Portfolio review? New to forum...

  • Hey everyone, I’m new here so please let me know if this isn’t what happens on these forums, but I’ve recently updated my portfolio and was hoping some of you would be willing to give me your thoughts on it. I’m looking for work in the editorial field as a wildlife and natural sciences illustrator, and while I know SVS emphasizes more children’s/story based work, I thought it’d still be great to hear your impressions on first seeing my illustrations. I give you permission to be brutally honest if you decide to give me feedback, I promise I can take it and will appreciate your honesty. You can see my portfolio at www.thecuriouswild.com and thanks in advance if you decide to take a look.

  • Pro SVS OG

    Hi and welcome to the forum!
    I’m no expert in wildlife illustration, though I regularly commission editorial (I work part time as AD in corporate marketing).
    My first impression is that your wildlife illustrations are very beautiful. The style is fresh and contemporary, there seems to be the right level of detail and look accurate - definitely I would judge them appealing to the wildlife illustration market.
    The one thing that strucks me is that they are all vignettes. While vignettes are definitely a big part of commissions, I would (thinking as AD) have some doubts on your ability to tackle full illustrations- things like animals in their environment or groups of animals interacting. My suggestion would be to add some pieces like that to your portfolio because I think it’s rare for a project to require only vignettes.
    Another thing you may consider is to add some more „didactic „ illustrations - for example anatomical diagrams, images with call -outs, etc. Something that goes in the direction of infographic work.
    I think you could definitely target wildlife magazines and educational publishers with your work.
    Be careful with the term „editorial „, because that generally applies to illustration tackling contemporary issues and news. There’s no trace of that in your portfolio. You have a few pieces that are more conceptual in nature, but probably don’t go far enough to be considered „editorial „ (and I’m not sure they wouldn’t confuse a wildlife publisher- something to think about).
    I hope this helps - it’s just one opinion, so hopefully you’ll get some more weighing in!

  • @aoedepando I found your work very nice, I concur with smceccarelli that it's a little off target with editorial illustration, which tends to be more conceptual in order to draw the reader in to a particular article. I found your blog very enjoyable and thoughtful too, it's obvious you love what you do. One of the post that stood out for me was the painting done on wood panel (below)...this is really quite nice, the wood grain with the ocean elements, I would encourage you to revisit that. Some of my favorite illustrators use wood panels...Audrey Kawasaki, Jeremy Fish, and they have done very well with it. This would be a nice variant to the vignettes that make up your portfolio. Only an opinion, not the truth, good luck, Chris

  • @smceccarelli Thanks so much for your feedback, it’s deeply appreciated - particularly as regards gaps I could fill in my portfolio. It’s so helpful to have someone with fresh eyes assess those kinds of things. Thanks!

  • @c-davies Thanks for taking the time to look it over. I also love Audrey Kawasaki and the wood panel look she gets - def a part of my inspiration in trying it out! I appreciate your feedback!

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