Portfolio update

  • @NessIllustration it looks beautiful! I’m with @Nyrryl-Cadiz and think it’s perfect 👌

    Your colors are gorgeous! The little red riding hood is probably my favourite, so it’s nice to see right up front.

    The about me page is very sleek, organized and professional! Nice updated photo too 😊

  • Pro

    @Coley Thanks Nicole! 🙂 When I was going over, I found a lot of places where I hadn't taken my own advice I gave you the other day on your portfolio haha! Had to fix that!

  • @NessIllustration lol! You’re advice helped me soooooooo much..... I’m glad you listened to your own advice too haha! See, you have a talent for this sort of thing ! 😃

  • @NessIllustration Hi Vanessa! Such a wonderful website to spend time on! I feel it has a wonderful positive vibe overall, but I do have a few suggestions. Please take them with a grain of salt (I can be nit picky about certain things because I was a QA enginner before I started freelancing as an illustrator 😅 )

    • Your name is your brand. So I feel "Vanessa Matte" should be the biggest most readable text on your website. Right now your menu text is most prominent. I would change it as your name to be the biggest text (and in color), then "children's illustrator" and then the menu text.
    • Consider just mentioning "Children's illustrator" instead of "Freelance children illustrator" under your header name. You can mention that you freelance full time in your About page.
    • Link your kitty logo to go to your home page.
    • Consider renaming "Children Illustration" to "Portfolio" in your "My Work" section.
    • Consider renaming "Mobiles games work" to "Mobile games"
    • About Page: I think adding testimonials is smart because it adds credibility. Right now one testimonial is at the top and the other is at the bottom, I would just place them both together at the bottom and add any more as they come. You can even add a subtitle "Testimonials". You can also consider adding "Client List" section since you have many published works.
    • Portfolio page: I think you have a good vibrant collection of your best work! I do agree with Aisleen about removing a feww which either don't fit in or are not adding value. These are also some pieces you could reconsider excluding:
      "No More Goodbye's" - Though I love the mood of it, it's not really a children's illustration.
      "Yummy Rainbow" - Visually appealing, but you've already shown your food illustrating skills in the Donut book.

    Overall, really wonderful, clean and easy to navigate website! 🙂 Best of luck!

  • The portfolio is just briliant so there's no much I can say 😃 . But I think the Menu (including your logo and name) can be improved.
    I agree with what @Neha-Rawat said, and I would maybe just mention few ideas:

    • When clicking on the ''My Work'' and then having to choose from 3 different categories, maybe just put them in the Menu itself? Something like www.rachaelmclean.com website, as she has ''Illustration'' and ''Books'' in the Menu

    • Putting ''My Work'' first in the Menu, and then ''About'' and ''Contact'', I think this is more common

    • Maybe put your social links to all pages (it's only on ''Contact'' now)

  • @NessIllustration Hi 🙂
    I'm just answering your content question (31 is a lot for me -that's just preference-so if it's good for you-go for it). In the last contest work I wrote out a content list. So from my list, I didn't see 1. monsters (however the lion that scared the panda might be an overlap that works for you), 2. aliens (not on earth characters), and 3. robots (even a robot toy could be included). I did note you had a cold climate/weather but maybe another time push the temperature "cold" because your little red riding hood has bare arms in a winter wonderland and I'd be cold lols. Maybe in another work, a shiver with no sleeves or covered around by a blanket, rosy cheeks and a puff of cold air coming out.

  • Pro

    @Neha-Rawat Thank you so so much Neha!! These are all such good suggestions and I had not thought at all about the subtleties of website design. You're a godsend!!

    @TamaraDomuzin All great ideas, thank you so much for taking the time hun!

    @Heather-Boyd Thank you dear, you've given me lots to think about! I see what you mean about including other climates where it affects more the characters. For the suggestion about adding monsters, aliens and robots, I admit I'm a bit unsure about that one... Monsters, aliens and robots are the 3 things I hate drawing the most and I don't really want to get work on those subjects. What's your stance on including content that you don't really want to be doing professionally? Do you think the artist should give it a pass, or it's good to include anyway?

  • Pro

    I've made some adjustments thanks to your wonderful feedback!


    My home page is now my children illustration page, which I've renamed portfolio. I removed the My Work section from the navigation and separated it into Books and portfolio. The mobile games section is still on the site but hidden (I can't remember the last time that page was relevant). I played with the titles and navigation size, put my testimonials at the bottom of my about with a title, and I've removed 3 pieces.

    I couldn't bring myself to remove all the pieces you suggested ^^''' Removing work is so hard!! I really like drawing food and want to do more of it, so hesitate to remove the Yummy Rainbow. And the Master Painter one shows both an older man and Asian people, which I fee is important for diversity in my portfolio. But I also now have 4 pieces of unicorns which is probably too many, and can't figure out which one to remove! The one with unicorns and stars might be a good bet, but it's one of the only pieces I have with spot illustrations. The Stay Fabulous one could be good to remove but I really like that piece... Thoughts?

