I’ve got a lot of work to do before I have a totally fleshed out children’s book portfolio. That’s why I’m calling upon your help to get there! Some of the stuff in here I think can definitely stay, some of it will have to change, and some of it will have to go. If you could just put the pieces into those three categories that would be awesome. Any and all additional feedback is welcome!
I just have my portfolio in a drive at the moment, let me know if there are any troubles with accessing it. https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1Cqvir7QuToCmKk3ofCFKEdeQBaCADYDO
Some other things I’ve been thinking about are pieces like 7,15, and 16. They don’t feel like the sort of thing you’d see in a CB portfolio but they’re also so core to the types of illustrations I’d like to do that I feel like they need to be included.
Another thing is the style. I feel like I’ve brought this up a hundred times on the forums but despite being told that I have nothing to worry about and that my work all fits together I really have a hard time believing that. I was looking through CB portfolios yesterday and they all look so cohesive and uniform while I feel like mine looks like it could have been illustrated by 3 or 4 different illustrators. Should I take some time to really work on my style before putting more work into my portfolio?
ArtistErin last edited by
I see you are close, your color palette is uniform and the linework in the first 4 pieces are unique and reflect a textural quality that's really nice. I really love 5, 6 and 10 though. Super well constructed with nice value and color separation without being too busy. I love your definitive shapes and linework as well.
Keep it up... definitely some cool things going on!
Asyas_illos last edited by
@Griffin I really like your sketchy style you have mostly on your actual website. I think your starting portfolio is a little messy style-wise. While it’s perfectly fine to have multiple styles I think they should be separated. Different pages for the different styles. And if there’s one style you prefer to work in make that one front and center. Also as you work on building up your portfolio don’t forget to gets lots of different things in there animals vehicles weather etc.
@Asyas_illos don’t worry, I’ve got Will’s list of what should go in a portfolio right by my side!
@Griffin hi! I like your style and there really has been improvement since the last time I saw your work. I personally think your style will fit best in older markets like Middle Grade or Young Adult.
Regardless of the market tho, I can see that your portfolio is severely lacking narrative pieces. I see character design, a few set design, and some single character illustrations. But not many with chracters interacting with each other or doing something. You need to show an art director that you can illustrate a story. Right now, the only narrative pieces I see is that blue boy and the bottle.
I might’ve already given this advice to you before but imma repeat myself. Create more narrative illustrations. Choose maybe 3 stories and make at least 2 illustrations from each of them. I promise you this will make your portfolio stronger.
I hope this helps. All the best.
@Nyrryl-Cadiz totally agree about that narrative pieces! That’s my main focus going forward with portfolio pieces. I also definitely see myself fitting into middle grade and young adult market better. I tend to enjoy stories that are a bit darker and more serious.
Kind of makes me feel torn because I want to create pictures books because that’s the format I love but the types of stories I enjoy telling are more for young adults or even just adults. Now I’m wondering if I should revaluate making a children’s book portfolio altogether
KatrinaF last edited by
Griffin. I think several of your pieces should go in your portfolio. I'd even suggest tweaking the brown cabin and snowy house to add characters and a story. Those are great. I also love the robot running off without his hand and the elf in the library. Like many others have already said you need characters interacting.
@Griffin you could do both. Your current pieces look more suited for older audience so you might start from square one if you want to build a children’s book portfolio in my opinion. It doesn’t have to be big. Even just 8 pieces will do.
@Nyrryl-Cadiz 8 for a portfolio? I thought they’re supposed to be between 15 and 25 pieces. Or do you mean a portfolio that is a mix of children’s book and YA illustrations?
@Griffin not really. As long as they are of good quality, you can start with less. Most illustrators would recommend 12. I say 8 coz 12 can still seem daunting. 8 can be a good number to start. And you can add more to it as you go on
Edit: yes, this is only for a children’s book portfolio. You can start with 8 and build it up as you go
@Nyrryl-Cadiz as it is right now, what pieces do you think could stay (if any) and/or what pieces could work if I added character interactions to them? Thanks for your helpful advice as always!
@ArtistErin thanks! Interesting to hear what stands out to you in my style. Hard to notice one’s own tendencies so that can be insightful!
@Griffin I think you can tweak the background ones. Anyway, I suggest you create new pieces instead.
@Nyrryl-Cadiz oh I’ll be making plenty of new ones, thanks!
Valerie Light last edited by
@Griffin I like your style, but as others have said, you need scenes with interaction and story between characters. And while I understand (and share!) your worry about style cohesion, I think you're well within range. Look at Jillian Tamaki's website for inspo there.
When I looked through your work, I thought 7, 15, and 16, were cute but not standouts. Mainly because they mostly seemed to be saying the same thing. If you added a piece with, say, a few ghosties having dinner with 2 kids in a house, or something, you'd be on your way to some sequential narrative pieces that help tie things together.
1, 2, and 3 clearly go together in a narrative, but I think swapping one of them for a scene with character interaction might be a great addition.
I think 5, 11, 12, 13, 14 are a good basis to build from. And where's that cool Joe Todd Stanton guy from your Insta?
@Valerie-Light maybe I’ll add that guy in! I posted this before making that drawing. That’s a great point about some of the pieces "saying the same thing". I think each piece should have a distinct feeling in a portfolio, otherwise it’s sort of wasted space. I’d never even thought about the fact that I never really illustrate character interactions until I got the responses from this post so I’m glad that I did. An overarching sort of theme in my work for years has been solitude, often just individual characters in a story that’s just their own. I don’t want to abandon those kind of illustrations entirely but I see that they’re not fitting for a children’s book portfolio. Another angle is that maybe I can do some illustrations that are just individual characters but they’re interacting more heavily with the world around them.