Discovering our style - Who's in?

  • @neschof Here are the artists for my images (sorry I forgot to include them before). The stars are how much I like the artist's work as a whole. So 5 stars means I love everything they do, one star means I was attracted to this specific image but not so much the artist's general style.

    There is one image that I don't know the artist for - I tried reverse image searches etc. and found nothing! It looks like a children's book spread so if anyone recognises it please let me know - I would love to see the whole book!

    collection total labels low res.jpg
    Here are some links to these artists for interested people:

  • @xin-li & everyone, For both portfolios I started wit 76 and 65 pieces of work. For each, I copied all of the images to a new folder for not loosing any. Then I started deleting what looked paler in comparison to the others.´, till I had only 20 left. This took me less then half an hour. I usually find it easier to delete what's redundant, instead of to pick what's good. Maybe this helps someone.

  • @Meta exactly what I did - It means you can be more flexible when adding images - anything that catches your eye. Then repeatedly filter through them all deleting any that don't shine when sitting beside all the others. At the end I also tried to only include one image per artist. This was hard! but I think worthwhile to not have too much an overwhelming influence from one or two people.

  • @Meta thank you for sharing your process, very interesting. I used a similar approach as you did, but the whole process took me about a week (I had to take breaks in between). I did not think the image collections I gathered were perfect that I could not get rid of any. It is more like many images has something speaking to me, but also have things that I am not very interested in. It was hard for me to compare them, such as: I really like the theme of this image, but I am not into a very bright color scheme. Or I love the composition of that image, but I am not into the horror theme. So the whole process for me was about studying my art heros, but also about a conversation with myself to figure out what is really important for me.

  • @xin-li So why not opening several folders, naming them "composition", "light", "theme", "color" and whatever box you want, and sort your images like that? This can be a parallel process to your dream portfolio, and you don't loose track of the things you want. Maybe it's easier to choose the pictures then? Just picking the best things from each folder ... Just an idea.
    Ah, and it also took me many hours to get together all the images. I was just refering the time of sorting them out which was quick.

  • Moderator

    @Chip-Valecek i wonder if this may help. Last Spring I got a portfolio review from Laurent Linn and in my portfolio I had a lot of cartoony characters that I’ve been drawing my whole life mixed in with my children’s art. Now to me they’re all children’s art but to him the two styles were so different that he said why don’t you just leave out the cartoony stuff for now and focus on the other stuff and it really helped me focus more. It was a bummer because I like the cartoons but he did say, “for now” 😜 I do still have them on my website in a separate page but in my gallery and my physical portfolio I left them out.

  • Moderator

    @Braden-Hallett i had a huge board that I’ve been doing for a while of art that I just liked. I started there and chose the images that I felt were the direction that I want to take my art. Like @xin-li said it was tough to whittle it down to 20. I did it in the spring this year and I’ve been adding and subtracting images as I grow, trying really nail down what I want to do. I feel like this will be a lifelong project. Lol. I like the organization and ease of Pinterest to change it as I go. If I see something out in the world I try and find it online and then add it in to the dream board.

  • @neschof Thank you!

  • Thanks everyone for the info 🙂

    I think I may make a comics dream portfolio and a kid's book dream portfolio. And also stop overthinking it. I'm really overthinking it.

  • Moderator

    @Braden-Hallett yep. Get out yo head and just do you. 👍

  • @Miriam Yes! I think that's where the folky stuff comes in more, but even the sci-fi stuff has a lot of earthyness to it.

    @Zachary-Drenski I love the idea of quient action, thanks for putting that into words.

  • I made my own thread but I thought I would join in here on the discussion. I noticed everyone kind of keeps to the same style of artists.

    Is that on purpose or would a diverse set help? LIke Jake mentions Bill Watterson and Masamune Shirow. Two worldly different artists/cartoonists.


  • @Meta Your first portfolio looked very animation inspired, your second one looks more like the images belong on posters for bands and concerts. What jumps out to me is that each of these look like they could have been done in a sketchbook. They have a very traditional vibe, and it looks like the artists are showing their brush, pen, pencil strokes very confidently and purposefully.

