Portfolio Review


Jimlad

Well-Known Member
Hey guys, I've recently put together a new portfolio... and then Marshall from How I Met Your Mother appears in my brain with his whip.

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Getting feedback from potential employers after a rejection email is like getting blood out of something not known to contain any blood at all, really.
So if anyone's seriously bored during lockdown, I'd appreciate you casting an eye over my work with these questions in mind...
  • Is everything quick and easy to access?
  • What kind of work is this person most likely to be hired for?
  • Is the standard of presentation consistent across the board?
  • Are there any projects that look out of place or bring the overall standard down, and should therefore be cut?
Thanks in advance, and happy lockdown.
http://www.jimalgar.com
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
Always found it weird with that layout (it's quite a popular one) that there's zero text on the first page you see.... it kind of goes against everything you're taught for seo and user interaction etc. Luckily images can help but still feels a little weird.

Kind of wish there was a 'highlights' page, sort of linking in with the text page and the quote below. You have a bit which says
Published work includes 10 online games, a children’s book endorsed by the Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, and a range of children’s project books for Key Stages 1 and 2.
IMO I think you should emphasise this more than the iso bit, while important most people won't even know what that iso 27001 is, they will however see you've published books and are able to do graphics for online games etc.

From a quick viewing work is great as always so no issue on the image front imo.

  • Speed is fine... it's basically down to adobe/host so not much you can do on that front.
  • Work hired for - looks more illustration focused but based on text I'd argue you're more game/book orientated with a dose of corporate compliance.
  • Artwork is consistent and high quality imo
  • Fortuna Gaming - seems out of place on illustrations, feel it should maybe go in 'gaming'
  • Dark elf druid - images are a little small compared with others, can you make them bigger?
  • Kind of feel that the 'single image' pages feel a little weak (not art wise), not sure if you have other images to add or maybe consider a 'miscellaneous' page with single page works
  • You might have too many examples of work on there, by the time I'd got to the end I was like... thats a lot of clicking and the template makes you go back a page each time...

Don't just listen to me though, wait and see what others say too :)
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
Not a web guy - but the 21 images on the web page are missing Alt Tags - thought that was used for SEO?

Here's my view on it
  • Missing H1 headings - and also subheadings
  • Meta description seems to be missing
  • Title of the page is Jim Algar - maybe consider making this longer "Jim Algar, Illustrator, Artist, Game Art, Graphic Design"
  • Add more social media links and icons.
  • Favicon?

I think overall the website is amazing - very clear to your strengths. And as an illustrator - pictures speak more than a 1000 words! However, you might want to add a few more words to the page to make it more searchable - perhaps an intro paragraph of about 500 words or less, listing your experience, skill sets, programmes you use, methods or other info.


You should post stuff up on AFfinity and Illustrator on Twitter, etc. and you'd easily get retweeted which would get you lots of views.
 

fisicx

Active Member
Your link says https://jimalgar.com
But I land here: https://jimalgar.myportfolio.com/

So I'm already suspicious.

I'm looking on my phone (as many do these days) and I just see a long page of illustrations. Are these real comissions or just things you have drawn for pleasure. There is nothing on the page except the images. On a desktop there is the hover but that requires me to take an action to see the description.

The single pages are no better. I see a range of sketches but little else.

There are no calls to action and no testimonials

Bin the black background, add lots of whitespace on the homepage along with descriptions and captions. Tell me a story on the artworkpages.

Bin the shop - it's impossible to use unless I agree to cookies (which I don't) and the privacy policy isn't yours. I end up on the redbubble site with no way to get back to your site.

But lets get back to the root of things. What is the point of the site?

It is to show people examples of your work? Is it to get new leads? Is it just a vanity project? It is part of a bigger marketing campaign? Why are you even using adobe to publish your work?
 

fisicx

Active Member
Ah. That makes sense. But it’s a pretty crap product. If you really want a stunning website that pulls in new business don’t use the adobe portfolio thing.
 

