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Assembling children's illustrator portfolio: resource recommendation (others?)

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Juana Martinez-Neal, who won last year's SCBWI Summer Illustrator Portfolio Showcase, has a fantastic post about how to put together a children's illustrator portfolio. Includes specific tips, resources and visual samples of other illustrators' portfolios (including mine :-)).

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

Does anyone else have useful resources / posts with useful info about assembling a children's illustrator portfolio? Feel free to post them below.

Debbie
#1 - May 15, 2013, 06:36 PM
« Last Edit: May 15, 2013, 06:41 PM by Debbie Ridpath Ohi »
DebbieOhi.com - Twitter: @inkyelbows - Instagram: @inkygirl

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Wow, Debbie. I just logged on, wondering if I could dig up any information about what goes into an illustrator's portfolio. There, like magic--right at the top the list of new posts, even!--was exactly what I was looking for. Thank you so much for this post and the link!

#2 - May 15, 2013, 06:50 PM
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On my blog I've recently started posting lists of kidlit portfolio prompts. There are also years' worth of interviews with published illustrators talking about their work and process. http://wendymartinillustration.com
#3 - May 16, 2013, 06:30 AM
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YES, illustrators should definitely check out Wendy Martin's archive of illustrator interviews:

http://wendymartinillustration.com/wordpress/category/illustrator-interviews/

Debbie
#5 - July 18, 2013, 06:56 PM
DebbieOhi.com - Twitter: @inkyelbows - Instagram: @inkygirl

Great post,thanks for sharing:)
#6 - July 19, 2013, 09:43 AM

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Thank you for these links! they definitely look worth checking out  ::-)
#7 - August 09, 2013, 09:20 AM

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Great post! Definitely checking things out! Hello to all the folks in here I recognize!!!
#8 - August 10, 2013, 11:49 AM

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 :old Question! Question! Can anyone tell me if all portfolios need to have human figures in them? Can they have anthropomized animals or plants?  >:(
#9 - August 11, 2013, 07:40 PM

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:old Question! Question! Can anyone tell me if all portfolios need to have human figures in them? Can they have anthropomized animals or plants?  >:(

Iyerani- Your portfolio should reflect the type of work you want to get ultimately. I know many children's illustrators who aren't comfortable drawing human kids so only draw anthropomorphic animals and what not. So while they are drawing what they love they will probably only get jobs that involve that type of work. So it can be limiting.

In general a children's book portfolio should include human children of varying ages, ethnicities and body types. It's also smart to include some adults and grandparents, though not as many examples. Many art directors are quite literal and they assume that if it's not in your portfolio then you probably can't draw it. They assume you are drawing what you love and if you aren't drawing it, it's because you don't want to or aren't capable.

I recently featured a video from Will Terry on my blog that goes through what to put in your portfolio and what not to. (We have a number of articles about this as a matter of fact.) Check it out!

http://onceuponasketch.com/2013/08/guest-post-will-terry-what-to-include-in-your-childrens-book-portfolio/
#10 - August 13, 2013, 11:09 AM

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I looked at the websites linked in this thread and I ordered a Pina Zangaro portfolio after much deliberation. I really like the portfolio and I love how it feels. Now I have another portfolio dilemma (which will most likely become another learning experience  :sigh)

In regards to portfolios, how does everyone feel about sheet protectors? back in college I had a few informal interviews where I put prints of my work in a standard portfolio with built-in sheet protectors. Now that I'm in the professional world I am realizing that most of the portfolios I see are pre-printed Blurb-type portfolios or portfolios with the original artwork shown in the portfolio or a mounted print (not in a sheet protector). Based on experience has anyone ever had an art director or a fellow illustrator criticize their portfolio for having sheet protectors or anything like that?  :embarrassed2

#11 - September 18, 2013, 06:01 PM

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If you do use sheet protectors, get the matte variety because I have heard more than one AD saying glare of overhead lights makes viewing art difficult. Also, the sheet protectors tend to tangle in the binder rings and make turning pages difficult.
#12 - September 18, 2013, 07:51 PM
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Thank you, Wendy!  ::-) I appreciate your input. What kind of setup do you have for your physical children's book portfolio? if you don't mind me asking.

Every day I learn new ways to better make an impression in this business-hopefully others will see these posts and learn from them as well.
#13 - September 19, 2013, 07:34 AM

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Good question Amanda! I was considering this myself. I have the portfolio w/sheet protectors. And like Wendy said, the glare from the glossy ones is too much. That's what I have. And not only is there a glare, they tend to collect fingerprints and scratches which really take away from the art. I noticed at the last conference I attended that the majority of the portfolios had prints that were mounted. That's what I'm going to do for the next display I participate in.
#14 - September 19, 2013, 06:44 PM
« Last Edit: September 19, 2013, 06:56 PM by Cynthia Kremsner »
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My question also has to do with the physical creation of a portfolio. I'm working on some new spread pieces and I'm trying to figure out the best way to display them. If I have it as two separate pages, I'm not sure that I can assemble them into a portfolio in a way that would look like a normal book. Does that make sense? They won't meet in the middle. Do people usually display a spread on one piece of paper? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks.

Jessie :sheep
#15 - November 01, 2013, 11:54 AM
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I've never participated in a portfolio display nor assembled a physical one for my children's illustrations, but we did both when I was in school for graphic design. Double-page spreads (which is what I think you are asking about?) were printed on one sheet to display, or if it was too large, we printed on two sheets and carefully trimmed and  mounted them together to make one sheet. When I do a full spread now, I do the art on one piece of paper, so it makes sense to display it that way.

You could also reduce the size (as long as you don't jeopardize quality) to fit on one piece, but make a note of actual size. But others may have better ideas that have gone to the portfolio reviews.
#16 - November 01, 2013, 03:15 PM
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I too recommend using matte if you use sheet protectors. We have had some problems with the glossy ones when we use an Elmo to display what the faculty are viewing and commenting on for the audience.

Most of the portfolios I saw at the SCBWI Summer Meeting in LA had dummies attached.
#17 - December 23, 2013, 10:11 PM
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BTW, I should have mentioned Elizabeth Dulemba's article on assembling portfolios. More info here:http://sbillustrators.blogspot.com/p/portfolios.html
#18 - December 23, 2013, 10:16 PM
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Hi - I have a naive question on portfolio size.  For the SCBWI conference, they limit the portfolio size to 14".  Does that mean I can use a 9x14 portfolio?  Sounds like a silly question, but when looking at the portfolios on line their size references the art that can be fit into the sleeve. 
thanks for any advice!
#19 - January 26, 2014, 08:02 PM

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Hi Miriam.
 
 I'm pretty sure those stipulations are on the external dimensions. In my experience, there hasn't been anyone with a measuring instrument to be sure portfolios are precisely within their requirements.
 
 The presentation case shouldn't exceed the internal dimensions by more than an inch. I've seen different requirements at SCBWI events, but I usually try to go with what the international conferences require as the regional events I've attended, for the most part, have more space which reflects in the sizes they allow. 14" max height for portrait orientation w/11" wide.
 
Emailing the illustration event coordinators may help with your question.  :paint
#20 - January 27, 2014, 01:39 PM
Fur Balls & Feathers & Fins, Oh My! Animals Are My Kind of People
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Oh wow, I really like the Kolo portfolios.  Thank you for posting this :D
#21 - February 01, 2014, 09:16 PM

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