Make New Work

This class is mostly about Career, Professional & Business Practices. Networking, Portfolios, Websites, and all the things you may not have spent too much time on in past art classes.

In addition to all that, it’s essential that you make new work.


Lucinda Lyons’ portfolio home page

Make 1 new piece of work of your choice every week of this semester.

  • Have 16 new pieces by the end of the semester
  • Pick the 8 pieces that are the strongest & relevant for your career. Add them to your portfolio!
  • Be realistic, you can’t do an animated feature film every week. But you can do a small piece every week. A character sheet. Or a 15-second animated film.
  • Whatever your career goal is, it’s essential that you make new work every week.
  • It’s going to take work to meet people and to get people to look at your portfolio. Let’s make sure you have the best you possible represented in that portfolio.
Misty Copeland’s home page

Your Portfolio is Not in Your Parent’s Attic

Sometimes students tell me there are paintings in their parents’ attic that they need to get and photograph when they go home in 3 months.

  • 3 months from now (aka “never”) is not the time to get your career going, today is!
  • The stuff you painted years ago that you think is great might not be. At the School of Art, you’ve developed your Craft & Aesthetic Sensibility, and you’ve thought through Concepts and Ideas. Make new work to present the artist you’ve become.

Software Development

There’s a story from software development that I’m pretty sure is true for all kinds of Art as well.

A developer spends 10 hours writing a new program and then loses it overnight. How long does it take to write the program all over again from scratch?

  • 1-2 hours

Even if the developer thought they were writing lots of specific code, 80 or 90% of their time was in research. Understanding the problem, learning new techniques, and so on. With all that learning in their head, writing out the code is an hour or two.

Make New Work Every Week!

Whatever paintings or other artworks are “in your parents’ attic” the artist you have become is now capable of making better work in less time. Don’t be lazy. Don’t be a wimp. I know you’re busy. I don’t care. You’re not here to please Glenn. You’re here to meet a much higher standard than that: to build and present the strongest portfolio you can.

  • Make a plan for yourself of the 16 pieces you want to create this semester
  • List your 16 pieces on your Etherpad
  • Share your list with your Class Accountability Partner
  • Make the work!
  • Revise the list at any time if you think of better pieces to work on

Sports Uniforms

Not long ago I had a student who said that designing Sports Uniforms for Nike was their dream job. I asked how many sports uniforms they had in their portfolio and they replied,

None, it hasn’t been an assignment in any of my classes.

To summarize:

  1. Student has burning career passion
  2. does nothing about it because it wasn’t a school assignment

That’s already WTF. To make it more ridiculous, across the entire semester, every time we’d meet I’d ask about Sports Uniforms for their portfolio,

I haven’t had time to do anything yet.

16 weeks after we’d started, the student who dreamt of designing Sports Uniforms for Nike had nothing to show for it except the fantasy of it.

Sure life is busy. You’ve probably got many different commitments. And we live in a world of distraction. You don’t have to Netflix & Chill or Doom Scroll through your phone, you can do both at the same time… and have no portfolio to show for it.

image: Top College

Tough Love

It is my intention to push you as hard as I can this semester. I hope I can help you assemble a strong portfolio and career plan.


  • When I go on LinkedIn and see friends who used to be fantastic film composers or students who used to be great photographers talking about their job as a marketing consultant and how they hope all their clients will come to their booth at the convention hall in Salt Lake because they really want to buy you a drink and show you their latest marketing products — it depresses the crap out of me!
  • The world is filled with people who tried to be artists and then gave up at some point. They didn’t give up because they sucked, they gave up because they didn’t know how to make it happen. Or thought it would be easier to make more money in a business career. — They’re right about that last part BTW. If money is your primary goal, get out of art now. If pursuing the career you love and managing to pay rent and put food on the table is your goal, let’s make that Art Career happen now.
  • While it’s possible to develop an art career at any age, generally, the older you get, the less likely it is. I’m not dissing business careers, but once someone goes down that road, not many come back to art later.
  • The time is now! You might have Imposter Complex, a feeling that you’re not good enough, not worthy. You might feel lost breaking into Galleries, Clients, Design Shops, Animation Studios. It’s all intimidating! But it is doable! Don’t take the weight of everything on your shoulders all at once. Look at each small piece and take it one step at a time.
  • Don’t give up on an art career because you think you don’t know how to make it happen.
  • Don’t be afraid to knock on doors, to connect with people, to show your work.


The Syllabus lists many free places to upload Photos & Videos. Upload your work each week to the platform of your choice and then paste the link to it on Your Etherpad. Everyone’s Etherpad is listed in the Syllabus.

Environmental portrait of sculptor Giovanni Pietrobon by Colin Dutton. Image: Manfrotto School of Excellence

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