Jimlad

Well-Known Member
Ok thanks guys, some really sound points in there. Maybe I can offer some clarification on a couple of things:
  • The site's purpose is to showcase my work, with the aim of either getting a job or freelance work.
  • I'm using Adobe Portfolio because until I can afford a separate outgoing for Squarespace again I may as well use what's included in my Photoshop subscription. No, I'm not making a website in Wordpress right now. If making websites was my business I might, but it's not.
  • I did try and have my own URL integrated in the whole site @fisicx but for some reason it didn't work, so for not I'm just using a redirect until I can get the DNS sorted out.
  • @hankscorpio SEO... damn I need to do that bit still. For the most part I'm sharing my URL on my CV and in emails so I'm not so much waiting for people to find the site as I am sending it to people, but for new freelance gigs the SEO does need doing. It's on the To Do list.
  • I think I will bin the shop for now, Redbubble keep taking my stuff down anyway.
  • @scotty I've had no issue loading it on multiple devices and OS... is it working for you now?
  • @Levi yeah a highlights page to land on would be nice. I've had that before on other platforms. The "welcome page" template in AP is weak as shit though. Might try and put something together later but for now I'll settle for faster access to the rest of the artwork. Though it might help to deliver a clearer message of what I'm about... soon as I figure out what that is lol.
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
Ok thanks guys, some really sound points in there. Maybe I can offer some clarification on a couple of things:
You should post stuff up on AFfinity and Illustrator on Twitter, etc. and you'd easily get retweeted which would get you lots of views.
I do think you should do this - you will be retweeted/reposted on various social media platforms like Illustrator and Affinity, through facebook/instagram/twitter/tiktok or other platforms I may not be privy to in my advancing middle ages.
 

Jimlad

Well-Known Member
I do think you should do this - you will be retweeted/reposted on various social media platforms like Illustrator and Affinity, through facebook/instagram/twitter/tiktok or other platforms I may not be privy to in my advancing middle ages.
I'm on social media. I have just over 800 followers on Instagram and a much smaller following on Twitter. I occasionally post on LinkedIn too. And a Facebook that really is just pissing in the wind. My Fallout/Mario fanart was once retweeted by the official Fallout Twitter account. Doesn't really translate well into paying gigs but I do post.

 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
I've seen Affinity and Adobe retweet great work if you say something like "Look what I just did with Affinity"

I know it doesn't translate directly into work - but if someone with +1m followers retweets your work you're more likely to get noticed - as far as I know... I'm not really a social media guy but I see these things regularly.
I've even see some get commissioned by Adobe to be the screensplashes for software opening, and things like that.
 

fisicx

Active Member
I'm using Adobe Portfolio because until I can afford a separate outgoing for Squarespace again I may as well use what's included in my Photoshop subscription.
Don't use squarespace! It's even worse than Abobe Porfolio
No, I'm not making a website in Wordpress right now. If making websites was my business I might, but it's not.
You don't need to make a website in WordPress. Wordpress IS the website. All you need to do is choose a theme (free) and add you images just like you have done with your current site. No coding skills required, all you need to do is write your content and upload the images.

The site's purpose is to showcase my work, with the aim of either getting a job or freelance work.
This is the key. If you want to showcase your work and get a job offer or even freelance work you need to build a website that markets your talents. If you want help setting up wordpress I can do this for you - the only cost will be a free logo for me. Once you have played with WordPress you will see how versatile and flexible it can be. If you don't like it you haven't lost anything as WordPress is free.
 

Jimlad

Well-Known Member
Don't use squarespace! It's even worse than Abobe Porfolio
I used it with no issues around 2013-2015. Templates were decent and easily customisable, and Squarespace is always top of people's recommendation lists when it comes to building an online portfolio with minimal fuss.

All you need to do is choose a theme (free) and add you images just like you have done with your current site. No coding skills required, all you need to do is write your content and upload the images.
So, as you say, no different from what I already have.
 

fisicx

Active Member
How much new business did that squarespace site generate?

If you don’t plan to change anything one wonders why you asked for a review?
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
How much new business did that squarespace site generate?

If you don’t plan to change anything one wonders why you asked for a review?
Well, they don't plan to change anything you suggested based on your review.
It doesn't mean they don't plan on changing anything.

That's the thing with reviews - it's your opinion on something that someone else created.
You may not like it - but it's your opinion - and the creator can choose to accept/reject that opinion.

I recently saw on Twitter that Ricky Gervais tweeted about his new show AfterLife Season 2 - and one reply was "It's the worst drivel on Netflix" - Ricky Gervais replied "That's a very valid opinion".
 

fisicx

Active Member
I agree Hank, but they plan to pay for squarespace which will be less effective for a portfolio site than using wordpress (which is free). Hence my question on how many leads the squarespace site got them.

@Jimlad said:
The site's purpose is to showcase my work, with the aim of either getting a job or freelance work.
The current site isn't working (if it was they wouldn't be asking for a review). If they want to find work it's less about their portfolio and more about their marketing plan. Once that's been finalized the most suitable platform can be researched.
 
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