Behance, a popular creative broadcast network has launched Student Show -- a platform aimed purely at students in order to showcase their creative talent.
The New York based company launched the Student Show to showcase the next generation of talent, believing that in the current saturated market they are not gaining the exposure they deserve. Students are able to share their work and also connect with peers, giving them opportunities to network which may help in future job searches.
It is free to join and use, and comes with a search facility that allows users to search via level of study, school, creative field, featured and most appreciated works. On the Behance platform you are also able to create an online portfolio, scour job boards, read design articles and browse other users' artwork for inspiration.
The Behance iPhone app is now available to download, allowing creative professionals to synchronise their portfolio for offline access, explore galleries, access statistics relating to their work, and 'follow' top professionals.
Student Showcases' call to action states:
"The Behance Network receives millions of visitors each month, and Student Show is the only program that's exclusively for students. Upload and promote your work, get feedback from a community of peers, gain exposure, and even get hired.
As a member, your work may be featured, "appreciated," followed by fellow creatives, and noticed by recruiters. You'll receive updates on student competitions and exclusive discounts from some of the world's top creative brands. All members of the Behance Student Show must be currently enrolled as a student. All levels of education are welcome."
There are other platforms available for students, such as DeviantART and Dribble, but none that have as many advantages for students as Student Showcase. Nor are they focused purely on the next generation, which automatically creates a community of next generation creatives that can both learn from each other and be found easily by professionals in the industry.
Most platforms, at best, are fractured and full of poor quality work, whereas Behance's new platform is both viewed by current professionals in the field and allows for a valuable search facility. By showcasing your work you not only have the opportunity to be critiqued and improve your skills, but potentially be hired before you end up in a tough and unforgiving industry. Failing that, a creative student can build a strong portfolio to give them the best start possible.
Networking is necessary in the industry. This cannot be emphasized enough. The design and creative industry is one of the most competitive in existence, and simply knowing how to draw or use Adobe Photoshop is not enough any more.
Unless you're extremely lucky and an internship offers you employment at university, or you already have connections in the industry, you need a strong portfolio and as many connections as possible. Using platforms like Student Showcase and Twitter are invaluable tools -- many employers now use online services to scout out creative talent, and if you are going to get your foot in the door, you should consider using them for your own benefit.