SVS Online Portfolio upgrade?



  • Hey guys,

    We are always trying to think of new ways to build SVS and make it more of a valuable tool for artists worldwide. We were talking about the idea of integrating a portfolio upload option for svs subscribers. This is how it would work: Some day in the future you would login or get an email notification and see the option for you to upload your images onto the svslearn.com site. It would allow subscribers to curate their own images and share them with potential clients. It would enable us to share the portfolios with art directors at various publishing houses. Our hope is that it would be a stop for editors and art directors looking for new talent.

    In addition there would be an "upvote" option on each image. Anyone logged in could see and up-vote your image(s). We could also hire software developers to create algorithms that would auto select images with the most upvotes to populate a gallery on the front of the svslearn.com page.

    *PLEASE Let us know if you think this is a good idea? If you think you would use it? If you think you would NOT use it? Any thoughts are welcome. But we need to hear from you even if you do NOT think you would use this.

    Thank you for weighing in!



  • Wow that sounds really cool especially if art directors might be looking at it. Yes I would use it! It would be another huge motivator to produce our very best work.



  • Reading this is perfect timing. I was just about to contact SVS regarding a portfolio review, cost involved, etc. I'm at a cross road with my work. I'm not sure my style is marketable or not?? Sharing an online portfolio with art directors would help answer that question real fast! I'm 100% on board with this!!! I love the idea. Work smarter, not harder!!



  • @will-terry what a helpful offering to users as well as svslearn itself.

    These are key (in my mind):
    • " It would enable us to share the portfolios with art directors at various publishing houses"
    • "images with the most upvotes to populate a gallery on the front of the svslearn page"

    Might be helpful to have "Editor Picks" and/or "AD Picks", maybe even with commentary of why.
    Could also be helpful to have categories/tags to apply to uploaded art so that an AD can search through genre type rather than each and every person's work
    I'm sure a lot can be gained from how ArtStation & others handle things.

    The first key point is "key" to me because there are many places to create a portfolio on, but there aren't many that say "enable us to share with ADs", aside from agents/reps and paid portfolio sites (which I guess this kind of is a little but more of an add-on to amazing content & community).

    It would be nice if this had a little something else to set it apart from a personal and aggregate gallery showing. Not really sure what that is — maybe having reputable people such as yourself potentially sharing the page with ADs is enough.

    The reasoning: Many of us have a website, instagram, twitter, behance, scbwi page, artstation, deviantart, pinterest, etc. While I personally need to go in and update & manage mine (been busy & lazy to do so), in the end, they're all "just" a gallery of images/casestudies (granted each has a different purpose, audience, visibility, features, etc.). Is there something that svslearn could do a little differently to make this showing unique?

    I'll think about it and share if I come up with something, but it would be an extra added bonus if somehow these portfolios could help present portfolios according to the VisualStorytelling & even the learn of SVSLearn (maybe it's as simple as person & art piece categories, like "Picture Book" "Middle Grade" "Graphic Novel").

    Regardless, it is awesome to see the continual effort SVSLearn puts into growing itself & its members! Great job!

    EDIT: a thought hit me as I was going back to working on stuff: Perhaps there is an aspect of "aided curation" to portfolios. Way too much work for you, Jake & Lee to do, but perhaps community supported. A way for people's portfolios to have insights given from other members on how to organize, where needs improved, or even curated by some sort of voting system within each portfolio (e.g. ranking of one's pieces). I suppose there would need to be some sort of privacy/hiddenness regarding critiques on a portfolio; then again, all other social media pretty openly shares everyone's comments...



  • I like it



  • @Will-Terry Thank you for thinking of ways to help us! You are awesome! I think that feedback, and exposure are the two things that students are craving you are spot with that. I think SVS is a fantastic way to learn illustrating and I recommenced it whenever I can. I think building those bridges to publishers is a naturally step and the savvy ones are probably already paying attention. However, in order for this to be a truly effective tool to attract AD's there will have to be some safeguards to encourage students to keep growing and display excellent work. (I'm not ready for ADs yet, but I do need a way to get feedback).

    So I am just brainstorming ways to get those three things: feedback, exposure and excellence. One way may be to add a pay-for feature to get your portfolio featured and critiqued. After you have gone through that you can opt in to the open gallery?

    Another would be to attach it to a live portfolio class (so teachers and students are giving feedback). Take the class, get feedback and at the end you can post your stuff on the gallery page, with the option to curate later.

