Friday, May 24, 2013

My College Portfolio

-By Dan dos Santos

I've really been enjoying Donato's 'Portfolio' posts recently. I hold his work in very high esteem, and somehow seeing his own humble beginnings makes my own personal endeavors seem that much more achievable.

I've thought about doing a similar post before, but cringed at the idea of some of these works seeing the light of day again. Though, in the spirit of sharing, I thought I too would showcase some of my earliest paintings.

I graduated from the School of Visual Arts, NYC, just over 13 years ago. Upon leaving those doors, my portfolio consisted of just 5 mediocre oil paintings. Nonetheless, I began shopping them around, looking for freelance work. These are those 5 pieces.






18 comments:

  1. You might be a little too hard on yourself Dan. These are nothing to blush over. I know these aren't on par with your more recent work, but isn't that good news? I think most of us would be very pleased to say these were the paintings we had when first setting out in our professional carreer. Even Donato (whom you so obviously admire) would likely envy those pieces at that point in his carreer. I know I do. Anyway, thanks for sharing despite whatever reservations you had. I enjoyed seeing this.

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  2. Dan, these are great, but like keith said, after 13 yrs of painting if you didn't get better there would be something terribly wrong. I also like the painted logo in the right corner.

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  3. These portfolio and school-related posts have been awesome to see, thanks Dan! I would love to see the MC collective make a post on their opinions of art school as a whole as it stands now.

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  4. Mediocre? Perhaps... but more importantly, with this portfolio how long did it take before you got hired?

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    1. That was my first thought, what were those early job opportunities, how did they go? Seems there's much more story to tell ;)

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    2. Well, there weren't many opportunities actually. It took me about 6 months to get things rolling. Perhaps I'll expand on that for tomorrows post.

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    3. As a soon-to-be art school graduate and a Dan fan, I look forward to hearing about that part of your story.

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  5. I really love seeing the early portfolios of my favorite artists, but at the same time, it always makes me feel inadequate because it's like, wow, if that's what his portfolio looked like when he graduated, I am way, waaay behind. My portfolio certainly did not look like that when I finished school!

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  6. I wouldn't worry about being behind TF, more that Dan was way ahead. I have a theory about certain groups of graduates. Guys like Dan, Sam Weber, and Eric Fortune were dropped by aliens as a pod to study the human race. They found us so cool that all of them decided to stay and kick our asses as artists. It's OK though because we can still kick their butts at beer guzzling and chicken wing eating.

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  7. I was just thinking about something Donato said in his post yesterday about the difference a year can make. This year has felt like it has been "that" year for me. Like every time I try something new I learn something and find I've improved. It's addictive to get better, and I feel like I'm finally starting to really "get it."

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    1. Precisely! After I graduated, I kicked into overdrive and the next 8 months showed more growth than my previous 2 years.

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    2. And that's the thing that cements it. I believe that those students who realize that graduation is the real beginning and use the tools that they hopefully worked hard to gain in school are the ones who make that staggering improvement. It's been a privilege for me to sit back and watch certain artists like Dan go from student to professional. Do I remember at least on of these pieces in the SI student scholarship competition Dan?

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    3. Yeah, you've got a good memory! The 'bee' piece won the call for entires award for my year. Graduation was definitely enlightening. The realization that my teachers were now my competition was an eye opening moment.

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  8. Really enjoying these posts by you and Donato, Dan!

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  9. Thank you for sharing this Dan! I've been a fan of your work for a long time and even what you consider mediocre I think is pretty awesome. Now that I have been out of school for a while, I feel like I'm entering a place with my work where I'm about to make another "jump" and improve some more. For the longest time while I was in school I felt like I hit a plateau and only after leaving did I feel like I started to break free. I do my best to stay focused and determined. I look at the stuff I did during my time at school and a lot of it I dislike. Is it a good idea to remove all the work I did as a student out of my portfolio?

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  10. These are much better than my college portfolio and I have not starved to death in over 20 years. Looking back it's surprising anyone gave me work but I am glad they did. It's good to know that we are better now than we were then.

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  11. These were so interesting to see. Certainly there are glimmers here of what you were to become (too this point) but it is also obvious how much you have grown over the years. That last image looks so familiar, I could swear I've seen it published somewhere before.

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