Really did not think I would make it in time!!
Hello! I'm currently an illustrator working for a children's product company with lots of experience in educational media and magazines. Last year I illustrated 6 books and began co-writing and authoring my own.
My current goal is to land a literary agent and become a published author/illustrator.
Really did not think I would make it in time!!
Hi all! So last year I started working on my portfolio with the goal of having ten completely new pieces in my portfolio. I competed in every contest from November through July. Of the pieces I made I had one win and got a critique of some sort in the arena for all but one. So now that I'm pulling the final ten together for my portfolio I'm making the edits from the arena critiques. I thought it would at very least be interesting, and possibly helpful to see them. Happy to hear and additional comments or feedback!
Here we go:
The feedback from Lee here was that I left a huge empty dead space in the middle . The suggested correction was too either crop in on the kids or add text. I tried cropping the kids but it just made me miss seeing the bedroom! And it felt to centered and symmetrical that way. So instead I'm adding text and claiming it as a book cover
December: “...as she listened closely, she overheard them talking about her...” So this one actually one that month and also had the biggest critique! I was still trying to figure out my style here and it was very rushed . Feedback from Will and Jake: Spend some more time on the character design of the yeti, the scarf doesn't make sense and the feet could be more well defined. The background feels like a cafeteria but seems empty. The wall behind them is necessary but isn't reading correctly.
“The tracks in the snow were unlike anything Will had ever seen before.” This one made it to the arena and did well. There was no negative feedback. Lee said it was just "luck of the draw" So I did not make any edits to this one.
February: nightfall. This was a failed style experiment. It's been sent to the land of illustrations past. R.I.P
March: “Everything was rattling, falling apart and breaking!!!”
This one also made it to the arena. Feedback: Everything is spaced very evenly and are similar sizes. Maybe move the girl to the right and vary more of the size and spacing of the objects.
April: "Lisa’s robot invention worked great, until it did this…"
This one also made it to the arena and was given the "luck of the draw" feedback, so I didn't make any edits.
This one did not make it to the arena, but when they did the quick feedback for everyone it also received the "luck of the draw" feedback.
And then I took a break in June so I could open my online store and spent my time focusing on smaller spot illos. For my current portfolio 6 of the 10 pieces came from the contests, and one from the podcast illo I got to do as a winner. So 7 of 10 came directly from SVSLearn prompts.
My take-a-ways from the experience: I was struggling to build my portfolio because I was lacking ideas and inspiration and I personally really need a deadline otherwise I procrastinate forever. Doing the contests were INCREDIBLY helpful for building my portfolio and I do feel like I've improved from doing it.
I also listened to some of the classes while I worked on these pieces and instead of doing the homework assignments I applied the knowledge from the courses to the pieces as I went. This helped since I work full time and have two toddlers and I do freelance projects. I really needed to prioritize my time.
Having a critqiue group is AMAZING, posting stuff here is helpful and awesome, but being able to have a group of other artists that you can quickly show ideas or see if something is working was VITAL for me.
My least favorite piece was the one that won (It was really rushed and I didn't feel confident in the final rendering). But this really taught me how truly valuable concept is over technical draftmanship. However, even if you have a fun idea and good draftsmanship, everyone has a personal aesthetic and you might not make it into the arena or win. That doesn't make it a bad piece, and it may even be some peoples favorite piece. In someways that makes me feel frustrated like shooting without a target, but then I remember that I'm making these pieces for me and my portfolio and it's OKAY. It's a lot better to make pieces that I'm excited about and are fun for me personally, than to try and appease everyone or to make art for the purpose of winning.
"Cover your mouth when you sneeze!"
Honestly don't know how the judges are going to narrow it down this month. So many amazing entries~!
@carolinebautista I’m curious if anyone responds because I’m not sure you need to if you aren’t selling the piece, and you’ve made many changes with it. But I’m not super well versed here so I’m interested in if anyone has insights.
HOWEVER, I’ve done something similar before using music for a video on YouTube and I just reached out to the person and asked if I could use their music with credit and they were happy to let me use it. So I would assume that you could just write her and showed her the image you created and asked if she was okay with you using the image in your portfolio with credit in the description.
Not an expert at all here, but that’s what I would do. Sorry if that wasn’t helpful lol
I don't mind the light colors, it makes it feel lighthearted or more appropriate for a younger audience. If you wanted it to feel more serious or dangerous then yeah you could make it darker, but I don't think you have to just because of their poses/expressions.
Their poses and expressions are so great! It makes me wonder what they are protecting themselves against. If you wanted to push the storytelling you could try to add some indication of what they are afraid of or some text to go with this. Or maybe the danger is on the ground since they are looking at the sky. Like there is a snake and they are wondering what the rattling sound is. As a viewer that would really up the emotional impact!
Or you can look for a literary agent specifically as it sounds like you are actually writing and illustrating your own book. For example, I'm making non-fiction how to draw book and my literary agent helped me put together a pitch and is contacting publishers on my behalf.
@Melissa-Bailey-0 @Nyrryl-Cadiz yes I think this is totally how I've been feeling as well. I was taking client work for 10 years, and stopped doing personal work, so now that I'm making personal work again, I realized how much better quality it is and how much happier I feel making it! But then realized I didn't know what kind of personal work I want to do lol
Actually, since starting this thread I have started to think I want to try doing some 4 panel comics. I realized in college I was struggling to decide between illustration and story boarding, and comics really fall between those two worlds. Plus they can be funny, I can document things about my life I want to remember, and they can be simple and sketchy rather than rendered.
@Nyrryl-Cadiz I actually don't know about webtoons, is that just a place to upload webcomics?
@xin-li You know I totally agree that if you are working as an artist for someone else, that you HAVE to create your own art and projects on the side. I tried not doing that for several years and my art suffered and I started to lose my love for it. I'm so glad you've decided to carve time out for yourself! To be honest, one of the reasons I came to SVS was to start working on my own projects again, but now I think I'm getting spoiled and now it's the only thing I want to do! Which is okay, I just need to figure out what that is. I think last year I just wanted to figure out what style I wanted to paint in, and I guess this year I want to figure out what medium!