03 Build Experience & Industry Connections
Furniture designers who work for large companies should develop industry connections in order to advance their career and find placement with a company of their choice. Creating a website, online portfolio, and LinkedIn page may help artists to develop these connections and stay tuned-in to opportunities in this career field. Designers who work for small businesses or as independent contractors may also benefit from an online portfolio or website but may rely more heavily on face-to-face customer interactions and word of mouth.
For these artists, it’s often more important to develop strong ties in the community and strong ties with local artist’s associations. Attending shows and local events will help independent contractors spread the word about their business. Keeping an up-to-date online portfolio is important for all furniture design professionals, as this can show potential customers or employers that they are still active and creating relevant work.
Building a Portfolio
Furniture designer’s portfolios often start simple. For students, portfolios may include drawings and photographs that show a basic progression from an early method to a more mature style, and a better understanding of materials used in furniture design. Mature artists will fill their portfolio with images of completed products, showing a range of styles and materials. It’s very important for the portfolio to include quality photographs in order to capture quality and level of detail. Online portfolios are becoming more common. Students may choose to use an online portfolio service to simplify the process, while professionals may create their own website.