Cartoon and Illustration

Your Portfolio and You (Part One of Many)

As promised, today I’m going to begin a series on putting together a portfolio.

Now right out of the gate I’m going to get some nay-sayers who are going to argue that, “portfolios are a thing of the past–it’s all on the internet now!  And who needs to show samples anyway?  I’m just going to take my work to the people and be a success!”

Which brings me to my first point.

A successful portfolio involves two major facets:

• Professional Samples

• Professional Attitude

Now I’m not saying this because I’ve always had both.  Far from it.  I’ve had lousy samples and lousy attitude enough times that I’ve been passed over for many, many jobs–and been oblivious to the reasons for being passed over during those times.  But in retrospect I’ve come to realize my shortcomings in most of those cases.

First piece of advice for those attempting to present their work to the public–whether that “public” be random people on the internet, art directors (yes, they still exist), editors (ditto), art buyers, etc.–do not speak in a condescending manner to the person you are attempting to sell your talents or abilities to. (Don’t cop an attitude).

When I use the term “portfolio” I’m using it in a generic sense to describe any systematic presentation of an artist’s work intended to demonstrate his or her talents and abilities to potential clients.

That being said, I believe in the value of an online portfolio as well as a physical portfolio (actually any number of physical portfolios) preferably all coordinated with one another.  I’ll get to the why of this later on.

I’m going to keep this short today–except to say that I’m going to be working ultimately toward a comic book (graphic novel, sequential art) portfolio presentation within this series of blogs.  Beginning generally and working toward more specifics, because that’s how I started, narrowing my focus down gradually over the past 30+ years the way one might sharpen a pencil point (which is a nice analogy to end with for the day).



Cartoon and Illustration

(semi) clean bill of health

So, yesterday was my follow up visit with the hematologist here in Waynesville (well, he’s in Clyde–but close enough).  The news is very good.  Although I’m still “slightly anemic” both my white and red blood cells are back in normal range.  So my bone marrow is back to making blood like it’s supposed to–which was the point of all this therapy, going to Duke University Medical Center, getting chemo, and all that stuff.

Sure, I’m still a little on the weak side, as one would expect after several months of being anemic.  I’ll have to continue to eat stuff like lean red meats, spinach, lentils, kale, and all that stuff Karin’s been feeding me for months anyway.  I’m also underweight.  I weigh about what I did when Karin and I got married back in 1988–which was fine for a kid of 23, not so much for a man of 52.

I’m still dealing with what appears to be side-effects of the chemo and immune suppression drugs:  lingering fatigue, indigestion, heartburn, and (you’re going to love this one) “perversion of taste”.

That’s why I’ve been watching old CHiPs reruns!

No, actually it means that certain foods that I normally enjoy taste funny to me.  Like, for instance, butter–just not right.  So imagine if you will having a nice slice of toast with butter and jelly on it, only the butter tastes like a helping of refried beans.  Not very appetizing is it?

Which accounts for at least some of my weight loss, right?  I’m sorry…I haven’t even tried eating any Mexican food for fear of how weird it might taste.

Lettuce is also something that doesn’t quite work for me.  If I slather it in enough dressing I can choke it down as part of a salad, but if I get much of it alone I get that bean flavor again.

In fact “bean” seems to be the default flavor for now.  I’m getting past it, I think.  Finished up the last of the immune suppression meds on Tuesday, so hopefully that taste issue will go away in a couple of weeks–but you never know.  I’ve had this sort of thing before and it can last for months.

Fortunately milk is okay–in small enough doses.  A cup is okay.  A glass is too much.

Anyway, I must be getting better or else I wouldn’t be complaining about this little stuff, right?

But getting back to the point–I have literally flown through this process.  And so I want to publicly thank my God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who got me through the whole process and kept His healing hand on me through the whole thing.  I did not deserve it, and do not deserve it–but He was merciful to me nonetheless.

I would also like to thank all of those who prayed for me and Karin during this process (additional prayers appreciated, because we’ll be going through the aftermath of recovery for some time).  Your concern and love has been like nothing we’ve felt before.

My plan is to stop writing about hospital stuff for a while and start writing about arty stuff again.  So look for a series on how to put together a proper portfolio soon–which is leading up to something big this spring and summer.