What’s the point in ‘Lullaby Sirens’?

I was working all Thursday on Digital Media Practice again, looking at how one goes about getting into the design industry. For the most part it feels like you simply don’t. At all. No jobs. Oh well.
I’ve spent the day trawling through dozens of design company websites and finding that very few of them have a section for submitting any CVs or portfolios. This is maybe because a lot of jobs are posted onto blogs nowadays. Websites like GrainEdit, It’s Nice That and FormFiftyFive (all fantastic blogs) now post up available design jobs. This is because it seperates clients from designers pretty cleanly.

When you finally do find places to apply for you then have the arduous task of trying to compile your work in a manner that’s eye-catching and professional – portfolio building.
When it comes to physical portfolios almost everybody brings the typical black folder to display their work. This means if there’s even just a dozen or so applicants for a job your folder will get lost in a pile of identical folders pretty quickly. So really it’s all about trying to give your portfolio some personality, and this applies for your online portfolio too.

Online portfolios are actually more important nowadays, as prospective employers have a lot of applications to look through, and so appreciate the speed at which a prospective client can communicate their abilities online. To click a link is a lot less effort than looking at a portfolio in a folder or on a DVD.
But to get your portfolio seen you need to create a kind of online presence. Online portfolios tend to have the same issue as their physical counterparts, in that most of them are blank white lists of former projects. Injecting some personality into procedings is a real help, and it’s something I’ve been attempting to do for the last half year or so. Hence the ‘Lullaby Sirens’ moniker.

And why shouldn’t your portfolio be branded in some way? It’s a perfectly efficient way of demonstrating to prospective clients and employers that you can successfully create an eye-catching, branded sense of identity. And it helps to make it consistent, particularly when networking over sites such as Twitter, Tumblr, LinkdIn, Facebook or WordPress.

The really tricky part is trying to build that online presence and get your work spread by other folk, acquiring you more followers and twitter, more subscribers on blogs and ultimately more people talking about your work.
This also helps your work get global, which is helpful as graphic design seems to be an industry which is highly concentrated in particular places, such as Glasgow, New York, London, Berlin and other major cities around the world. In other words Dundee may not be the best place to stay if I’m intending on finding employment. Which unsurprisingly I am. Hint hint.

The 10 of ’11
4: Helioscope by Vessels

Vessels have, over recent years, proven that they are without a shadow of a doubt one of the more techincally impressive bands on the UK music scene, by taking the traditional grand crescendos of Post Rock into the hyper-active unpredictability arena of Math Rock seamlessly. This year’s sophomore release (adorned by stunning illustration by Luke Drozd) saw the Leeds-quintet reigning in their technical exhibitionism in favour of creating a set of songs with real character to them. It’s an full of contrasts, making quite a refreshing change from the typical crescendo-driven dynamic of typical post-rock albums.
For one, the band explore their quieter side more than ever before, with almost enigmatic synth-centric ambience, littered with intricate plucked guitar arpeggios and hypnotic loops, helping maintain that sense of elaborate arrangement that has become a trademark of Vessels over the course of their short career.
But at the same time the band are, at some points, at their heaviest on this latest release. Tracks like The Trap and Art/Choke deliver a wall of solid, powerchord-thick brutality, played in such an unforgivingly simplistic way to act as a fantastic counterbalance the typical precision that powers a Vessels song. Clearly this is a band who, already by this second release, are eager not to fall into a rutt. This gives the album a fantastic sense of ambition, far beyond what many other bands could only hope for for their sophomore release. One may have worried that Vessels might suffer from second-release syndrome, becoming complacent and releasing another hack of math-masterstroke debut White Fields and Open Devices. But clearly Helioscope is cleverer than that. All by being less thought out.

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