Should I add vector art to my portfolio website?

  • Recently I have been working on a creating a bunch of flashcards to use in my English class (I am currently a part time English teacher for kindergarten and elementary school kids), and I am wondering whether I should add them to my portfolio. The work currently in my portfolio is of a very different style, especially considering they are paintings whereas these are vector illustrations, but this style may be better suited to targeting educational illustration projects, thereby opening up more areas of work. I also have my caricature work on my website so I don't want to overload it with too many different fields of art even if it has it's own sub-page.

    The flashcards aren't super original as there are already thousands out there, and they are only of single characters, but hopefully they are appealing and demonstrate that I have a half decent knowledge of vector illustration.

    2_1530694902000_shapes sample.jpg 1_1530694902000_fruits sample.jpg 0_1530694902000_animals flash sample.jpg

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    @gary-wilkinson These are really charming - and I bet there is a market for this kind of illustration and not a small one. The question is, as always, how much it pays. I´ve done two educational projects so far (a third one I’m working on right now) and they pay very very little. I’m sure there are exceptions, though, and these could work also in board books, toys, games and licensing - especially licensing could be very interesting with this kind of illustration.
    As for including it in your portfolio - my instinct would be yes, maybe in a separate project or category, but I feel it´s still lining up with your playful and child-friendly style very nicely and it would not be jarring at all even if it´s included on the same page.

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    @gary-wilkinson I agree with @smceccarelli — I similarly thought board books & mobile games when I saw these, but also other products like apparel & textiles, wall art, etc. I have seen eLearning opportunities looking for this kind of work too.

    I could easily see this style of graphical illustration being used in a pattern for the endpapers or on the title page, etc. on a book with your other illustrations (think about how 3D animation movies will animate stylized 2D versions of their characters recapping the story or impressions of their characters/scenes in the end credits)

    For me, if you are seeking to showcase your vector capabilities as well as make it fit your other work best, it seems that the animals have the greatest value for your site, followed by the fruits. they are more complex and thus take more skill to produce, and they seem to fit as a stylized representation of your other work.

    I do think that I would suggest putting them on a separate page. Not that they don't go together but due to feedback I had gotten when I had mixed painted & graphical/vector work where it seemed to confuse the viewers. Plus, I ended up finding it convenient because I (or my site) could respond to opportunities where they were looking for one but not the other.

    Cute work!

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    Please forgive my ignorance - but what is vector illustration, how is this different from regular (?) illustration and how do I know if I am looking at something created using vector vs other forms of digital painting?
    Ps those cards are super cute!

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    Here's another thought to perhaps generate a bit of income - sell digital download graphics on Maybe explore selling your work there, directly to teachers.

  • @missmushy In some cases you wouldn't know you are looking a vector art because it can look the same depending on the style you are trying to achieve but often it looks cleaner and smooth and is great for graphic design. Basically it uses math to scale up and down your shapes and is not based on pixels. The major benefit being that a small image and a large one will look identical with no pixilation.

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    @rcartwright ah ok. Thanks very much for the info!

  • @gary-wilkinson I would say go for it. They're very cute and showcase your talent with creating vectors. I will caution you though that once they're out there on the web they're much more likely to get ripped off and used without your permission. Vectors seem to be in high demand and I made the mistake of putting several on my deviantart page a few years ago, which are now in use (only to my knowledge since doing a reverse google image search), by several small bands, retailers, and print on demand shops. Even if you don't post a high res file, it's super easy to vector image trace and recreate them. So just be careful if this is something you might worry about.

  • @smceccarelli - good point about using this style for licensing and for games, toys etc I will have to try and find a way to best seek out such work. I can understand that educational projects pay a lot less, but it would be good experience and hopefully I would be able to create illustration fast enough to justify the lower pay.

    @QuietYell Thank you for your feedback. I never really thought about wall art, but for those with kids , maybe it would be appealing to have these hanging on the wall. Taking about board books, is the route for illustrating those different to traditional picture book illustrations?

    Also, good point about putting them on separate pages to avoid confusion, it would definitely make the site a lot less messy. Do you think I should remove the text for them and just have the animal by itself as an image? I have about 30 animals and 50+ other flashcards so far, so I will have to decide which are best to display in my portfolio.

    @juliekitzes That's very true about having them copied or used without permission, I guess it's just a risk I would have to take. I will probably have to upload them at a decent resolution on my website and want to avoid any watermarks, but as you say they could just trace over them anyhow 😕

  • Thank you for everyone's feedback. I have added a section for my vector art on a my website, and will add future projects to it as they develop. I don't want to add too many images from each set to avoid them being copied as I will hopefully compile them into my own products shortly.

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    @gary-wilkinson Looks great!

    I think the route is similar; however, given the simplicity of many board books, you may consider creating a series of books (that's something that has been on my mind to work on). Take a look at Jane Foster's board books (they're great! My 6-mo old son (and my wife & I ) loves her Animal Sounds one):

    I like that you removed the text from the images. I don't think that the text needed to be added to the portfolio images displayed. Now, if you were to be showing a set of flashcards or pages from a book, then I'd include the text, but showing these as spot illustrations, I don't think the text is all that necessary.

    For licensing, you'll probably end up developing a paper/textile series of offerings to present at Surtex or the Licensing Show (or at similar expos) or to get a licensing agency to represent you. either way, there will need to be a catalog of imagery ready to be licensed. I'm assuming a paper/textile pattern series catalog since you are not licensing a character brand (e.g. Hello Kitty) or a story brand (e.g. Spongebob) as far as I can tell.

    Great work! Fun to see!

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