13 JULY 2016
Did you notice anything about the programming this year? Well, you probably noticed quite a few things but let's focus on this: the copious number of "how to write/draw/design/succeed" panels. From becoming a voice actor to sharpening your digital illustration skills to understanding characterization, SDCC seems to offer all kinds of education and assistance to the fledgling creative.
If you're one of those attendees earnestly hoping to accelerate your career at Comic-Con, I would suggest going in with an open mind and realistic expectations. Every year I see people go to the "How to get your novel published! How to turn your indie comic into a viable income!" panels - and while sometimes attendees pick up a few good insights, those panels are rarely a career-altering event. Definitely go by all means, but don't get too attached to the outcome. And remember that many panelists are holding panels precisely to pad their bio or promote their products. If you're new to SDCC and have your creative career top of mind, you may want to read about who benefits from SDCC, as well as the soft skills you need to network and the materials to bring and the touchpoints available.
Because there are absolutely some solid opportunities to network, learn or promote - and CCI announced the schedule for one today, Portfolio Review. The name often leads attendees to believe it's only for visual artists and that's actually not true. Here's what is.
Portfolio Review is an opportunity to get your samples in front of companies like Disney, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Hasbro, Lego and other titans.
Who Can Participate
Video game designers
Copywriters and TV writers
Comic book writers, editors and artists
How It Works
In the morning, you'll sign up for the Portfolio Review list - and fill out a ticket for your target company. 15 minutes before that company's review time, they'll post a list of the randomly selected people they'll see.
How To Prepare
Bring your best work, samples that show your range and depth. But you should also be prepared to answer questions - not just your professional history but your goals, your collaborative skills, your self-perception of your own talent and other potentially squirmy topics.
You may or may not get seen by your ideal company; you may or may not get valuable feedback; you may or may not get an invitation to a working relationship. But I think Portfolio Review can still be a worthwhile exercise, especially if you're fairly new in your career. The more experience you get pitching your work, the better you'll be at it - less nervous, more natural and eventually, more compelling.
And as with everything at SDCC, you never know who you'll meet. Be open and see where Portfolio Review takes you. Good luck.