Aaron Rayburn // Been There Done That: Sophomore Review Portfolio Advice

Posted on Jan 3rd, 2010 by Command Save


See more of Aaron's Sophomore Work HERE. See more of his current work HERE.

Aaron says…

I think I learned more during the portfolio review than I did in any one course. I learned that I needed to buy my own printer, make detailed checklists of tasks, and work hard, not only when "inspired."

I was misguided in thinking I could do it in the last month before the deadline. Things broke. Supplies ran out. I freaked out. In the end because of the time I wasted, my work suffered, and I had to literally patch things together. I think I spent a full two months "thinking" about how I was going to present my work. By this I mean I put nothing on paper, committed nothing to memory, but told myself that I was "thinking" of an idea. For two months.

What ended up getting me started was an itemized list, in pencil, on an actual piece of paper on my desk. Since it was where I could see it everyday I began organizing and planning. I decided that I wanted my work to be in a box, on mounted boards, with labels on everything. Once again, I was misguided in thinking I could do all of that in a certain amount of time.

In the end I passed the review, but with a score I knew I was better than. It took me three weeks to get over the disappointment I felt over how I misrepresented myself. Don't let this happen to you!

As sophomores, this review is likely the largest single deadline you've ever faced. If done systematically and with planning it can be SUPER fun, invigorating, and empowering. If put off, thought about for months with no actual action, it will be SUPER frustrating, angering, and may cause you to rub sandpaper on your eyes.

Don't be the GD student in the Neuberger lab crying because they've run out of Epson paper a week before the review. I have seen it, and boy is it grim.

I would say start with one piece of work, find a good place to print (I suggest the White Stag building at U of O in old town), with nice quality paper (French Paper, perhaps?) and record how long this takes you. Then apply that to how many other pieces you have left to create.

Get it out of your head. Plan. Make lists. Write it down. And you may just have the time of your life!