It is finally here – the new and improved portfolio of yours truly. This marks version 6 of The Fifth Order. Along with it comes the Grammy illustrations that I have been dying to release. But let’s take a minute to reflect on the past and how I got here.
The Fifth Order v1
This was the very first layout I created for The Fifth Order. It was all done in flash, which I used to be fascinated with because of the endless interactive capabilities. It featured lots of flashy effects and one of the best tracks ever by Alston Cabral. I love Alston’s music, and to me, he still stands to be the best musician in Depthcore. I must say, it put a smile on my face to open up that flash file and browse through the website again…I’ve grown quite a bit!
The Fifth Order v2
Version 2 of my portfolio as a freelance art director. If I remember correctly, this was inspired by Eric Sin. Eric was a friend and fellow senior Depthcore member. In his prime days of 2006-2007, he created loads and loads of fresh illustrations. It’s got the so called “2D-tech” look because 3D abstracts were still big at the time. I’d say, it was a more refined version of the previous portfolio layout – stripping away all the extra animations and effects. The colors are also very different…I don’t think I could see myself using those colors in my portfolio anymore.
The Fifth Order v3
Looking back at this version, I believe it is my favorite portfolio version to date (besides the most recent version of course) I love the colors, the layout and the attitude. At that time, I was inspired and hungry to design…I didn’t care about much, I just wanted to create. I remember opening up Photoshop every day and made sure that I created new illustrations. This version of The Fifth Order reminds me of my mentality and aesthetics at the time. I felt like I was untouchable. Everything I created (I think) I poured my heart and soul into and was satisfied with it. I was starting to gain some recognition for my work, and it just felt great – I believe this version of my portfolio reflects that.
The Fifth Order v4
Ok now this layout is just weak. I recall that it was a awkward time in my art and my career and I created this version of The Fifth Order just because I was simply tired with the previous one. It wasn’t better looking and there wasn’t any improvements…in fact looking at it now, it looks like I took a step back! It sucks, but again, it does reflect my mentality at the time. I was sort of at a stand-still and just wasn’t developing the way that I would like to. Let’s not dwell on bad things…on to the next!
The Fifth Order v5
I believe this is the longest running layout that I’ve used- 2-3 years maybe? I think the reason it took me so long to finally move out of this was because I didn’t have much to complain about. It was functional, I was able to display my work in a effective way, and it was to the point. I believe this layout thought me to ax all the nonsense and just try to present my work to the audience. I no longer felt the need to do anything too fancy. HOWEVER – that may be because I had no capability or knowledge to create something better. It’s no secret that I am not a coder – I strictly illustrate and design. Version 5 of The Fifth Order was designed and coded by myself, and thus it had a lot of messy and nonfunctional codes. Coding aside – it was just outdated and it was time for an upgrade. I am marking 2012 as a great year for myself, and I plan that the new portfolio (the one you see now) will guide me towards achieving that.
The Fifth Order v6
And here we are – the latest version of my portfolio. Over the past 5 versions, I’ve gone from crazy fancy nonfunctional sites, to semi functional ones. I aimed to finally take what I’ve learned and create the in-between – the layout that is both functional yet eye-pleasing, but not tacky?
6 years of my life have passed since the release of my first portfolio and almost 8 years since I’ve started creating digital art. Just hours ago, it felt like it was yesterday, but in reality it’s been a long time…A lot of questions come up because of this realization – have I grown as an artist? Have my work become more sophisticated? What is to become of Jeff Huang in the near future?
I’ve had some doubts recently about my career as a freelance art director and illustrator – but looking back at what I did in 2006, I realize that I have taken quite a big step forward. It took 6 years to develop my identity and presence as an freelance art director & illustrator, and I can honestly say that I’ve poured my heart and soul into this. I love what I do, and I’d have it no other way. I hope to continue to strive to be better in every which way, because when I was asked in the 2nd grade what I wanted to be when I grow up, I answered firmly “I want to be an artist!”