Hello! (Portfolio + Introduction)

  • Hello, everybody! I'm Teju, and I'm currently a 3rd Year Illustration student in a BFA program. I've watched/followed Will and Jake for years on YT and other social media, and I've been subscribed to SVS since this summer. Since I'm a student right now, I've been super busy and unable to be active on the forums or even take the SVS classes I've been paying for! But it's Christmas break, so I've got some time, and I wanted to introduce myself. (I apologize ahead of time for the long post; I just wanted to show some of my work as well as tell you a bit about it)

    Originally when I entered school, I wanted to be a Visual Development artist. But after a lot of inner turmoil and rediscovering watercolors, I've decided to pursue Children's Book Illustration. I'd also like to do Middle Grade, Illustrated Novels for Adults, and Book Covers. I have so much I need to research and learn about the publishing industry! I aspire to one day professionally illustrate my favorite fairy tales and classics, even if they have been done a great number of times by amazing artists. I also wouldn't mind a Caldecott or Hans Christan Anderson Award along the way. . .

    I primarily use Watercolors, but I do use Photoshop for certain classes at school, preliminary work, and edits. Critique is welcome!

    Traditional Work:

    These were little studies I did in my sketchbook a year ago last winter break to help get me more comfortable with watercolor.
    (I've got quite a few self-portraits, but don't worry I'm not a narcissist 🙂 My face is just always available!)

    Jumping off my sketchbook drawing, an illustration based on the prompt 'Music'

    'Ad Without Context' Assignment. I chose Tums as my product.

    Children's Book Illustration based on short sentence: Sarah watched her son through the window, as he stood in the garden and bloomed roses with his hands."

    Illustration based on the George MacDonald fairy tale, 'The Light Princess'

    The Hundred Dresses Book Cover Re-design

    Designed as part of an illustrated billboard promoting Barnes & Noble, but I cropped it to suit my portfolio

    Children's book illustrations based on the Aesop's fables, 'The Fox and the Crow' and 'The Fox and the Grapes'

    Book Cover Re-Design for 'The Thirteenth Tale'. This was my final Illustration assignment this semester. I still have some things to fix from critique, and I want to rework on the type.


    Digital Work:

    Self-portrait from Summer 2016
    0_1513545485258_01 tabiola_08_Selfportrait62216.jpg

    Painting based on photo-ref for my computer illustration class last school year
    0_1513545513638_02 tabiola_IllestSubmission_InSession.jpg
    A portrait of my friend, trying a different approach
    0_1513545531771_03 MaddieSketch.jpg

    This is one of a series of posters I designed for my Typography class this semester. (I included type on the final, I can post that if you'd like to see.) It's different and more graphic than things I've done before, but I think it has a good feeling to it. I really want to improve my design skills in addition to my drawing and painting skills. I kow that good design is what really sets the great illustrators from the mediocre and average.
    0_1513547329906_04 tabiola_festival_posters02.jpg

    WIP: Painting I started this summer based on something I was going through and didn't have time to work on once the semester started. I'm trying to experiment to find my voice & process digitally. Going to try and finish this during this break
    0_1513547339193_06 Truth_02 copy.jpg

    I struggle with finding a cohesive look within the realm of my traditional work, and then the realm of my digital work, and then both together. I feel that there is a discrepancy between my traditional work and digital work. I also feel that my work looks like four different artists. I will be doing Lee's Dream Portfolio assignment now that I have free time (I've watched that lecture twice so far), and look for a direction. (Just noticed how much green is in my work as I post this, and I don't even particularly like green, haha!)

    Thanks for reading this super long post! I'm happy to be a part of this community!

  • WOW! Awesome work! Your ability with facial expression is enviable 🙂

  • SVS OG

    @teju-abiola I agree with Eli.... WOW!

  • @Eli @Kevin-Longueil Thanks, guys!

  • SVS OG

    I love your style and your skill is impeccable. Your watercolor skills are AMAZING!!! I'm not an expert and please feel free to disregard my opinion but I think you'll be needing more narrative pieces. I LLLOOOVVEE the ones you already have but I believe you'll be more successful if you create more especially if you want to illustrate books. I wish you best on your journey.

  • @nyrryl-cadiz Thank you! I totally agree about me needing more narrative pieces! I decided to pursue Book Illustration just this last summer/semester, whereas before I'd been trying for VisDev and had been trying to work on skills for that field and—unsuccessfully—make different work than this. I'm still learning how to tailor my school assignments to a children's book portfolio, and now that I have more time, I can work on beefing up my portfolio. I will be taking a Children's Book Class next semester and hopefully get more guidance in this. I need to work more on the content and not just technique.

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    Nice to meet you Teju! Lovely work!

    I'd like to welcome you to our group. I can't wait to see more of your work throughout your last year at school! I'd love to see you enter some of the competitions we have here on the forums.

  • @lee-white Nice to meet you, Lee! I always want to enter the competitions, but I've been so busy! I will certainly try in the upcoming year.

  • Pro SVS OG

    Absolutely beautiful, lovely pieces throughout, both digital and traditional! Cheering you on and welcome to the forum!

  • Welcome Teju! Very nice work. Really like the Fox and the Crow illustration, and the digital illustration of the school room. Don't be too quick to criticize yourself. Remember you are still in college, working on unrelated assignments, which naturally are going to require a bit different execution. You even say in the captions for your digital stuff that they are different approaches, but I do see a lot of similarity in your watercolors. Explore and let things happen naturally. You will eventually find a way of working that you enjoy and come back to. And honestly, develop your digital art differently. You already seem to have a unique style coming thru in it that is different than your watercolor work. Go with that. The more you try to fight how you naturally work in a particular medium, the more frustrated are going to be. Good luck!

  • @teju-abiola Welcome! Absolutely beautiful work! I really love your style with the watercolours, especially the sketchbook studies- Amazing!

  • @tombarrettillo Thank you, Tom! I agree that I wouldn't want to try to replicate my watercolor work digitally, else there'd be no point in using one over the other (and I've hardly seen any digital watercolors that are very convincing). I'm trying to develop a visual vocabulary that is evident regardless of which media is used. Not really referring to process or style even, more of a language that infuses my work in all its forms. I just haven't drawn enough yet to attain this, I think.

    It means a lot to me that you can see a style starting to form in my watercolors; I can't say I ever know for sure how anything I make is going to turn out. I've never been one who had an unconscious or deliberate 'style', but rather just kinda saw what happened. Not the best if I want a client to know what they're gonna get 😉

  • @smceccarelli @jallott Thank you!

  • SVS OG

    Now I really want to try my hand at some illustrations for Aesop fables. Beautiful work! Watercolor intimidates me, so I’m doubly impressed. ☺️ Welcome!

  • I love your work! Very emotional and vivid!

  • Welcome to the forums Teju and thanks for sharing your work. You have some beautiful pieces and great work on the facial expressions! Hope to see more and good luck with school!

  • Wow! Your work is really really strong. So so good. I don't think you'll have any problems picking up work. In fact shame on those who don't take you on. Oh, and hi! Welcome to the forum.

  • @teju-abiola Echoing pretty much what everyone else has said so far: Your work is fantastic, Teju; I love it! Can't wait to see more. 🙂

  • SVS OG

    These are fantastic. I love watercolor and I love how you use it. Can’t wait to see more!!

  • SVS OG

    @Teju-Abiola welcome to SVS and great portfolio