The Chicago Portfolio School


Our school's a little different. But, so are you, otherwise you wouldn't be here. Try on a few eyeballs and check out Chicago Portfolio School.

See it through the eyes of:

What’s in my Office Thursday: Drake Paul

What’s in my Office Thursday: Meet CPS alum Drake Paul, Copywriter at Golin.

Check out his advice below:

“Go to class. Get the work done. Be professional, but it’s not life or death. At the end of the day, what you’re doing should be fun. You’re making ads. It’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole and worry that you’re never going to figure it out. But you will. And it’s usually when you stop worrying about it so much.”

“When someone gives you feedback, take it, they’re trying to help. It’s easy to get defensive but it’s very rarely personal and there’s almost always some truth to the criticism. Hear them and try to take the opportunity to make your work better.”

“Sometimes the hours can be long and the assignments can be hard but you can always beat it. You can always solve it. Just relax and learn to enjoy the process. Don’t take yourself too seriously.”

Take a look at his talented book:

By heather : January 28, 2016

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Winter Workspaces

It’s winter in Chicago, which means it’s even more tempting to work in bed, cuddling with your laptop all weekend. Don’t do that. There’s a whole world out there. Here are some out of the box places to work remotely when you need a break from CPS or elsewhere:

Garfield Park Conservatory / Alright, so you may not be able to spread out at a big table or even have wifi connection, but don’t write the conservatory off just yet. It’s absolutely beautiful as well as making you forget that it’s -12 degrees outside. It’s essentially empty during the weekdays and there are plenty of benches to read, sketch or just think.

The Map Room / They serve coffee in the morning and open up the bar starting at noon. The wifi is strong, 1970’s National Geographic issues are littered everywhere, and there are free pretzels. It may not sound like your average work spot, but it’s perfect. If you stay late enough, you may even run into the tamale guy.

Harold Washington Library / Public libraries have a seedy reputation, and sometimes for good reason. But what Harold Washington lacks in Instagram-worthy decor, it more than makes up for in silence and meeting rooms. Major bonus points for the ninth floor Winter Garden, which is beyond beautiful.

Half Acre Taproom / This shouldn’t work, but it does. The tables are big, there’s wifi and starting next week, Half Acre is even throwing low key bar eats into the mix. During the day, it’s basically the perfect casual meeting place.

Coffee Shop Adventure / If the baristas at your nearest Starbucks know your name, you’re doing it wrong. This city is chock full of better options. Tour Chicago neighborhoods by stepping outside of your coffee comfort zone. Need a starting point? Try Gaslight Coffee Roasters in Logan Square, Heritage Bicycles in Lakeview, Plein Air Cafe in Hyde Park, or The Wormhole in Wicker Park.

Written by CPS Blogger and 3rd Quarter Copywriter: Olivia Crandall

By heather : January 26, 2016

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What’s in my Office Thursday: Caitlin Fitzgibbons

What’s in my Office Thursday: Meet CPS alum Caitlin Fitzgibbons, Associate Art Director at FCB Chicago.

Check out her advice:

“Portfolio school is a great time to have fun and create work that really plays to your strengths. However, it’s also important to treat it like a job. Forming good habits in school will help you get a job and jump right in at an agency/design shop. Learn to work fast. Deadlines are quick and the faster you are able to work the more you’ll open yourself up to opportunities as a junior. Push yourself on every assignment to become a better presenter. Being articulate and confident will help you sell your ideas. Work hard and it will pay off. A year ago, I had never used any of the programs and here I am sitting in this futuristic theater space called a job, and that’s pretty cool.”

Take a look at her awesome work:
Current side project:

By heather : January 21, 2016

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What’s in my Office Thursday: Chloe Lebamoff & Sarah Frazer

What’s in my Office Thursday: Meet CPS alumni Chloe Lebamoff (Associate Copywriter) and Sarah Frazer (Associate Art Director), creative junior partners at FCB Chicago!

Check out their advice:

Sarah & Chloe’s Keys to Success:

1. Every word, image, color and typeface needs to serve some kind of purpose. Be ready to explain why you did what you did when you’re in an interview.

2. Read Adweek everyday and be familiar with what’s happening in the industry. Keep tabs on what’s trending and the agency that did the work.

3. Spend more than just a couple hours before class and using a Google doc to concept. It’s amazing what you can come up with when you put in the time and brainstorm together.

4. Never use the word “I” when talking about your work. You are a team. If someone calls something out, you both have to take responsibility.

5. Learn how to stand up for your work without getting attached to it. If an execution or concept gets killed, don’t ask 3 other people for their opinion to rationalize why it still works. Move on and come up with something better.

Take a look at their awesome work:

By heather : January 14, 2016

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What’s in my Office Thursday: Kevin Zwier

What’s in my Office Thursday: Meet CPS alum Kevin Zwier, Copywriter at Wunderman.

Check out his advice below:

“Never stop asking ‘Why?’ For every brief or every assignment that’s thrown your way there’s a problem to solve. It doesn’t matter if you’re a writer, art director or designer, do your research on the client and their competitors. Ask tons of questions to everyone and anyone; the creative director, account people, your partner, your friends, your family or even people on the street. Read the reviews and comments of the product(s) on various websites. Dig deep into research because you never know where you’ll find a little nugget of insight that you can use to solve the problem at hand.”

“Secondly, this is a highly subjective business you’re getting into so never give up and never look defeated. What one person says is terrible another might come back and say they love it. There will be days when every one of your ideas or lines gets shot down or ripped apart, one that you’ve worked hours upon hours upon hours fine tuning. Don’t give up when an idea does get rejected, don’t look defeated. Accept the criticism, learn and grow from it. The same applies to when you do get an idea through. Tweaks will always need to be made but for every swing and a miss you’ll eventually get a home run.”

Check out his talented portfolio here:

By heather : January 07, 2016

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