Presenting your illustration or creative work well doesn't need to take as much time or effort as you might think
Given how competitive the creative industries can be, first impressions will often be the key to securing (or missing out on) a great opportunity. To ensure you get as far as you deserve, you need to curate an incredible selection of your work that showcases your talent.
If you want to make sure you are doing everything you can to achieve this, check out these three tutorials from professional illustrators that will guide you down the right path. They all insist that creating a decent illustration portfolio doesn't need to take as much time and energy as you think.
Remember that you can access each tutorial in full by watching the videos below or clicking on the titles in red. Enjoy!
Ricard López (@ricardilus) is a professional painter and illustrator who has worked for top clients such as the National Art Museum of Catalonia and Penguin Random House. In his opinion, a good portfolio is one of the best tools an illustrator can equip themselves with before taking on the job market: whether doors to professional development open or not will depend on it.
Some of his top tips on building your portfolio are: do not include more than 15 examples of your work, present a range of different techniques and styles, and showcase your own personal technique. Discover the rest of his tips in this video.
These days, a creative’s social media profile can act as a cover letter, especially for illustrators. Instagram, in particular, is easy to use and enables you to access a massive audience around the work, something we should take advantage of.
In this video tutorial, Pencil agency (@pencil) shares key advice to help you build your profile. This advice will help you make informed decisions and reach as many people as possible. Watch below.
Designing your own website might sound like a tedious job, but thanks to platforms like Squarespace, the process becomes a simple series of clicks. The great thing about having an online portfolio is you can direct potential clients to it from your social media account or over email.
In this tutorial, Mónica Durán, founder of the branding and web design studio, Visual Bloom (@visualbloom), explains how to create an attractive template in Squarespace, which will increase your visibility and reflect your brand values. Discover more below.
The real purpose of a portfolio
What is a creative portfolio and what should it include? In this article, discover what you need to be putting in your portfolio to ensure it serves as the best intro to the creative market.
A portfolio is a folder presenting a small collection of an artist's best work. This sample of work should clearly demonstrate an individual's ability to perform certain tasks.
There are some key principles to bear in mind when putting together an illustration portfolio:
- It should be clear and direct, including few, but powerful, examples.
- It should focus on something specific, i.e. concentrate on demonstrating particular skills. To decide which skills to focus on, try and work out what your potential client might need.
- It should exclude very experimental projects or projects that have risky aesthetics.
- It should always keep evolving. Get into the habit of looking at your portfolio with fresh eyes every so often and update it regularly so that you’re always showing your best work.
- Avoid following these tips to create the worst online portfolio.
Now that you understand how to select and present your work, it’s time to start deciding what to include in your portfolio.
If you still have doubts or would like to learn more techniques, sign up for the Domestika course, Keys for Creating a Professional Illustration Portfolio. You’ll get top tips and discover the best tools for working out where you stand against your competitors and how to showcase your work in the most effective way.
English version by @eloiseedgington.
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