Buying my first portfolio, help!

  • SVS OG

    Hey guys, I signed up for the SCBWI spring conference which is 2 weeks away and on a whim decided to enter the juried art contest...BUT, I've never made a physical portfolio. I've read several articles on putting a good portfolio together but step #1: What kind of portfolio should I buy?!!!

    So, any help would be appreciated. I looked at a local art store but none were landscape, and they seemed overpriced. Online would probably be best, but...thoughts?

  • SVS OG

    I haven't done a physical portfolio either, but I did listen to a Chris Oatley podcast where the person interviewed was stressing the idea of having a portfolio with alterable pages, so if you take it with you and find out from the first few people that illustration X or Y isn't having the desired effect, you can swap it out for other pics you had in reserve, instead of waiting till you get back home to improve it.

    I can try and dig out the links if you want, it was a few months ago when I came across a whole load of 'portfolio' themed advice at once... Ah, here's the Chris Oatley one:

    Here's the other one, if you scroll near the bottom he gives advice for the physical book part:

    Good luck getting ready for the show! (and for the juried art contest, how exciting!)

  • SVS OG

    @Dulcie Thank you! I have heard that podcast and I think Will might have done a video about this very thing.

    The Giuseppe Castellano post is perfect! This is just what I was looking for, great tips and practical advice as well as talking about the type of portfolio. I am taking Giuseppe's 3 week course right now so I'll have to tell him you pointed me toward his site!


  • SVS OG

    Glad to help! How exciting that you're taking his course - hope it's helpful!

    I had my eye on possibly doing his Portfolio Review, once I actually have enough consistent pieces together to fill a portfolio..

  • SVS OG

    @Dulcie I'll do a post maybe and let everyone know how the course is. So far, after week 1, it's been awesome! He is such a neat guy, really encouraging and knowledgable.

  • SVS OG

    Size recommendations anyone? SCBWI says they can't be larger than 11"x14" but is that good size or would you go smaller?

  • Pro SVS OG

    @natiwata I am very interested in his portfolio review/courses. They are quite expensive though. Is it worth the investment? For the records, my portfolio at the moment is mostly concept art, and I am setting out to steer it towards children book, so seeking advice on how to best do that. Will and Jake's input is already super useful, but a 1:1 specifically on my portfolio is quite attractive....

  • SVS OG

    @natiwata Hey Nat - here are some quick tips on making your portfolio better from Bobby Chiu - i know that was not your question but thought i would share if you have not seen it 🙂

  • SVS OG

    11"x14"? That seems small, I went to the National SCBWI conference and they allowed up to 15"x15". I guess each conference has their own guidelines.

    I chose to go with one of these portfolios, with my logo engraved on it:

    It worked well for me because the wood cover works well with the woodcut-print look of my illustrations. However, it certainly does stand out from all the other plain black portfolios--which I felt was a good thing, but not everyone would agree. I haven't yet had to switch out the artwork in it, but I'm glad to have that option. Personally, I also like that you're looking at the actual printed artwork without the glare of a pocket page when using this type of portfolio--its a bit harder to swap out the art, but in my opinion you can see the art better, and that is the entire point, after all. 🙂

  • @Sarah-LuAnn Wow! These look amazing! Thanks for sharing 🙂

Log in to reply