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AfterLife #7 – Gareth Dunn

For the final part of the Afterlife sessions we were lucky enough to have a talk from a graduate of the course Gareth Dunn who graduated the course in 2010. I found his talk really interesting as it showed where it can take you – it’s not just always about working for the big agencies is about the creating work that you want and for the clients that you want to work with. One of the most important things that I think I’m taking away from this is that it’s not just about working long hours and grafting it’s also about taking time to have fun and also take care of yourself. This is something that I know I struggle with getting the balance right and especially in the current climate taking time to switch off and recharge is has been hard. However, knowing this moving forward into the working world should help me to try and find the balance. 

I found Gareth’s work interesting seeing how his projects have been so collaborative with other creatives in other fields. This made me think of how we have worked with other creatives in the past, but this is something that I would like to do in the future working with animators, illustrators, makers have been something that I have been thinking about. Also hearing about how Gareth has done some work which is self-initiated made me think about the opportunities that I have wanted to do in the past but found myself with no confidence to ask. This is another thing that I’m hoping to work on now after hearing Gareth speak. 

Hearing about his passion project Open Studio showed me the passion that he has for portfolios and his tips for making a good portfolio are things that I am 100% going to be taking away from this talk today. I am going to take the opportunity to get someone to review portfolio through this scheme. 

  • Good ideas with good execution
  • Start with your CV when sending to clients in case ends up on Admin desk of company 
  • Practice what you preach – spend time designing your portfolio not just want goes in it
  • Less is really more. A smaller number of projects is better than a lot of alright ones.
  • Build a narrative through your portfolio. If able to create a link between projects will help when explaining and viewing the portfolio. 
  • Be honest with what you did – don’t be worried about including group projects as long as you state what you did. 
  • Include self-initiated projects 
  • Show your workings and ideation process – gives them an idea of how you work. 
  • Proofread, spellcheck and proofread again. 
  • Get feedback from people in industry and out. 
  • Keep on top of your portfolio – check every 3 months is a good idea just keeping things up to date

I have enjoyed these afterlife sessions and I think they have helped to prepared me for getting into industry and learn from what other have learnt. I think that I have gained some confidence in the fact that there are still jobs out there in the current climate as this was something I was worried about. I feel that I have learnt a lot about working in industry, what people look for in portfolio and how this style of degree can lead you down a variety of different paths. I am excited to see where my journey takes me for the rest of university and after graduation.


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