I am old! Portfolio feedback



  • @Melissa-Bailey-0 Oh, yeah, not all of them have interior images up there yet - that's the 'not quite finished with the website' bit! lol, BUT, I plan on changing up the way things are presented now anyway, so I guess it doesn't matter. When you click on a cover, you have to scroll down to see the illustrations. I apparently like to make things as complicated as possible! lol



  • @Janette 😂 understood! Looking forward to seeing your new-and-improved website! (Maybe I can get some tips from you ... I seem to keep tweaking and updating mine.)



  • @Melissa-Bailey-0 LOL It's like doing art - there's always more you can do ... Finished, not perfect - I keep hearing the guys say that on the podcast! 🙂

    I love your illustrations btw. The little girl with the egg reminded me of when I found a tiny egg on the walk home from school one day and I took it home, determined I was going to get it to hatch and become its mother. I order to keep it warm, I took it to bed with me. You can image how that ended!!



  • @Janette good plan. Being able to layout books and send to print is a great advantage. If you are combining all of the text on your site into one bio page I would let people know as it doesn't quite make it clear at the moment on your graphic design page that you have prepress skills. It mentions billboards and email marketing but you may have to say about taking a book to print.

    I was advised to have a paragraph mentioning the transferable skills, apparently you want to put keywords in the sentences that would show up in a Google search for SEO which I was not aware I should be doing. If someone is googling an illustrator with print knowledge then hopefully you will show up in a search. 👍



  • @lizardillo Oh Yes! Good point!


  • Pro

    @Janette It's a great idea to offer book design for self-publishers, most of them will take you up on that! But from my experience you don't actually have to show graphic design on your website, they'll still ask if you can do it (or expect it without asking) regardless 😂



  • Hi! I am by no means a professional but as a lay person I have some suggestions about your about me section and the other parts with text. I don’t want to sound harsh but it gives off the vibe that you’re unsure of yourself and your work. You mention being “old” (you’re not, but so what if you were?) a couple times and how your style is all over the place (I don’t think it’s as bad as you seem to). This leads me to believe you’re self-conscious about these things. You should be selling yourself not sowing doubt. Your work is lovely and it will speak for itself.

    And as far as the age thing, let’s be honest we hardly ever see men talking about how “old” they are especially in professional settings. Will Terry is probably up around that age somewhere (I don’t really know because he doesn’t display it) and he never speaks of his age as a disadvantage. With age comes experience and you have experience IN the industry. You are at an advantage here!

    Know and show your worth without qualifiers or disclaimers 🤗



  • @Janette
    I echo @NessIllustration - let a clear focus drive your decision on how to put together a portfolio. If the focus you choose does not work out, you can always change it, tweak it, re-invent yourself.

    I consider my website super simple. But recently, I have an art direct reviewing my portfolio. She did not realise that I also have black and white illustrations in my portfolio because it was in a different tab. This made me thinking that there is definitely room for improvement on my website, especially if I want to get offers for YA novels with black and white interiors.

    I made the decision to become an illustrator when I was 39, and I had almost 0 illustration experience. For years I felt I was too old for starting a new career which I have no clue when I can start paying the bill. But now I am glad I did it.



  • @xin-li That's amazing, and you have a beautiful style.



  • @Freddie-Leota Thank you for your feedback. Maybe its a British thing where we don't like to appear to think too much of ourselves and would rather play down our achievements. Maybe it's because I have no formal training, so I feel like I don't know enough, or like I'm an art fraud! I feel it's necessary to qualify a success with 'but I failed art in school'. lol have to balance it all out, you know?!

    Maybe its a bit of both. But, you're right, I need to sell myself more. I was incredibaly fortunate to start my career in publishing and have a really encouraging design manager who knew I wanted to be an illustrator. I still work with him today, 20 years on.

    You're right about the age thing. I do wish I pushed myself more to go after larger publishers, but its that lack of confidence in my ability that had held me back. I need to work on that.

    Thank you for your comments.



  • @Janette 😂 what a great story! And thanks so much. My girl and egg illustrations are inspired by childhood experiences too. When we were growing up my sister had ducks for pets, and one egg wouldn't hatch, so she "helped" it and because she was the first thing it saw, the duckling imprinted on her -- it thought it was human and was scared of the other ducks!


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