What To Include in Your Portfolio

  • Hi Guys,

    I wanted to include a list of things I think people should try to cover in their portfolios to attract the most clients. I went into depth on this subject in our Children's book class here at svslearn.com but I'm posting it here in conjunction with a youtube video explaining it below. If you have any questions about the content I would ask that you watch my video first 🙂

    What To Include in Your Portfolio

    Types and sizes: spot illustrations, vignettes, full page
    Color schemes: full color, black and white, monochrome, etc.
    Ages: adults, teens, children, baby
    Gender: girls, boys, men, women
    Race: Asian, Indian, Hispanic, Caucasian, African,
    Groups: families, friends, classmates, occupations,
    Animals: anthropomorphised animals, amphibians, mammals, fish, reptiles, insects, etc.
    Creatures: robots, dragons, monsters, aliens, ghosts, etc.
    Vehicles: cars, trucks, boats, planes, construction equipment, robots, etc.
    Props: household items, garage items, kitchen items, farm, office, food, games, toys, bathroom, school, etc.
    Environments: interiors, exteriors, modern, vintage, ancient, houses, apartments, winter, summer, night, day.
    Land, sea, earth, outer space, dessert, forest, tropical, Arctic
    Action: things falling, breaking, sliding, moving fast
    Emotion: anger, happiness, sadness, fear, confidence, curiosity, love, sleeping, pain, etc.
    Camera Angles: establishing, close ups, medium, distant, high angle, low angle, profile, dynamic, POV.


  • SVS OG

    Great list! Thinking about starting a small sketchbook for each category. Then I could create full illustrations from the best sketches.

  • @admin very useful! Thank you

  • SVS OG

    I just listened to this tonight 🙂 Great list! Thanks.

  • Thanks for the help with this 🙂

  • Pro SVS OG

    This is really useful. My understanding is that one should combine multiple of these elements in designing a set of illustrations that covers them more or less all, right? Otherwise the permutations lead to potentially thousands of different pieces. How many "series" should one target? (meaning same subject matter or character but with different interpretations?).

  • Thank you. This is really helpful

  • @Will-Terry Watched this yesterday, your videos are always informative and inspiring 🙂

  • This is so helpful. Thanks!

  • I do have one more question I hope Will (or anyone else) will answer for me. Almost everyone encourages limiting a physical portfolio to 12-15 pieces (maybe 20 max). Should we do the same with our online websites? Or should we include even more (as Will obviously has)? Assuming we only add solid pieces, what's a good rule for how many pieces we should include in an online portfolio? I recognize the less-is-more mentality, but if we hope to include all of Will's list above in our online portfolio (multi-tasking these elements into each piece), should we be adding more to what we have online than what we would include in our physical portfolios?

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    I'd say your online portfolio is about a million times more important than a physical portfolio. In fact, I don't even own a physical portfolio. I would consider just having about 15-20 pieces on your portfolio and leaving the rest for a blog.

    The 15-20 pieces rule is typically for recent graduates that may not have a totally consistent style. Most established pros can have more than that because it's typically all of a similar quality and look. When leaving college or just starting out, getting 20 good pieces is tough.

  • @Lee-White Just the advice I needed! Thanks, Lee!

Log in to reply