Our One Night Stand with Behance

Graphic Design
Visual Art

There are some relationships you wish lasted longer than one night. The Behance Portfolio Review Night on May 16th was one of those nights. Like most hook-ups, we saw the open call on Facebook, and eagerly responded with an “I’m all yours.” Here we are now, in the “morning after” phase, ready to bring out the pictures and reflect on the memories.

It turns out we weren’t the only ones who swooned over Behance’s attractive mission of “organizing the creative world” through their international network of online creative portfolios. All around the world, different cities fell for the sweet tease of “empowering Creative Professionals” through the annual Behance Portfolio Reviews (May 14th – 21st). Generally speaking, a standard “portfolio review” involves bringing your portfolio to be reviewed by industry professionals. However, the Behance Portfolio Review series flipped this system into a more popular, Pecha Kucha/TEDx style event in which three to six creatives (per event) presented their portfolios to an open group of attendees.

Here in Vancouver, we selected from a pool of nominations, the following four presenters to give a three to five minute talk on their work at the W2 Media Café:

• Peter Holmes (www.waterportraits.org)

Peter displayed his “Water Portraits,” a photography project that made water consumption visible by bridging the gap between statistics and significance. Peter took 16 portraits over a two-year period in North America, Europe, Morocco, and Turkey. The amount of water dumped on every participant is the average of municipal water input per person per hour in that country or city. There were no second takes.

• Erica Wilk (www.ericawilk.com)

Erica’s work combines many mediums and techniques, such as, collage, video, projection, textile, photography, and print. Displaying her most recent collages from conception, development, and in their final forms, Erica’s work exposed the creative process of developing art and finding its finishing stage. Her presentation finished with her “Like Project,” an experiment in which she screen-printed the infamous “like” button onto over 2,000 stickers and distributed them to people in limited amounts.

• Jaz Halloran (www.jazhalloran.ca)

As part of his encompassing work at Project Space, 221 Artist Run Centre, and others, Jaz mainly presented on his editorial designs in OCW 5.3 “Counterparts.” By creating genuineness in the magazine’s inability to be replicated, Jaz looked to establish the magazine as art. Jaz continues to innovate in the independent publishing and art scene, especially through his work at Project Space on 222 East Georgia St.

• Meg Robichaud (www.meghanrobichaud.com)

Meg focused on how she was able to incorporate her unique style of illustrations into the concept designs of start-up companies, such as Placeling.com among others. She clearly outlined her objectives, methodology, and her final results for everyone to see. The takeaway? Illustration is a tool for design. So, use it!

After they presented, Corwin Hiebert, local creative manager, facilitated an audience-speaker discussion over common themes of creative challenges, future ideas, and more. At the end of the presentations, we awarded each presenter (and Corwin!) with the signature Behance Appreciation Coin.

But we didn’t stop there. We received so many submissions for Portfolio Review presenters that we thought we would extend the event into an extra hour of “Pop-up Portfolio Reviews.” Five additional creatives (Siavash Rezaei, Kezia Nathe, Agnon Wong, Aida Rezaei, and Albert Law) presented their work on tables surrounding the presentations, while everyone mingled and traded ideas over coffee and tea. Meanwhile, we also invited Project Space to set up shop and retail their great selection of independent publications and zines. On top of it all, we handed out Erica Wilk’s “like” stickers for every attendee to stick on the pop-up presenters’ posters as a sign of appreciation.

Like most one-night stands, the whole thing was a blur of passion, excitement, and quick decisions. In the end, we couldn’t have been more proud with our decision to host the Behance Portfolio Review Night. From where we stood as organizers and hosts, we were able to take the online experience of finding good ideas and interesting people and take it to the offline world of creativity and everyday collaboration that makes this city so great.

We recommend every artist to jump into bed with Behance by creating a free online portfolio. On top of that, get three free months of their ProSite upgrade by using the coupon code: PRW3FM12. Finally, check out all the pictures on our Flickr page.