  • @NessIllustration I mean you could always pass, you have that choice. But I personally want to be able to incorporate as many subjects as I can, although I'm not big into ghosts (especially for kids books) because I don't believe in them (ghosts as dead people returning). But I would stretch to put ghosts in as monsters. Or like I did for an inktober "hang up your ghosts and live". Or in a Halloween piece where a kid gets scared of another child dressed up as a ghost, and consoling that child with truth.

    And for a monster, it would depend. We can think something or someone is a monster and really we are scared by an action, like if a parent got really angry. And for that angry moment a child may see a monster. And then sometimes monsters are monsters.

    I also don't believe in aliens but for me there's enough of a separation from reality -fantasy/science fiction aspect and that I love science fiction I would like to incorporate the "imaginary". I guess that's also where I would put robots. A story that incorporates a child playing with a toy robot and it breaking and a father coming alongside to fix it, isn't so far from reality. Or a child dreaming about building a robot friend because she hasn't made any her new school.

    After saying all that, I do understand, depending on your beliefs and age range audience your wanting to engage with. Maybe just return and look at why you "hate" drawing them.


  • @NessIllustration Your portfolio looks great! I think there are quite a few pieces but if you don't want to remove any, that's up to you. I don't feel like it's a ridiculous amount and it's still pretty easy for people to scroll through or just gravitate towards the pieces they like best.

    As for whether you should include things that you don't like drawing? My response would be no. Whatever you put in your portfolio is the kind of work you're going to get. The only reason to include a variety of subject matter is because it increases the potential projects you can get, but it's not worth it if those are not the projects you want! And in my experience, whenever I force myself to draw something that I'm not enjoying, it usually doesn't come out very well. You already can clearly draw lots of stuff that has a place in the market so leave the robot books to people like Jake who love to do that specifically!

    Anyway, your work looks great and I think you're ready to be sending out some more emails ☺

  • Pro

    @Heather-Boyd Thank you for your thoughtful explanation ❤ I'm afraid my reasons aren't nearly as well formed as yours haha... I simply don't really enjoy drawing them! I think it's because they are imaginary creatures and I cannot reference them. My strengths lie in stylizing things that already exist, I think. I've never been to good at coming up with interesting designs for monsters or robots!

  • Pro

    @Melanie-Ortins Thanks hun! I do want to remove a few more pieces but I'm having a hard time picking which ^^''

  • @NessIllustration I look at other's works for ideas of monsters, aliens, robots etc. But I understand. ❤

  • @NessIllustration Love your site, the content is very well organized, and I can really get a sense of who you are as an artist right way.

    My only nitpicking would be: consider change "books and projects" to simply "books".
    It seems that the only project that is not a published book is the Harry Potter one. Even though it is a personal project, it is a book (not published one yet, but nonetheless, a book project :-).

    As for what to take out or include in your portfolio: I do not think you have too many pieces at all. The Asian people piece did stand out for me, only because the subject matter is very different from the rest of the portfolio. I think it would work better if you have 2-3 pieces from the same projects.

  • Pro

    @xin-li That's a good idea, Xin! This section used to contain more personal projects from before I was published. Now that I have actual books to showcase, it might be time to rename the section and remove the Harry Potter project from it as well. I mean the pieces are already in my main portfolio anyway!

    For the Master Painter piece it seems to be a consensus! Then I guess I will remove it. You're right it is a bit different from my usual stuff (it was a prompt for a reading cards gig). I will put on my to-do list to make a new piece with Asian characters in it though, I feel it would be lacking from my portfolio!

    Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts ❤

  • @NessIllustration Can you get "Vanessa Matte" and "Children's Illustrator" on separate lines in the header? If not, you can try including this text as part of the kitty logo (this way you can customise the font and color as well).

  • Pro

    @Neha-Rawat Right now the whole thing "Vanessa Matte, children illustrator" is set as my website subtitle, so the whole thing shows under the logo 😕 I could put it inside the logo to go around that and be able to customize/put on 2 lines, but I guess I never really thought about it being a big deal before... Do you think its necessary? :o

  • Hi @NessIllustration, portfolio and website looks sharp! I like that you added the testimonials on your about page. I was thinking you might want to add a client page to highlight all the great clients you’ve worked with, and perhaps move the testimonials there?

    Don’t take this wrong, but I feel your name could be integrated into your logo a little more. Right now, it looks like an after thought. I would remove “Children’s Illustrator” since your work and book page speaks for themselves.

    I did a rough mockup below, but hope it doesn’t offend.


  • Pro

    @Jeremy-Ross That does look nice, I'll think about it! Thanks Jeremy! I'm mostly keeping the "children illustrator" part, all in text, for SEO purposes but it might not be necessary.. As you said, it's the work that's important! Most people get to my portfolio from the direct link.

  • @NessIllustration I personally think it's 100% necessary since it's your branding and visible on every page, so it should be visually appealing. For me that's the weakest part of the website.

    If you're worried about SEO, I think there are other ways to get around it like adding the text in your "alt text" of the logo etc. Maybe someone with more SEO understanding can help with that.

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