Portfolio / Website Question

  • I was asked recently if I had a website. Someone (I think she was a literary agent) saw my practice things on Instagram and wanted to know. I had to tell her that I don't have a website yet. My husband bought me an address a while back and he knows how to build it, but I just don't feel ready yet. As far as portfolio pieces, I feel Iike I only have 1- 3 that are quality enough to call finished. I really need to rework 2 of those. Anyway... I guess the question is, when do you (or did you) put your website together? I'm not really looking for work till I feel more confident anyway. Should I open my site with 3 pieces? I'm getting mixed advice from people. @Jake-Parker @lee-white @Will-Terry Do you have advice on this?

  • Just to clarify. I guess I'm wondering, how many good portfolio quality pieces would justify a website?

  • The rule of thumb I was given at school is “a minimum of 10, a maximum of 20” for any type of portfolio (online or physical). If you have multiple styles or markets, this applies to each one of them.
    But if you are not actively looking for work or to promote your own books/assets/products, I guess you don´t really need to think about that.

  • I've heard the same as @smceccarelli . Really, if you're not looking to promote your work yet or get hired, you don't really NEED a website.


    I don't think its a bad idea to have one before you feel "ready". I first created mine after taking @Will-Terry 's business practices for illustrators class in school. I didn't feel quite ready and wasn't giving the address out to people, but because of that it was a really low-pressure way for me to learn the ropes, get a domain, start poking around and figuring out how things work. I ended up having a full time job opportunity dropped into my lap a few months later. I had a site to send them to without feeling stressed about throwing something together at the last minute. And I got the job, too :-). My takeaway is--don't wait til your "ready". Really, you're never going to feel ready anyway. Put what you've got up and just play around with it and figure out what you like, because theres no pressure yet. If you wait til there is pressure, it will be WAY more stressful

  • @pamela-fraley I’ve heard 10 to 20 also - For me though the most enjoyable website portfolios have more than this - Will has about 90 images on the first page of his website - I think it is important to see your best work the moment the page is opened without having to click on a catagory - i’ve heard this a few times that art directors do not have a lot of time to waste so if we are lucky enough to get one to our page that we need to grab them right away with our best imagery

  • Also, you have tons of awesome sketches on Instagram! I love seeing your stuff on my feed. Choose your favorites and put them on a website. Put them on a “sketches” page if you want. But they are totally worth showing there. Don’t sell yourself short. Waiting until you’re ready may mean it never happens.

    I might be talking to myself though. I keep saying I’ll start querying/sending postcards when I just have a couple more new portfolio pieces... just two, or three... or five....😅

  • @pamela-fraley I pretty much missed the point of your question with my last reply - i would say put the site together - call it a portfolio site - put your excellent sketches there too as Sara LuAnn suggests and keep adding good work until you feel it is ready for prime time - that is pretty much what i'm doing - having a website also lets me see at a glance where i am lacking and what i should work on (environments and more story telling images) - i think one thing i would not do is to separate the sketches form the "finished pieces" on the website at this point so folks can land on your page and instantly get a good feel for your work without having to click around - maybe Lee, Will, or Jake will chime in with a much more informed opinion than mine though 🙂

  • @sarah-luann @Kevin-Longueil thank you both for your response and encouragement. I guess I didn’t really think about my pencil sketches being on there. That’s a good idea. And, yea. I probably should put something together, especially since I can always change it. I’m nervous about getting asked to do anything, mostly because I don’t feel like I have time for anything more than my little random practices. I’m also still a little nervous about my abilities. But I think that’s a lot of us.

  • @smceccarelli That’s good to know! Thanks. Honestly, sometimes I feel so behind because I never went to art school. All those little practical nuggets of information I missed!

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