The Digital Portfolio

The Digital Portfolio

I led a 45-minute workshop for Stanford University Summer Arts Intensive students in September 2010. This presentation covers strategies, tips, and resources for developing your creative digital portfolio.


Megan Erin Miller

September 16, 2010


  1. THE DIGITAL PORTFOLIO Workshop for Summer Arts Intensives, 2010 Megan

  2. What is a Digital Portfolio? A packageable, digital representation of

    yourself and your achievements Not just a website Think outside the box
  3. Importance Represent yourself (as an artist + other) in today’s

    world Learn the language of digital communication Develop a real-world skillset
  4. Knowing Your Goals and Limitations What are you trying to

    achieve? What is the best way to achieve that through digital media? What are the tools available to you? Knowing your limits, being realistic about your goals
  5. 1) Think About Your Audience Who will be looking at

    your portfolio? Does it need to serve multiple audiences? Outline ways you can represent multiple facets of your work
  6. 2) Identify Scope and Format What is the media and

    information that you want to present? Simplify and shorten your list! Tell a story - highlight quality examples to illustrate a point How do you want to present your work? What formats/tools already exist that meet your needs? Be realistic about your time and goals
  7. 3) Identify Tools and Skills What tools are available to

    you? Stanford, the web, software What skills could you learn, and do you have the time? Learning skills in digital media is extremely valuable The best combination = your skills + tools that help you achieve your goals within a realistic timeframe
  8. 4) Draw it on Paper Sketch several ideas out on

    paper Experiment! Layout should be flexible and able to hold all of your media Layout should address your audience If you will need multiple layouts within your portfolio, sketch them all out fully on paper White boards are great for brainstorming!
  9. 5) Make an Outline Map out your information architecture Reduce

    your main navigation or sections What overall categories can you fit your media into? Identify the scope of your portfolio: Place all of your content in your outline Match up your layouts with your outline
  10. 6) Build, Build, Build First create a high-quality design in

    Photoshop or Illustrator before you build your portfolio Coding and technical work takes at least three times as long as you think it will! Building from scratch gives you more control, teaches you skills, but takes more time Many resources on the web are available for free!
  11. Software and Coding Languages to Learn Adobe Creative Suite Software

    (Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, InDesign, Flash) Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) -
  12. Tips for Learning Software Find a video tutorial and follow

    along Learn as MANY keyboard shortcuts as possible and practice! Take on small projects to practice and hone your skills Take advantage of training or course opportunities Have realistic goals and pace yourself
  13. Understanding Adobe Creative Suite Workflow Photoshop: high-power graphics editing program

    used for editing images, photos, and creating graphics/illustration Illustrator: vector graphics, line-art, type, layout for one-page designs and flyers InDesign: multiple-page layouts, master page templates Dreamweaver: for coding, creating websites (WYSIWYG) Flash: animation, interactivity, dynamic designs Bridge: Adobe’s super version of Finder/Windows Explorer
  14. Shortcuts and Pre-Made Tools Adobe software automation Web resources Blogs,

    website templates, hosting sites for artists, etc. Utilize YouTube, Picasa, Flickr, or other media hosting sites
  15. Web Resources TFAW website ( training Layers Magazine, etc.

    CSS/HTML Reference Tutorials online When in doubt, search the web!
  16. Stanford Resources Meyer Media Library + Help Desk Stanford Bookstore

    (student pricing) Residential Computing Your peers