martin – Photographer
The space the center occupies is fantastic and if you are a fan of the old Warner Brothers cartoons and Chuck Jones’ work then it is worth the trip down to see the center.
About the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity
3321 Hyland Ave., Costa Mesa, CA 92626
More information about the Art Institute of California Orange County
And one last tidbit, one of the pieces in the Chuck Jones’ collection stood out especially with Fathers Day right after this event. I’ll end with it…