Lucy Michell | Financial | Appeal

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How I Put My Portfolio Together With Less Than 100 Dollars

Lets talk about finance, more specifically let's talk about financing a portfolio. With a sweet vision and a slim budget I was able to piece together an appealing portfolio that reflected my identity, my style, and my work.

I started out with a vision of my box: an old hard cover suitcase. I ventured to a few antique stores but had no luck. I made my way to my favorite 2nd hand-clothing store, Everyday People and low and behold there was the suitcase of my dreams. It was bright red, big and hard covered, 15 bucks, not too bad.

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Later on I was talking to my boyfriend about what kind of boards I should use, being the highly skilled wood worker that he is, he suggested Masonite. He said we could cut them down to fit the suitcase just right. So we went to Menards and found a large Masonite board for only 8 bucks. And for a six-pack and a Jimmy John's sandwich ($10) Cooper, lovingly, cut out 12 beautiful boards with rounded corners and middle indent for easy accessibility.

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At that point I had spent 33 dollars total, I then had to remove the inside lining of the suitcase, it was quilted satin with ruffles (not quite the look I was going for). After which I ventured to wet paint in St.Paul. Wet Paint is conveniently stocked with the finest papers from all over the world and the finest people on that side of the river.

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I brought my suitcase in and a bearded friend and I went through book after book of Japanese, Chinese, Indian and European papers. We finally settled on speckled, retro, linoleum like paper from Japan, for the inside of the suitcase. And a sea foam green paper from who knows where, for the back of the boards. In total it was 18 dollars, leaving me with 49 more dollars to work with.

Next I called Jonathan, who had previously told me about an office max in Roseville that was far more helpful then, any Kinko's. Anyhow I arrived at Office Max only to have my work printed by the nicest young man in the surrounding area and total costs brought me to $22.81. Leaving me with $26.19, not too bad.

All the cutting and adhesive materials I had at home, which goes to show one should never throw anything away because it could be put to good use someday (I guess this can also depend on what that thing is). So before you go and spend 500 dollars on your portfolio, think about reusing, saving money, searching for deals and nice people, and use your resources and friends, responsibly. We are all creative people, and creativity doesn't only to apply to art and design.

the box looks quite scary in the picture but one can only imagine how sweet it will be once it gets a little more love...

Lucy, I think your box looks awesome. It definitely fits your style and aesthetic and I think potential employers will be impressed with your use of different materials. I wish I would have considered cheaper alternatives like you did before I spent a ridiculous amount on my portfolio.

Well done, Greg will be proud :)

Lucy, I think your box looks awesome. It definitely fits your style and aesthetic and I think potential employers will be impressed with your use of different materials. I wish I would have considered cheaper alternatives like you did before I spent a ridiculous amount on my portfolio.

Well done, Greg will be proud :)

I love this entry, Lucy!

I read this after I saw the final product - its fun to see the transformation. Tapping into all the resources you have is really good way to save money and still have a beautiful product!

No way! That thing is perfect for your "brand", Lucy Michelle. I've got to wonder where that workshop that Cooper is toiling away in is located. Is it a Co-Op shop maybe? Pretty sweet regardless.
Your post is great because I think that you can easily separate artsy designers into two camps. There are the designers that have to have everything slick, polished, refined and finished to the last detail — no matter what the cost — and then there are those that like to let a little imperfection and character shine through in their work so that it conveys a sense of personalty. I'm not saying that one way is better than the other — on the contrary, I'm saying that knowing which camp you are in and refining that aesthetic can make your design seem more deliberate.
Your case has character in spades. It shows your style immediately, lets a little well-love vintage wear shine through for some nice textures, and still conveys a strong sense of professionalism and refinement. Nice work, duder!

Nicely done! Looks like this turned out great and really matches your identity. I'd love to see the complete finished product. Hopefully I can get a look at it this Sunday. Saving money and being resourceful always feels so rewarding.
I thought I had gotten away with a steal when I bought a "defective" case, until I read this blog post. My case simply had a broken metal latch so it wouldn't stay shut. It just needed a little super glue and some lovin'. I really like what you did with your case and the wooden boards was a great idea.
I also would like to applaud you for documenting your portfolio and the great shots. Its really neat to see projects come together like that.

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This page contains a single entry by Lucy Michell published on April 29, 2010 11:29 PM.

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