Am I ready for prime time?



  • I am wondering if my work has progressed to the point that I should put together a portfolio site. I really like the direction my drawing has taken in terms of style. I would love to her some feedback from you guys, even though it makes me nervous.
    I would primarily be interested children’s books along the lines of Jan Brett, Chris Van Allsburg, in terms of reading level. Not really interested in young readers. I also would love to do book covers.

    What areas of weakness do you see?
    Does the work look professional?
    Should I go for it?
    Do I have a cohesive style?
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  • I say go for it! A portfolio is always evolving so I'm an advocate for just taking that leap of faith. Maybe start off with a free site (like one you can make with wix or something) to start out. I wouldn't invest money into a site until you are getting regular work or at least enough work to break even for the cost of maintaining a paid site. But that being said, it's unlikely anyone is going to hire you without first being able to see your work in an online portfolio - so I say go for it!


  • Moderator

    Totally go for it! I'm surprised you don't have one already. You will continue to grow and your portfolio will change/ should change at least yearly, so what you see now will look even better next year, but now is good. =)x Do it.



  • Yes! You have enough work for a portfolio and you can always edit it and add as you go. Go for it Chris!



  • Anyone's ready for a portfolio website as long as they think they are and that they want one. The main thing is to decide is what is your goal? Is there a specific area of illustration you want to target and do you have enough work to cater for that at the moment? I think one of the svs team made a good video about making your website so I'd check out the tips on that first.

    I would say your work is up to a good standard however some pieces are much better than others and as the saying goes "you are only as good as your worst piece". Your latest one is really good ( the dragonfly) as is the crow but it doesn't feel in the same style as your older pieces. Not to say the others aren't good but it doesn't feel consistent.



  • Yes, I agree with everybody. You first need to figure out the goal of your website. If it is just to show your work and contact details then there are plenty of options to consider: for example Wix or a free Wordpress template. Although for Wordpress you need to know a little bit how to install it and how to work with a CMS etc. You can even consider to just use social channels like Behance, Artstation or Deviant Art to publish your work. Artstation and Behance are probably the more professional platforms out of the 3.

    Anyway, I like your style. Yes, some pieces are a bit inconsistent, but I have the same thing. I would do it, because it will motivate you to add more and more pieces to your website and portfolio. By doing this your style will grow and in the end creating a more consistent portfolio.



  • at the end of the day the people our there who might hire you are the ones to decide if they want you or not so its never really to early to show what you can. what i would ask myself is, are you ready to do the work?

    i can just take myself as a example and alone based on the time i am still putting in my august image i know i am not even close to being able to take some real work in the illustration field alone due to the fact how long i sit on on it, hour wise. edit- its early here. missed the part. how long does it take you to finish such a cover drawing or a full page etc. thats something you should keep in mind especially when you are new and someone approaches you with something you dont really have done before.

    @Lee-White had a story about such a situation in the podcast where he got baited with a huge fish but had to retract due to it being to much work for the time given.


  • SVS OG

    @chrisaakins hi! You’re work has definitely improved. If you want to create your own site, I say go for it!



  • @chrisaakins I say, GO FOR IT!

    Your animals have good consistency, in terms of style, etc. Definitely do more.
    The other two look like portraits. I wouldn't add them. That's my opinion.

    I'm also trying to completely change my portfolio. For me, no more portraits, no more caricatures.
    More animals and nature, etc. And characters.

    You only live once,...apparently. So, what are you waiting for? GO FOR IT!



  • Definitely! Don't wait. I personally like the portrait of the girl because she looks like Anne Shirley. You're clear on what kind of work you want. Now add those kinds of pieces to your portfolio. Maybe along with "Anne" add a few covers. Or the tooth fairy mouse try some character model sheets. Take that crow and tell a story with him. How can he express different emotions? Think about how adding background elements to pieces like the beach scene can prove you are ready for narrative contracts. Maybe a series of two or three pieces showing the same characters in different expressions or poses. Above all, I think you need to work toward action and storytelling in your portfolio (as we all are). Technically, your work is improving every month. I have enjoyed seeing your posts. The priests crossing the Jordan had to get their feet wet before they began to see wonders happen, if you know what I mean.



  • @Joanne-Roberts Thank you so much! YOurs was exactly the kind of feedback I was looking for. Maybe I didn't ask the right questions! I love your suggestions. I will certainly be putting them into practice. I hadn't thought about putting some of the storytelling elements using my already existing characters. (well not beyond the mice anyway). I think I definitely want to turn the redhead portrait into an Anne of Green Gables Book Cover.

    Definitely need to work on action pieces. Thank you for the input (and the biblical allusion!)



  • I'd go for it! You have a good base to start with and it will give you a good frame of reference as you continue to make pieces. It's a different experience to have your work curated on a polished site, rather than sitting on your computer, or even on social media like instagram. If you want a simple cheap option to start and you have an Adobe subscription, you can do a portfolio with them without paying anything extra besides your domain name.

    I think a critique of your body of work will be more helpful once you get your site up.



  • Definitely @chrisaakins! Especially your mice pieces!


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