Hi everyone, I am new to this forum and site! Just a brief bit about me before I post the link to my online portfolio... I have been in marketing for about 4 years (am 26) and have always felt I was missing something in my jobs, the element of creativity. I fell into a marketing and design role having no design experience, just over a year ago, and luckily was put on a training course in Illustrator to help me out a bit. I started teaching myself Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator, and have progressed hugely with these programmes (I hope!) in the past year and a bit. I've loved this side of my work, and have been thinking for several months now that I would like to do a course in graphic design. I know I lack the design theory (though I have been trying to self-teach as much as possible - it's just not as fun or interesting coming from a book), and all the things that I would have learnt if I had done a course, I have been applying for marketing design roles and have had some second interviews (no agency's - unsurprisingly) but for in-house roles but have just missed out to a more experienced person. I have been working on my portfolio lately and setting myself briefs, and have had some feedback from agencies that I need to work on large big-bang ideas and concepts rather than just focusing on the final design. I think this means I am lacking design theory and wider knowledge and the whole lateral thinking, which is obvious considering I haven't studied design ever! I went to an open day at Central Saint Martins a week ago, for the Portfolio Course (not a BA - can't afford another university degree!!) and have yet to go to Shillingon's open day next week. I am applying for the Saint Martins course, but it does worry me slightly that it seems very traditional - life drawing, silk printing workshops etc. and I am left thinking will this definitely provide me with the skills I need to be able to get a junior designer role or creative role after the 10 weeks? (It is a 10 week course, with the opportunity to do one or two additional 10 week modules afterwards, £4000 each...so very pricey). I have done my research and would go to Shillington tomorrow if I had £9,000 in my bank (sadly I do not - sob) as I know that I would come out with a solid portfolio. It is very different to the Saint Martins course, which also seems really interesting (not sure how practical though?) so if anyone has any comments or reviews of these places please do let me know. Also - any other great courses, let me know. So my portfolio. I am totally open to criticism and feedback, if it will help me grow and develop, I know I am starting out, so expect some comments such as "not anything special" etc...I would like to know these things if possible! 1) What can I do to improve my portfolio 2) Honest opinions about my work - quality, range, anything 3) Opinions about what course to take / my potential / etc. 4) Advice about how to set myself project briefs that focus on the "big bang idea" as am struggling with this having no agency experience. 5) Where would you say I am lacking in my design theory knowledge from looking at my work? My portfolio is here: https://the-dots.co.uk/SarahFretwell THANK YOU!!!