If you’ve been here before, you may notice that I have made a few changes to the site since last time. This is part of an on-going project for myself to really flesh out the site, so expect to see a few changes here and there over the next few months. I actually wrote the bulk of this post a week ago, since my review was actually last Thursday, but here it is!
I finally got to do my portfolio review with Giuseppe Castellano last night! Quick shout out to my husband for getting my video chat area set up for me and taking over putting the kids to sleep so I could have my meeting in peace.
We started right on time with introductions, and I gave Giuseppe my background leading up to now. We discussed why I wanted to do illustration (combining my love of art with my love of entertainment and kids) and my long and short term goals. After he got a feel for where I was coming from, we dove into the actual review.
He had my work pulled up in Photoshop to screen share while we discussed it. The first part was the feel-good portion where he told me all of the positive things I had going on in my work. Overall, he said he was glad to see that it was apparent I was “tapped into” my own signature look in my work. That’s something many new artists struggle to find. I was glad to hear it was there, because I wasn’t sure if I had found it yet! Apparently it carried through, even though they were not all done in the same style. There were a few pieces he pointed out where he really loved my line work!
My frog from my Careless Magic piece was his favorite thing in my whole portfolio, he said. The lines that made him were “loose, but informative.” He also said I had really good shapes making up the frog. Another piece with good shape was my chubby mouse. I told him those two things were two of my favorites as well! We talked about how his pear-like shape was a “believable” one as opposed to “realistic.” Not all art needs to be realistic, but believability is important.
There was a lot more to our conversation (we went 40 minutes over our scheduled hour), but my improvement areas came down to this:
- Use reference more often (more like 60% of the time than 10%)
- Draw instead of outline
- Watch color value throughout a piece
- Pay attention to texture
These are things that I know I can do, I just need to do them consistently.
I want to go back into a few of my pieces and make the tweaks and changes we talked about to improve them, but he also gave me a couple of mini-assignments to help me reach my goals!
Mini assignment #1:
- Make my portfolio site. This is going to involve making my landing page more portfolio based and fleshing out some more pages.
- Continue working on portfolio.
- Create postcard/physical card giveaway to have on hand at the SCBWI Summer Conference in LA. I told him I was attending. He encouraged me to put my portfolio in the portfolio showcase if I felt it was ready, saying it is really helpful because so many eyes see it!
DUE DATE: Before I leave for the conference at the beginning of August.
Mini assignment #2:
- Create a spreadsheet of Art Directors and their information. Add 3 new Art Directors to the last every week for the rest of the year!
- Have a fully functional, beautiful portfolio site that I keep updated with work.
- Aim for one new illustration monthly. If I like it better than something on my site, switch it out. Keep site curated this way.
- Send out postcards and emails to the AD’s on my list on a regular basis.
DUE DATE: End of the year.
I love having these tangible goals, and I am so grateful for Giuseppe and The Illustration Department for this opportunity!