Changing the Truth


Image by August SanderA couple of thoughts on a contemporary creative portfolio. 


If you make your living creating things for ad agencies, design shops or Etsy, you'll be aware of your Portfolio Site. The repository of your skills that people have to find, understand and respond to, hopefully. A portfolio should match the skills on offer so they need some careful thought. 

I've had a lot of portfolio sites. I usually get an itch to rebuild them every two years, and last weekend my itch came back. I think I might've unconsciously noticed a shift in how people, including myself, are using the web. So it's obviously time for change.

The last round of Ivan sites put my brand work in one place, my drawings in another, and my culture blog in yet another. 
Work - TruthandSpectacle.com / IvanPols.com
Drawings - BoundlessOptimism.org
Culture - Retry.tv

I did that so my audiences got exactly the Ivan they were looking for. They could easily find more of my content by following a link, but if you were looking for drawings, that's what you found. I didn't want my day job bleeding into my hobbies and publishing. I thought it would be messy to read. 

That made sense 2 years ago when people would only search for topics that related to one of my interests.  A degree of specialisation was necessary so that people could find what they were looking for. A case in point for this would be the fact that a writer about contemporary illustration found me like this, so the theory is sound. 

But now I suspect my audience are already connected to me. They find me through LinkedIn, Facebook or perhaps even G+. I think people are searching through connections a bit more, and even Google searches are informed by socialness. 

And even if they are not connected to me, the way that Google+ and Facebook prefer real names, real people really, is an indicator of how the audience now relates content to people.  I think I may be more interesting and trusted as an actual, faceted human being than a specialised portfolio.

I think it maybe time to try just one version of online Ivan. 

People looking for advertising and design, or figure drawing or cool links, will now find a bit more than they bargained for. This may effect my reader numbers, but my audience is super niche to begin with so I doubt it'll keep me up nights.  

It seems to me that a contemporary portfolio needs to have more of the creator in it. I may be wrong and end up changing it all back in 6 months (I'll probably have another free weekend by then anyway), but it's worth a try to see what happens. 

You can see what I've been doing at by digging around this site.