Website Critique Requested



  • Hello SVS!
    I need a website spruce-up and pare-down, and I’m seeking honest constructive feedback on it. Here’s a link:
    www.valerielightillustration.com

    I’m usually a designer and painter for live theater, but that work doesn’t exist this year in NYC. So these past 6 months I've been devoting time to building a body of illustration work. Back in July, knowing nothing about anything in the illustration business, I hired a mentor/coach through a friend of a friend. She guided me toward making a portfolio of work aiming for un-agented educational work-for-hire projects. (I know!)

    Later, I found SVS and the podcast, and I’ve begun to develop the sneaking suspicion that I might be going about this all wrong. The portfolio I built with my coach emphasized quantity of work over the ‘small collection of strong pieces’ approach I see encouraged in the SVS community.

    So, here I have a website I put together that I think isn’t sending a clear message right now. It feels all over the place. I want my portfolio to appeal to agencies. How can I change it to look better? How can I pare this down to show my style better?

    I am asking for as many bits of useful opinions as you folks are willing to write to me, whether you’re a beginner or a pro, I sincerely want to hear your thoughts. I know how it can be uncomfortable to look at somebody’s work and think “eesh, those first two are good, but they really ought to get rid of 80% of what’s on here.” If that’s what you think when you look at my site, that’s what I’d really like to hear from you. I am way into the forest, unable to see the trees. I’d genuinely appreciate any feedback, positive or negative.


  • SVS OG

    @Valerie-Light really nice work on your site! - I am not a pro but I’ll share my thought - I really feel like when you have multiple buttons for people to hit to see your work that most people will never see the work beyond your landing page - putting all of your best work on one page will ensure folks do not have to dig to see that awesome line drawing or digital piece - I’m not sure how wix works but you may have access to the data that will show you if people are going beyond your landing page - on my square space page you can go in and see what people click on and what they do not - that led me to get rid of a sub category I had ... attention spans are so short...I think we have 6 seconds to grab someone’s attention...not sure where I heard that...a podcast probably.. but I think 2 or 3 seconds is more like it - unless someone is going to the site specifically because they are already excited to see your work for some reason and want to dig around - so many great pieces on your site, I would put your best 20 or so on the first page - but I am not a pro 🙂 feel free to ignore



  • Hi Valerie,

    Nice job getting this all up and running so fast!

    I'm not a pro illustrator, but I am a pro graphic designer. I wouldn't worry about paring back the content on your site - unless you have some that you are unhappy with. The portfolio you send out should be concise - as you're asking for chunks of their time to view it - but your site can have more pieces so that people can really get their head into your work and explore what you are about and what you've created.

    My suggestion would be to possibly look at moving your colour linework to digital illustrations and have the linework just linework and possibly throw some black and white in there.

    Put your strongest pieces at the top of the page - as you have done - so that people see them, not everyone will make it to the bottom of the page.

    At the moment, I'm an interested viewer, and there is certainly not too much content.



  • I think your website is clear and concise and your illustrations are great! I wouldn’t recommend parring down unless you’re really unhappy with a piece. I like the separation of your work into traditional, digital and line work and find your site easy to navigate.



  • @Kevin-Longueil
    Thanks for the compliments on my work! And wow, your website REALLY makes such a strong first impression. Your work is so bold and consistent in style and all the pieces look great together! I think I will try making a single page of my top 20 like you suggested. I've been thinking of each of my sub-pages as separate approaches, and it will be interesting to format a flow of images to show the range of work from say, a bigger, more complicated gouache to a small b&w spot illustration. And I am going to check to see if I can view page clicks. Great idea!



  • @Emma-Echter Thank you! I like your suggestion of a different way to separate the color and line work.



  • @erinrew Thank you for the positive feedback!



  • Hello to anyone who feels like giving feedback!
    I'm trying out a way to reformat my website for a better first impression.

    Here's a link to the WIP website at the moment: www.valerielightillustration.com

    Imagine that the 3 gallery tabs called Painted Illustrations, Digital Illustrations, and Line Drawings don't exist on the navigation bar at all, and you've only got the Illustrations gallery and Contact up there.

    Does the 27-image gallery called 'Illustrations' give a strong enough impression of my style? Are there things in the old galleries you think ought to be in there?


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