Monday, September 16, 2013

My First Quarter of Portfolio School

Last week, I completed my first quarter at Chicago Portfolio School. I’m back in Texas right now, where I’ve had to explain 3,398 times what portfolio school is and why I’m going. Because people be like:

And then I go into this spiel about how it’s training me to be a creative in the advertising industry. And how I’m learning the skillz to actually create the ads. And then they’re like:

Immediately followed by “You ready for that winter up in Chicago?”

So what is the first quarter of portfolio school like? Well, you work. A lot. It's kind of a quantity over quality thing there are first -- they want you to get used to the workload. Because it's a lot of work. A lot. More work than I had in college. No lie, y'all. No lie.

The majority of the work was market comps (sketches). You know, 20 print ad sketches for Rapala fishing lures, 30 print ad sketches for Splenda, 15 sketches of an album cover redesign. Your life becomes a long paper trail of awkward drawings. Especially if you're like me, and can't draw worth a shit.

Yeah, that's a man in a banana suit. Yeah, I turned this in.

And then you turn your work in and there's that one person who giggles at your crappy drawings as you present and you're just like:


And then there's typography. You know, font choices, page layouts, etc. That's kind of a big deal. You'll be laying out paragraphs and creating hierarchy with your text. You'll be using fonts to create tone. And you'll find yourself saying things like "that font feels like a bitchy girl"


You'll crack jokes about using Bleeding Cowboy, Papyrus, or Comic Sans in your work and everyone will have a good, nerdy chuckle. Because, yeah...

And then by the end of the week, you'll laugh at everything due to sleep deprivation.


And then you'll be on break and miss all the chaos. Like I am right now.


I have learned SO much during the past ten weeks. My mind is already thinking differently. I love it, even though I want to pull my freakin' hair out at times. My first quarter at Chicago Portfolio School has reassured me this is what I want to do with my life. I love it.

And I've also made some smart ass, hell-raising friends who will sneak into Lollapalooza parties and go eat at The Wiener's Circle at 3 am with me. They make stressful days a little bit easier.



  1. I'm so very glad it is going good! And it sounds interesting, idiotic, creative, hysterical, fun, hard work, and you remain just as beautiful as the first time I met you! My best wishes go with you and keep you safe!

  2. I'm strongly considering CPS myself, so I've been digging for reviews about the school, which is why I'm here. Did you end up getting a job right out of school?

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