    @Elena-Marengoni We have some overlap in our dream portfolios. You have great taste 😁

    @neschof Colors- I am seeing a lot of desaturation overall, with a bright, saturated focal point. A lot of bright orange and pink set against blues, whites, and browns. Also, kind of goes without saying but the the mark making is super organic in all of these. Thanks for posting the artists names. A lot of great stuff in there.

    @jthomas I stuck to published childrens book illustrators when creating my dream portfolio but I'm really inspired by all kinds of art. I am trying to develop a style to fit the market so its a good way to orient myself as I begin making a portfolio. Some thoughts on your dream portfolio, lines look like they are done with a pen not a brush. Really clean and accurate linework, with straightedges included. Accurate proportions and accurate perspective. Not a lot of cartoony stylization. A lot of long shots but with some interesting camera angles.

  • @Zachary-Drenski thank you, I’ve been trying to analyse my own work this morning and have discovered I seem to be a little obsessed with red / green palettes. I think I’ll start my own thread to track progress with this. Would be great to see your dream portfolio when it’s ready!

  • I spent way too long on this :smiling_face_with_open_mouth_cold_sweat:


    So, I thought I knew myself better, but this turned out much different than I thought.

    I am noticing a bunch of stuff that I've written down but it's a long list and you all don't have to point out any commonalities that you see. I thought instead I'd talk about how I came up with this grouping and would be interested in hearing how you picked yours.

    I set 2 rules and I wonder what you guys think about them? The first rule was that I would only choose published picture book illustrators (admittedly, I don't know what Ilaria Zanellato does but she looks the part and I love her work).

    The second rule was that I would only pick one piece from each artist. I did that so that I would be forced to choose only art that I really love and with a wider range of artists I thought it would be easier to find common themes and techniques that represent what I want to do.

    Also, 1% doubt and it was out. I cut a lot of great stuff but my gut told me it didn't belong. (Wipes sweat from brow) I'm done now, right? Oh yeah, now the hard work begins 🙃

  • @Zachary-Drenski

    I cannot give solid advice on how I choose because I am on my 3rd instalment yet interestingly enough my 3rd is more similar to my first, I think if I can remember.

    But I sort through like you said one artist per work.

    I also choose based on what I would actually do or wish I had done as close as possible. However I tend to gravitate to how the work is done style wise not style and content. Like my newest portfolio WIP has a very collage style work which I really like strangely enough but the content/subject matter is a ship which I would not necessarily have gravitated towards, if that makes any sense. I also like science fiction content but have yet come across the style I gravitate towards within that subject. Maybe I am not looking in the right place.

    And lastly, elements in children’s books that I want to be foundational. So to name 3 absolutes: playful ( when I think of kids, playful comes to mind first), tactile (collage or pencil process visible) and simple (what I’ve learned from life, focus on what’s really important), this idea is a WIP too.

    And because lastly clearly wasn’t last, I look back at what I naturally gravitate too and like and find similar work.

    Oh and poor Jake Parker, he’s going to feel left out.......... jks

  • @Heather-Boyd collage work is awesome so run with it! It sounds like you are in an advantageous place to possibly bring something new to the sci-fi world. Oh, and Jake Parker will be fine. He's shows up in everyone else's dream portfolios 🥳

  • Hi, everybody, I have been out for a few days due to family medical issues. But I did get a chance to create my dream portfolio and compare it to my actual portfolio. I went ahead and posted it as a separate entry for space's sake under Akins Dream portfolio exercise. If you could take a look at it and give me some feedback I would appreciate it.
    I will be taking the next few hours looking at your posts now that I have a sec or two to think.

  • @neschof I love your dream portfolio. I see a whole lot of lines used as texture and pattern and a lot of expressive movement. Your dream portfolio reminds me a lot of Matisse's work and has a playful feel to it.

  • @Braden-Hallett Hey Braden...stop overthinking it. 🙂

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