Mentorships and Portfolio reviews

  • SVS OG

    I thought i might start a thread inspired by the 3 Point Perspective podcast - does anyone know of a resource to meet the "Seek advice from a professional"

    @jaepereira @LauraA I just signed up for a 30 minute skype mentorship with Stephen Silver for June 5th - he only charges $30 for 30 minutes - he mentions that he can look over our portfolios in the advert for the mentorship - i no longer see the link to @Lee-White 's portfolio-review/career-mentorship that he has offered in the past - the other portfolio reviewing professional i could think of was Guiseppe Castellano but it looks like he has resigned from Penguin - does anyone have any other leads

  • Giuseppe Castellano still offers portfolio reviews on his site here: A number of SVS-ers have done a portfolio review with him including @lmrush and @smceccarelli. (Lisa and Simona, did you find it helpful?)

  • SVS OG

    Thanks, Kevin. One problem is not having finished work, because my "style" is so unstable. I think the only solution is to draw/paint like crazy! I almost just need someone to look at the unfinished work and tell me if that direction looks legit, or tell me when I'm finished! This is one reason I'm starting to take more live classes. The deadlines and critiques help.

    But once I do get a portfolio, this looks like a good resource! I think it would also be important to find someone whose work is at least in the same ballpark stylistically (unless it's an art director), because I don't know how useful it would be to have a really loose illustrator judge tight work, and vice versa. I'm trying to loosen up some.

    Thanks, and look forward to what others have to say!

  • Pro SVS OG

    @joy-heyer I had portfolio reviews with Stephen Silver (as @Kevin-Longueil mentioned) and Giuseppe Castellano through their online offering, with Laurent Linn (art director at Simon & Schuster) and Stephanie Amster (creative director at Bloomsbury) via SCBWI conferences and with Chris Mould (veteran professional illustrator from the UK), Aaron Blaise (former Disney animator and director - has some great online courses too) and Christophe Lautrette (former art director by Dreamworks, now children illustrator - one of my idols) just by....walking up and asking. It´s unbeliable how often this one works. If you happen to attend an event where interesting people like these are present, you can use the pauses to ask them if they would look at your portfolio. The majority will be very kind and generous and give you 10-15 minutes of their time. I have my portfolio on the iPad as an offline file, so it´s easy to show at any minute.

    How useful they are really depends....with ADs is more about establishing a connection and they will tell you which of your work is more suitable for their view of the market (different houses will have different interests), but they are not illustrators and will not give you a lot in terms of „what to improve“. Giuseppe Castellano and Laurent Linn are also illustrators, but their work is completely different from mine, so that is of limited impact. It was interesting to see which pieces attracted their attention most. Stephanie Amster told me which pieces to take out of my portfolio and pointed me to some that were missing - this was very very useful. Laurent Linn gave me some great pointers in terms of where the strengths of my work were at the time, and where to market myself. Giuseppe Castellano and Stephen Silver were not that useful - I get the sense that they try to be very neutral so as not to potentially damage their business with a scathing review. Nice people, though.

    Getting a review from an established or even famous illustrator, like Aaron Blaise, is more for confirmation, really. They took note of some technical details (use of textures, for example) and told me how far or how close I was to professional level work. With Christophe Lautrette, it soon degenerated into a nice chat about the business and life choices. To be taken seriously by one of your idols and treated like a peer is a priceless experience.

    My major advice is not to stop at one. One review is only one point of view on an exceedingly subjective topic. Several will give you a much better idea of where you stand and where you should be going.

    As for a real mentorship - one that accompanies through your journey and gives you one-on-one input on your ideas, work-in-progress, etc... Those are only through live or feedback courses and they are understandably expensive. Some SCBWI chapters offer 6-months mentorship opportunities with established children illustrators through an award process - they are also not cheap but maybe worth checking out. You need to be unpublished and unagented, as far as I know.

  • Was gonna start a thread about this, too. Already some great info here.

  • Pro SVS OG

    @joy-heyer Absolutely Joy, Giuseppe is honest but kind, I found him to be a complete professional. I credit SVS and G for my progress.

  • SVS OG

    Giuseppe Castellano’s one hour portfolio review is on sale until this Sunday ( May 13th ) for $85

  • I did the One Hour Portfolio Review with Giuseppe Castellano [] a few weeks ago and can highly recommend the experience. Very professional, honest, kind, in-depth, and exceedingly helpful! An hour is a generous amount for a review and he will even take a look at your website. Portfolio reviews at conferences can be over $75 for only ten to fifteen minutes. The sale price makes it even more of a bargain!

  • @kevin-longueil

    I have ongoing weekly skype classes with EB Lewis. It has been extremely helpful. He helps me not only with my art but with the whole storytelling process. He's brutally honest which can be tough, but I've pushed myself harder knowing I have an assignment he'll be critiquing each week. Each 30 min. Skype is 25.00 (you pay 100 every 4 classes). Info. Is on "mentorship" link on his website. Started over a year ago and one of the books he's helped me with is now under contract with Holiday House

  • @kevin-longueil Dang, looks like I missed out! I'll have to keep an eye out for future sales

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