Physical portfolio



  • Hi guys,
    I'm super excited to be attending my first illustrator conference and I have the chance to display my portfolio but no idea how to actually make one, what kind of paper do I print on? Do I just use any type of folder or is there something specific people use?

    Cheers,
    Anya



  • @anya-macleod said in Physical portfolio:

    Hi guys,
    I'm super excited to be attending my first illustrator conference and I have the chance to display my portfolio but no idea how to actually make one, what kind of paper do I print on? Do I just use any type of folder or is there something specific people use?

    Cheers,
    Anya

    I did tons of research for the scbwi conference I went to!

    After hours and hours of research I lovingly crafted a unique portfolio by hand, with space for business cards and crazy high quality paper and a nifty fabric cover and it was IMMEDIATELY torn to shreds by the multitudes of uncaring grubby hands as they passed along the line of portfolios 😃 . I LITERALLY saw an agent pick up my portfolio and haphazardly toss it aside with a look of disgust, lol.

    Buy a portfolio that can be treated poorly and still look good.

    The most common folder I saw at the conference were the cheap black portfolios you can pick up at any art store. Second most common were these:

    https://store.opusartsupplies.com/sagro/storefront/store.php?mode=browsecategory&category=3153

    There were one or two others that were handmade.

    If you're printing yourself, you should be able to find some kind of nice matte presentation paper. If not, go to a print shop and find some samples. There's no 'right' answer. When in doubt, go with what looks best first and what feels best second.

    Other than that, make sure that you adhere to whatever standards the conference has given you. They'll have criteria like 'must be under 9x11 when closed' and other such stuff.

    Have fun! Conferences are always awesome 🙂



  • While I was studying at university we were encourage to get black Prat portfolios as apparently they have a good reputation and look professional (This might be an old fashioned thought though as the same importance is not on physical portfolios as there was before the internet...). They are quite expensive though https://www.cassart.co.uk/brand/prat

    Last time I printed my portfolio I went to a print shop and asked to see samples of matte paper and then they printed it for me. I've also printed my portfolio myself when I had access to an A3 printer. I just bought nice paper instead of regular printer paper.

    I wrote a blog post a couple years ago about actually putting together a cohesive portfolio which might be of help.


  • Moderator

    Here is a nice post hole portfolio cover DIY. I made one similar to this and used clear page protectors for each illustration that I printed out from my own computer. I wanted something I could switch out the pages easily.
    CDD67B90-253C-4C00-8056-B482C1FDD960.jpeg



  • @Braden-Hallett I hope that agent gets hives, Braden.



  • @Laurel-Aylesworth said in Physical portfolio:

    @Braden-Hallett I hope that agent gets hives, Braden.

    They seemed like a very unhappy person already, lol



  • I bought this book and it's been working well for me for about a year now: https://www.amazon.com/Pina-Zangaro-Screwpost-Orientation-34455/dp/B073FRBC29/ref=sr_1_27?keywords=11x14+screwpost+binder&qid=1581453527&sr=8-27

    It has plastic sleeve pages that you can slip print-outs into. I recommend this because then you can switch out pieces, play around with the order you present in, and even customize the book for different reviews/showcases on the fly. Every time I get a new piece I can just slip out an old on and put the new one in.

    The screw posts also allow you to remove unused pages so that you don't have that awkward 20 blank pages in the back of the book like some of the fixed page count ones.

    I recommend getting either the 11x14 or the 8.5x11 book. Both sizes were popular at the showcases I participated in.

    Take a business card with your information on it and tape it in the back of the book. This is less so that the people attending get your information (you can usually display a pile of postcards for that) and more so if your book is lost it can be returned to you.

    Get the nicest prints that you can afford (color-wise) the paper quality doesn't matter as much as it will be behind the plastic. I get mine printed here: https://www.elcocolor.net/. They have a poster special that makes the prints really affordable and the quality is excellent. I print my pages two-up on a 16x24 sheet and cut them down myself to make it a little more inexpensive.

    For arranging work, I use the first page as a "title page" with my name and info. I keep my printed portfolio to 12-15 pieces. I start off with my strongest piece and end with my second strongest piece. The biggest thing to remember is that your portfolio is only as good as your weakest piece so don't put in anything that you aren't completely happy with.

    I have a bigger book. I put one full illustration or a few spot illustrations on a page and I like to leave a white border around each piece of about 1/2 an inch. This keeps the illustrations on adjoining pages from fighting with each other or creating weird tangents.

    Hopefully this helps! I was super overwhelmed creating my first printed portfolio. These blog post really helped me out:

    http://juanamartinezneal.com/blog/2013/05/14/how-to-put-a-childrens-illustrator-portfolio-together/

    http://idleillustration.com/2012/07/16/putting-together-a-prize-winning-portfolio/



  • @StudioLooong @Braden-Hallett @burvantill @eriberart thanks guys, super helpful as always, will check out all links 😊


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