New to the forum and humbly requesting portfolio feedback. TY!

  • Happy Slovember everyone!

    My name is Albert Lee and I am totally new to his forum but so grateful to be a part of this invaluable community of creators. Like so many of you, I have always dreamt of pursuing a career in the field of children's illustration but never made the commitment to take a leap of faith into the publishing world until now. I have been a freelance illustrator for the past 8 years, but have struggled with Ankylosing Spondylitis ( a rare type of arthritis that causes pain and stiffness in your spine) for the past 12 years which has made it challenging to work for extended hours at a time. Needless to say, I have a long way to go in terms of compiling a portfolio that is suitable for this field of illustration, but I do have some personal pieces of artwork on my portfolio that may help get the ball rolling.

    If it isn't too much trouble, I would soooo appreciate any feedback/advice in regards to curating a few pieces from my current website:
    [](link url)

    I realize that you all must have so little time and just want to thank you in advance for even taking the time to read this.

    Have a blessed day,


  • @notfitkid Hi, I am not the best person to give an advice so please excuse me if I say something not in place. First love your James Bond. Just love it. Actually I really like all your work, but if you have a possibility to separate with something, line or some kind of text, the different kind of illustrations( I mean their purpose like editorial, merch and etc . But this is not so important so you can leave it like that and it will be great.

  • SVS OG

    @notfitkid Hi! I love your work. you have great pieces but before I give you some feedback, iโ€™d like to ask which market do you want to get into? Childrenโ€™s publishing? middlegrade? Editorial? Concept art?

  • Welcome to the forums! Your work is awesome ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

  • @notfitkid Hello Albert! Your work is very professional and polished. Your 007 is striking and I like your Spiderman also. It looks like you have been experimenting with children's content with the boy and the monkey. I agree with @Nyrryl-Cadiz about which area you see yourself in pursuing. Concept art would definitely push you into working "extended long hours at a time". I return time and again to "I want to tell stories", "I want to hold a physical book" and for me that's picture books.

    Be encouraged, ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Pro

    @notfitkid You have really great work! It's clear your skills are top notch ๐Ÿ™‚ However only the Orange Monkey illustration strikes me as children illustration, the other ones seem very adult in themes and styles. Your style also varies on almost every piece, and while it's very impressive that you can master all these styles, in order to get children illustration work it is more helpful to have a signature style. Then, the art director is confident signing you knowing what they're going to get, and knowing you'll be consistent throughout the whole project ๐Ÿ™‚ You really are good and if you set up your portfolio strategically, aimed specifically at the market of your choice, then I see absolutely no reason you wouldn't succeed!

  • @NessIllustration said in New to the forum and humbly requesting portfolio feedback. TY!:

    However only the Orange Monkey illustration strikes me as children illustration, the other ones seem very adult in themes and styles.

    Maybe not adult, but 10-14?
    They are really good, I can see several of them as book cover. Keep on the good work!

  • @Dima-Eichhorn Hello Dima! Thank you your kind words and for your helpful suggestions! I definitely need to organize my website and make a section that is more catered towards the children's illustration industry. You are absolutely right about the fact that it is a bit disorganized and difficult to determine who I am targeting. I hope to be able to make more samples of work in the following months that will be more fitting for the children's illustration audience. I have so much to learn and appreciate your generous help!

  • @Nyrryl-Cadiz Hello Nyrrl, you hit the nail on the head. I was lost for a while and really was not sure what I wanted to do and what I wanted to say. The wide range of styles I explored and my undisciplined approach to creating pieces really reflected my inability to choose a particular direction. I am narrowing it down now though and think i want to make works for kids between the ages of 10-14, jr high schoolers. I feel like I have so much more to learn and I have only just begun but I am definitely excited to head down this path. Thank you for reaching out and for your feedback!

  • @Elliot Hey Elliot! Thanks so much for the warm welcome and encouragement! I am pleased to meet you and look forward to seeing more of your work!

  • @Heather-Boyd Hi Heather! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for gently steering me towards what I also long for and value: having the means to be able to share my own stories, thoughts, and ideas. I worked as an editorial illustrator for years and enjoyed the technical challenges but always felt a bit empty at the end of the day. I realized that I had lost my own voice and ability to express my own point view. Thank you for your encouragement and for taking the time to leave such a thoughtful note.

  • @NessIllustration You make a very good point about choosing a recognizable, consistent style. I was a bit lost at the time and i felt a little like Goldielocks trying on various different styles...but none seemed to really "fit"... Honestly, I am still a little unsure of what my signature style actually looks like but I am hopeful that it will become more clear as I pursue storytelling and spend time pouring over what SVS has to offer. Thank you so much for your words of wisdom and invaluable advice!

  • @Julia Thank you for your kind words, Julia! 10-14 seems to be what I am gravitating towards.

  • Hi Albert! I feel a bit silly giving you a critique as I am personally less advanced than you but here goes. Considering everyone else is commenting on your style etc. I will refrain from doing so. I really love your stuff overall! You're very talented.

    I think the only piece here that you chose to show that I really didn't like is the book cover "A Night Walk". Mostly for composition issues (try the course Creative Composition). I don't really know what to look at and I am confused to what you're trying to say with this image. Is it about the annoyed old man? Is it about the lovers? Mostly I'm divided between looking at the window and looking at the man and his dog. It would probably help if you only used bright red with the old man and the collar of the dog (and go for a cold color with the fence to up the contrast). And then also avoid warm colours and high contrasts in the background! (Warm colors draw in the eye!) I'd make the door green and the value of the couple lighter so they don't stand out as much. If this really is about the guy being super annoyed and grumpy about this walk, maybe the dog should be pulling the leash harder, practically dragging him along? That would certainly make the "grumpy" part that much more obvious.

    I really love the girl drawing, the 007 and the guy in the vintage car pieces. These are the ones that scream "amazing!" and very finished to me! Maybe think about why these three pieces work so well and what your thinking process was with these ones? One small thing, it's kind of annoying that the nose of 007 and the white of the zero line up (see: converging lines, don't remember what class I learned that in again, I think they also talk about it in creative composition). Great work on those hands btw! You seem very talented (:

  • @emergingeden Thank you so much for your thoughtful remarks and your honest critique! I see what you mean concerning the illustration with the old man and dog not really having a focal point and the lack of an organized, hierarchical structure. I will definitely take your suggestions to heart and explore some more layouts that help communicate a clearer narrative, namely that the old man is somewhat isolated and grumpy because of his own shortcomings and rigid personality traits. In regards to the 007 image as well, you are spot on! I did not even notice the converging lines on the nose and the zero. You definitely have a keen eye and I totally appreciate the time you took out of your day to provide such helpful observations and suggestions!

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