    As far as the up-voting, that is a really cool idea for people outside of SVS. For the students, I think people would post, but I am not sure about if the excitement to go in and vote for other work would stay steady for a long time... not sure how to tackle that one, except maybe the kind of thing they do in other online classes, to participate you need to post your assignment and comment on three others? There is a lot of voting on the monthly challenges, but those are already highlighted.

    I suppose another way to get that exposure would be to have separate challenges from the monthly ones. Maybe quarterly or even yearly, you could spotlight an AD, or publisher, do an interview with them on your podcast, and let them be the judge and give feedback.



  • I think that is a fantastic idea. Being a little isolated and new to the business it would be nice to get some exposure to actual ADs and agents instead of being lost in a sea of others.



  • I love the idea and greatly appreciate the opportunity for the paying students. My main questions are based on exposure. How long will a portfolio remain available after the student stops being active? Is length determined by subscription or activity? In other words if the student gains work and essentially "graduates" to the point of inactivity will the portfolio remain so long as the student keeps the subscription active?

    The other question is how will the AD's and others see these? Will it be popularity based like Instagram, timing based like Etsy, or a mix of both? The concern being that one student's portfolio style may not be popular with the voters but might be exactly what an AD or editor is looking for and be hard to find.

    Thanks again for considering this awesome opportunity for your students. That is much added value and a bigger incentive to level up our work.



  • I think this is a fantastic idea for those of us who are looking to shift the focus of our careers onto illustration. I'm a full time graphic designer, so my personal website contains a mix of graphic design, motion graphics, and illustration, so having a place on SVS for me to collect JUST my illustration work would be huge for me (and others in a similar situation) while I retool/reorganize my existing portfolio site.

    No matter which way you go on the decision, thanks for even considering this!



  • Great idea!



  • This sounds like a great idea, and would be more than a little useful. 😀 I’d love to see this implemented.



  • I would love the opportunity. I really do like the idea of the upvotes getting more of a feature in the hopes that the more "ready" to see art might be seen. I have a slight concern, too, about style preferences causing good work to be overlooked and therefore not featured. Would there be the "staff picks" that would be featured or occasional artists highlighted, perhaps? All that said, I would very much be a person interested in using the portfolio site and am so jazzed that the option might be there in the future. You guys are awesome. Count me in!!!



  • I think it's an awesome idea! I would definitely use the service.



  • I believe this would be a great idea. Being a beginner illustrator, I need all the promotion I can get. Aside from doing it myself, it's really great to have a site as established as SVS is to help me with that. SVS already has a decent following and with its various connections. I have a strong feeling that this will be more than effective. This would definitely be more reason for me subscribe full time.



  • I think this is a great idea. I would absolutely use this.



  • Thumbs UP
    "It would enable us to share the portfolios with art directors at various publishing houses."
    The best thing about this feature would be getting our work seen by the right people.

    Thumbs DOWN
    "In addition there would be an "upvote" option on each image. Anyone logged in could see and up-vote your image(s). We could also hire software developers to create algorithms that would auto select images with the most upvotes to populate a gallery on the front of the svslearn.com page."
    The worst thing about this is that it will turn a great forum into Facebook and Instagram. Instead of helping aspiring artists, those who are already known and their posts receive high interaction will get seen the most, while other good work gets buried.



  • This is a great thought ...but it also sounds very much like DeviantArt, ArtStation, IllustrationFriday and a million other portfolio aggregation platforms. Maybe it would be a good place to start building a portfolio presence for people who are just starting to show their art - the wild world can be a little intimidating, and this is definitely a much closer-knit and supportive community. The big question is how you would drive and direct traffic and wether getting ADs to look at it really is the goal - or rather give students the opportunity to build and nurture a curated portfolio. The latter seems a pragmatic and worthwhile goal all by itself.



  • This is great! I would definitely use it if it has chances of being shown to art directors and editors.
    Since I am not living in the USA and the illustrator can't make a living from doing children's book in my country, every chance to get more exposure is great.

    My only question is, will the portfolio show us as a student or as a professional? because I am wondering if the AD or editors will see us more like a student and not ready for professional work no matter how our portfolios look rather than someone to hire.



  • I just think this idea is inspired!
    I look forward to that future email.



  • I think this is a grand idea and will help many people.

    My only concern is that it will just turn in to a lot of people just posting their everyday stuff in it and not curating their best work to display for the "long haul." I would suggest maybe capping either the total number of images allowed per user to maybe 10-20, or maybe put a limit on how often it can be updated, or some sort of limiter to prevent abuse and spamming of the system.

    Whatever results from this though I feel will be great.