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Portfolio Reviews
Conference & Stage Expo
For the Record

Rafael Jaen, who will lead the Costume Design & Technology Portfolio reviews at the 2010 Annual Conference & Stage Expo, gives his tips for portfolio presentations at right.

Illustration/Rafael Jaen

Plan Costume Portfolio Review

Rafael Jaen
Costume Design & Technology Commission

Part of the excitement in putting a portfolio together is the ability to plan details such as page layout, content variety, and aesthetic sequences. The portfolio then becomes a showcase of the designer or technician's process, resourcefulness, and artistry. Putting a portfolio together can seem like an impossible undertaking, so it is helpful to get feedback from other artists, teachers, and colleagues.

Here are five key aspects to consider when planning the presentation of a portfolio:

  1. Pay attention to grooming and use professional manners.
  2. Have a plan, use clear voice articulation, and listen carefully to feedback. Clear labeling, captions, and keys will help guide the viewer.
  3. Have a beginning, middle, and end. Plan transitions between projects. Include visuals that explain the scope of the project.
  4. Have brief concept statements, and use proper garment names and period references. Include important research materials. Be current with the show information and dramaturgy.
  5. Feature different theatrical styles and historical periods. Include different sketching styles. Make sure the page layout and use of captions are impeccably designed.

The Portfolio Reviews at the USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo are valuable sessions that can assist designers and technicians. This year, Rafael Jaen will head the Costume Design & Technology Commission's Portfolio Reviews. The Commission highly encourages all participants to share in the excitement of these sessions. Volunteering as a reviewer can be quite inspiring and helpful to both the interviewee and the mentor. Having the courage to get a critique from professionals in the field can be of great value for the young designer or technician in building self-confidence and setting next steps.

For more information and to sign up, contact Mr. Jaen at . Provide area of concentration, school affiliation, and level of study or experience.

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