Data #15: Interviewing Justin Wood

I interviewed Justin Wood, one of my classmates from the Intro to Writing and Editing for the World Wide Web (course #: ATEC 3320). Wood’s interest is in 3D modeling. Visit his blog, An After School Guide: ATEC, to learn how you can be prepared to find a job after you graduate!

The Interview
This interview was communicated through an instant messaging software. Some of the dialogues were edited for clarity and quality purposes.

Susan: As of Spring 2011, what year are you in?
Justin: In the ATEC program I’m considered a junior, but I graduated from high school in 2006. I should have graduated in 2010, but I’ve switched schools and changed my major so many times I’m behind schedule. But I finally found what I really want to do with my life, so I can’t complain too much.

Susan: What is your experience in building portfolios?
Justin: I actually haven’t started building a portfolio yet. I don’t think I’m prepared to even make a demo reel. Over the summer, I’m going to work on my drawing/concept art skills and teach myself ZBrush so I can try to start making organic models. Once I start making the models that I want to do on my own, then I’ll start looking into making a demo reel and later a portfolio.

Susan: What would you like to know about portfolios?
Justin: The main thing I want to learn about portfolios is what companies are really looking for when they see potential employees’ works. Also, I have never made a website before. When I start creating good quality work on my own, I’d like to be able to have my online portfolio. That way, I can add a link to my own web page and make myself look more professional when I e-mail companies.

Susan: Based on your experience, what advice would you give to the younger ATEC students?
Justin: Take every class assignment seriously and find ways on how you, as an artist, can benefit from each class. Experiment with Autodesk Maya as much as possible. The more time you spend with the program, the more you’ll learn about it. But, that’s half the struggle. Once you learn all the tools and functions of the program, then you can really start bringing in your own style, and you’ll have more time focusing on your designs. Oh, and draw as much as possible. I realize that a strong background in traditional art is extremely valuable.

Susan: What are some good online portfolio websites would you recommend to ATEC students to look at?
Justin: Here are some websites I would recommend:

  • [ ] – Alessando Baldasseroni is one of my favorite artists so I’m probably biased anyway, but overall his portfolio is very clean, easy to navigate, and direct. All of the categories are in large tabs with large lettering and very nice banners.
  • [ ] – I’m a big Feng Zhug fan. I know he’s a concept artist, but I still think his portfolio is great. He has the usual tabs at the top to navigate for his info/contact, gallery, school, etc. But what I really like is how he displays his work in nice big pictures all the way down the page. Then, you realize that the number tabs are pages of just as many work. What’s funny is that the works that are posted on his portolio are probably just a small fraction of the work he has done. It makes you feel like you are far behind and you need to kick it in gear and get to work.
  • [ ] – And finally Michael Kutsche. I talked about him a bit in my blog. I’ll probably be doing something similar like his portfolio. His portfolio is extremely simple and organized. He doesn’t have all the gimmicks that you see in some page. It’s straight to the point and a clean website.


  1. Wood, Justin. Instant message interview by Susan Lee. 25 Apr. 2011.

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