How to Build Your First Portfolio? / by Xiaosong Shang

Hello everyone! Sam Martino here.

So I mentioned last time that building a portfolio is necessary, but where do you start?

There are many ways to go about this, but it really depends on what part of the industry you are focusing on. This is more tailored towards the production side; this does not really apply to those trying to work administratively.

If you are going into 3D modeling, concept art, or any of the “artistic” fields, the best bet is to start regularly posting on www.artstation.com. What you post does not have to be for a game project, they can be random objects or concepts that demonstrate your grasp of how these programs work. For example, I would happily take an environment designer if they are able to show that they understand how to model beautiful scenes or conceptualize a fantasy environment.

If you are going into programming, it is best to show off and share unique concepts you have been able to get working. Now when I say unique I mean things that would be considered complex. If you have created an AI that can properly track and search for hidden characters, that is something worth sharing.

Now writing is a bit more difficult because there aren’t very many quick ways to show off what you can do. But, there are many outlets you can post your writing samples to build your portfolio. If you can craft an immersive story that catches readers, people will be able to visualize what you’re saying without you having to build or program anything.

Granted, these are just how I look for prospective new employees, but building that portfolio is the best way to stand out and actually have something to show when you make that golden connection that will land you your first job in the industry!

Next time I’ll talk about going the indie route, forming your own studio, and all that goes into running the day to day as a small studio.

As always, please send me any comments or questions at smartino@dogwoodgaming.com, I always love hearing from you!