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Portfolio review 2013: one for the road?

2013 March 16
by Matt

After mulling over which time to choose for a week or so, I just signed up for AIGA Cleveland’s Portfolio Review for (I think) the sixth time. I will be there from 11am-12:45pm, April 5 (a Friday). Unless someone takes me up on my perennial offer to do other/additional times if needed, which has never happened before so…

Meanwhile, I feel like this may be about it for me. I have really enjoyed portfolio review over the years, so much that I have toyed with the idea of wanting to do additional work with young/aspiring designers. And yet…

Of late I have, frankly, felt like it’s time to move on from a variety of routines; obviously this blog has quietly downshifted from a regular journal to occasional news and notes. AIGA Portfolio Review is certainly not immune from that “done” feeling. Contemplating signing up to review this year, I met with a deep Groundhog Day feeling, i.e. a feeling of going through the same activity over and over and over and wondering why?

Admittedly, as noted before, the students and their work have been different every year, and yet this year for whatever reason I think back and that all seems like simply rearranging the same furniture. The event itself, and to some extent every single encounter with AIGA, seems to repeat largely the same basic elements at this point: sign up, go find the location, sign in, get a name badge or button, greet and talk with other designers for a while either formally or informally, exchange a card or two, order a couple of drinks, talk some more, go home. Reduced to this level, a lot of things sound much the same, of course. But the Groundhog Day feeling seems particularly difficult to avoid with AIGA at this point, all the same.

Since moving to Cleveland and taking up as occasional participant with its AIGA chapter, I feel like I have seen just about the entire “crowd” turn over, at least twice, now. I’ve met people, gradually struck up a few acquaintances over the course of a couple of years’ worth of bi- or triennial encounters… and then they have disappeared, in many cases moved out of the state and in others, presumably, just become bored and dropped out. To be replaced by a new bunch of people and a repeat of the whole cycle.

And it just kind of feels like, well, maybe I need to move along, too? What am I still hanging around here for, after all?

I don’t know. So FWIW I am currently a Tony Gonzalez “95% certain” that I won’t be back to review portfolios in 2014. Of course, Gonzo did end up acceding to that 5% of doubt, though in his case several million dollars also played a role, so… I don’t know. Let’s see what happens.

2 Responses
  1. March 25, 2013

    Off topic, but comments are closed for the topic I wanted to reply to: I just discovered your FF timeline. Superb stuff! Do you mind if I use it on my “Great American Novel” website? Properly credited of course. Others have already included the timeline in their blogs, so I’ll take the liberty of adding it anyway, until you tell me otherwise. 🙂

    Keep up the good work!

    • Matt permalink
      March 26, 2013

      Sure, please go right ahead. Thanks for inquiring!

      I recently closed comments on the old posts because it has been 99%+ spam for months, now; naturally a week later someone wants to leave a real comment. 😉


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