Rebuilding Your Graphic Design Portfolio: Step 1

Hey Guys

So as promised I have started my, “Rebuilding Your Graphic Design Portfolio” series and step number one is to do the project you fear most.

So over the past year I have been procrastinating, dreading the idea that I need to seriously update my portfolio. I have a few solid pieces but I need to be honest and recognize where and why my portfolio is lacking.

One of the most basic projects in a portfolio is a 3 fold brochure. I’ve created a couple but I never seemed to have the right amount of content or cohesive enough images to pull it off. Well I am so very excited to say that jumping in, doing the project that I have been struggling with the most helped kick-start my need and eagerness to build a stellar portfolio.

Maybe you have a completely different project that you struggle with, like creating identities or packaging, or perhaps it just a learning curve thing like learning the pen tool and working with clipping masks. My point is that what ever project you have been avoiding, one that is preventing you from taking a step forward; is the very project you need to begin.

This turned out much better than I had expected. If you are struggling with a lack of content try finding an organization that has tons of it or use images strategically to create a cohesive story.

So yea, I’m glad I finally faced my graphic design portfolio fears, wasn’t that bad after all. Up next… logos and identities!


Rebuilding Your Graphic Design Portfolio: Introduction

Hey Ladies and Gents!

I am so excited to introduce my graphic design series Rebuilding Your Graphic Design Portfolio! Since I’ve been out of school for the past two years, I haven’t always had consistent design work coming in. Which means I’m not committing the time needed to keep my skills up to par.

As some would say it takes 10,000 hours to perfect your skills and that the importance of habitually practicing will eventually make you an expert. Well I agree and with wanting to make a career as a Graphic Designer, you must have a portfolio with stellar content. My portfolio has some decent projects in it but most of it consist of school work and is not a reflection of the work I would need to do as a professional Graphic Designer for a State Department or even artistically for my freelance business.

So this year is all about getting my career established and the only way I can ensure that happens is to rebuild my portfolio. I will be discussing brochures, business cards, infographics, logos and identities, page layouts, provide templates and much more.

Due to working on multiple projects my goal is to produce gd content every other week as I will be balancing it with my sewing projects. So one week sewing, the next gd and back and forth like that. I have had to create a schedule so that I can equally give my love to my portfolio and my sewing. I can’t help but want to sew where as my gd work, though equally important, takes a bit of initiative and is important in the advancement of my career.

So no more excuses, it is time to get rebuilding!

First up: Do the project you fear or struggle with most! Is there a project you procrastinate doing, that you haven’t quite accomplished, that you dread doing. Well I do! I hate 3 fold brochures, well at least my last two were far from stellar. Maybe it was a lack of content or the use of images. Whatever project you struggle with the most, whether its creating identities, working with typography, creating packaging; it is the one you need to do immediately. Grab that fear by the balls and stop procrastinating!

Be back soon,


Olisa Rachele

DISCLAIMER: I feel the need to add that in no way do I consider myself a top-notch professional. I’m just sharing my experiences as I continue to learn and grow and find what works best for me. I want this to not only be informal but inspiring. I know what it’s like to be stuck in a rut, trying to find your motivation. But we aren’t supposed to be waiting on motivation to come find us, we are supposed to be actively hunting it down. This is the only way I know how to hold my self accountable while committing to nurturing and developing my skills. With much love… and O Please feel free to share your experiences, critique, love and grow with me.

Making Plans

The quote that immediately comes to mind is, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”

Well I’ve got a lot of plans. Ideas too. There are tons of things I want to do and accomplish and this is the year I want to make it happen. I guess I’m so eager because I spent the last two years flaying about quite aimlessly and barely made it out alive (exaggerating).

So this year I am determined to take action and to create habitually. Which inspired me before the year was over to sit down and choose a few projects to work on and determine how and what it would take to achieve these goals.

It wasn’t just the how but when? How am I going to dedicate the time to achieve these goals? As the new year ticks away, I am more than anxious to get to work. I have a few last-minute things to clear up by this weekend and it will be time to get to work.

But as I finish up around the house, resetting my office area, cleaning, folding laundry and purging, I can’t help but feel anxious. I wonder, are my plans inline with God. I have this tendency to be the “Jill” of all trades, which means I love to dabble and enjoy all aspects of creativity. But as I sit down to make these plans I wonder if they are achievable. The last thing I want to do is set myself up to fail.

And that is why I have to remember to take time to breathe and enjoy the moment, to be present in the here and now. To ask myself, what is it that I can do now. I may not be able to plan out the whole year and I don’t want to; Where is the spontaneity in that. But I do want to hold my self accountable and be mindful as I pursue my projects.

Lisa Nichols has this saying that success doesn’t happen over night, that it’s a bunch of tiny pin hole efforts that add up. So if God willing, with his guidance and hard work… I can have hope that it’s all possible.

20170105_212120  A pic of the planner I purchased… exhale… I am following my excitement, as Elizabeth Gilbert says to do and I trust her opinion. I was intimidated, hence the article, but I’m eager and full of hope, determined and scared. Silly, I know… Planners are effective tools and I’m hoping it will not only hold me accountable but help me organize and achieve my goals!