SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

What are good ways to build a portfolio?

Discussion started on

Even before writing, I've always drawn illustrations and some sequential art. What would be the best way to build your portfolio for a publisher that would pair you up with a writer?

Right now I'm about to start web comics again.  I'm also not sure if that smoky burnt cedar and melted wax look would be something anyone would be interested in.
#1 - January 08, 2015, 12:41 PM
You can find my stuff at: uggc://plorephyg.bet/~fnenu/oybt.ugzy

Official Shenaniganizer
Emeritus
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region canadawest
There's a sticky here on the illustrating board with some helpful links: https://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?topic=74823.0
#2 - January 08, 2015, 01:28 PM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

http://cyndimarko.com
@cynmarko

Creator of Mootastic Art and Children's Books
Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region nymetro
Showing sequential art in your portfolio is important. It sounds like you're already doing that. Yay!

The medium (in your case, smoky burnt cedar and melted wax*) isn't as important as whether or not the style and art fits the book you're trying to illustrate.

I put five tips for illustrators on my blog recently. The tips are for taking your art to the next level to attract publishers. (Posted them here on the Blueboards too, but can't remember the thread it's in).

http://sruble.blogspot.com/2014/12/five-things-for-illustrators-aka-five.html

Good luck with your portfolio and web comics!

*p.s. I'm familiar with a lot of art mediums, but can't think of what smoky burnt cedar and melted wax is (might be that my brain is too frozen from being outside just now to remember). Do you have an example you could show?
#3 - January 08, 2015, 02:08 PM
Site - http://sruble.com
Twitter - http://twitter.com/StephanieRuble

picture book: EWE AND AYE (now available as an ebook!)

Administrator
Poster Plus
  • ****
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region dakotas
One thing I've seen pointed out by art directors before is to make sure that the materials in your portfolio are actually the kind of pictures that would fit in a children's book. Not everything that you create in art school is a good fit for a children's book. Can you draw children? Animals? Can you consistently draw the same recognizable character in different settings and doing different things? Your art doesn't have to look like everyone else's, but read 100 picture books* published in the past five years. Then pick your best pieces that would be able to exist in that same universe.

*Unless you are thinking of graphic novels, in which case, read recent graphic novels.
#4 - January 08, 2015, 05:59 PM

Children's Book Editor
Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region nymetro
Here are some tips on putting a portfolio together from Chris Tugeaue, artist's rest:

http://www.underdown.org/cat-portfolio.htm

I hope you find them useful!
#5 - January 08, 2015, 08:06 PM
Harold Underdown

The Purple Crayon, a children's book editor's site: http://www.underdown.org/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/HUnderdown

Actually I'm thinking of middle grade novels specifically. Although I've noticed in current books illustration doesn't seem to happen much in upper middle grade.
#6 - January 08, 2015, 08:43 PM
You can find my stuff at: uggc://plorephyg.bet/~fnenu/oybt.ugzy

As a bookseller, I have noticed that not a lot of older MG novels get illustrations--art costs additional money to produce, after all--but that doesn't mean publishers aren't looking for artists for those few books. Some of the recent MG art that's stood out to me is the art in Holly Black's DOLL BONES and the art in Tone Almhjell's TWISTROSE KEY. I'd take a trip to the library and thumb through the MG shelves to see what you see for art styles and print capabilities. (It seems like MG books most often have black and white illustrations.)
#7 - January 08, 2015, 09:25 PM

Children's Book Editor
Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region nymetro
Yes, upper MG often isn't illustrated. BUT compared to 20 years ago, I'd say that the situation has improved. There's more, though we are mostly talking spot art and/or the very occasional full page.

But don't forget graphic novels, if that's the age range that interests you. Fantastic stuff coming from publishers like First Second.
#8 - January 09, 2015, 03:27 PM
Harold Underdown

The Purple Crayon, a children's book editor's site: http://www.underdown.org/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/HUnderdown

In fact I'm specifically going for charcoal smoky coloring. I might try to find my older work, and see if that fits the portfolio.
#9 - January 09, 2015, 04:11 PM
You can find my stuff at: uggc://plorephyg.bet/~fnenu/oybt.ugzy

Members:

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.