The Beginning: Part II

Today’s post is going to focus on my upcoming portfolio review! Here are the basics:

What it is

I will be sending images of my works to Guiseppe Castellano for him to review. The night of the review, we’ll use Google Video Chat and discuss my work. He’ll let me know where my strengths lie and what areas I still need to improve, and then we’ll get to discuss how best to build a portfolio, what art directors are looking for in portfolios, and what next steps I should be taking to get where I want to be in my career.

Who is Guiseppe Castellano?

He is an art director and illustrator with years of experience! He has worked with some big name publishing houses in the past, but now works for himself. He heads up The Illustration Department, a resource for online classes to help illustrators improve their work and build portfolios.

How did you find the opportunity?

Guiseppe was one of the first guests on the Stories Unbound podcast I mentioned yesterday! At the time of his interview, he was working at Penguin Random House as their Executive Art Director. His website has a link for the Illustration Department on it, and I joined their mailing list, hoping to try sign up for something one day. I got an email last week that they were running a 40% off sale on their courses, so I seized the opportunity!

When is it?

April 12th at 9pm. I am severely hoping that my 6 month old will stay asleep for the full hour of the review. My husband has already said he’ll be on baby duty if Baby J wakes up, but his intense attachment to me means he’ll be crying if he knows I’m there and not holding him.


My illustration experience up to this point has all been either college-level course work or small pieces I have made for myself for practice, so my excitement for this review is tempered by nervousness at how my work will be perceived. Some days I look at what I’ve done and think I really have what it takes, and other days it seems that all I see are the flaws and marks of amateurism. I hear all artists deal with this in some form, so I try not to let it get me down.

I’ll be posting some work on my Portfolio page as I prepare files to send to Guiseppe! I’ll also be posting about a work-in-progress here in the next couple days.

Until next time!     

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