Friday, January 29, 2010

How can I improve my portfolio?

I want to improve my portfolio. This may seem like a no-brainer. Duh, who doesn't want an improved portfolio? The question is how, exactly. How can I make my portfolio more appealing to art buyers and art reps?

I read a very interesting article written by Christine Tugeau, an artists representative specializing in children's illustrators: What a Character!
"But now, concentrating on character development, the artist should take that memorable image and show what has come before, or what will happen after, in another couple of images or vignettes. If art assigners only see one image they don't know for sure if the artist can produce that SAME character again. Will it look right in the next image with a new emotion and interaction? Will the artists be consistent and solid in their characterization, palette and story pacing? Are the artists able to be as strong in drawing, color, and composition beyond the one piece?"
So, step #1 in improving my portfolio will be to take Christine's advice. (By the way, she has several articles on her website which I highly recommend.)

Here are two of the sketches I'm currently working on. They aren't finished sketches, more like "stop and pick up my youngest from kindergarten, eat lunch, back to school to bring penguin cupcakes for my other daughter's second grade class" in-progress sketches. However, my plan for this week will be to draw this little tomboy and her pal in at least four or five different scenes.


  1. You've done a good job of keeping the characters consistent, Michelle! That is not so easy. There is a sweet relationship between the girl and the dog! Can't wait to see them finished. They will make nice portfolio additions!!

  2. I remember when you first asked about this at a meeting over a year ago and you have come so far. I need to work on characters in different poses too, I could learn a few things from you. Great post.

  3. I really love these sketches... loose and alive, and consistent too!

  4. You're off to a great start Michelle! I too remember you talking about this at a meeting last year, and you've made such strides! I think she's a great character so far.

  5. I would like to see your finished drawing as it would be in the hypothetical storybook.