Some Tips for Putting Together a Professional Children's
Putting your Best Portfolio Forward
Compiled by Ken Min, Co-coordinator of the San Fernando Valley Illustrator's
artwork does the talking for you. It's best and professional to keep the
portfolio simple, neat, orderly and of a manageable size (9" x 12"
or 11" x 14" are two great sizes.)
2. Include 10 - 15
of your strongest pieces of art.
3. Your portfolio
can have more than one image on a page.
Be sure to include a leave-behind (such as a sample
page or postcard that has all of your contact information) for the art director
full color and black-and-white line/ halftone if you wish, but it's best
to separate them within the portfolio.
Within the illustrations that you are presenting,
you should demonstrate some or all of the following:
7. Keep different styles
separate (don't intermix styles but they can be in the same portfolio)
- Terrific visualized ideas
- Emotions - Show the character in different moods. (i.e. laughing,
- Consistency of Character - As far as look and clothing, etc. Show
your character from a variety of viewpoints.
- Action - Have your character do different activities and display them
in different narrative settings.
- Storyline with Character - Develop a picture sequence in which you
tell a visual story.
- Include type whenever possible as an example of your ability to interpret
text and to design your images with type in mind.
NOTE: you have to be GOOD at different
styles, otherwise leave them out.
Some portfolio advice from
Caldecott Award-winning illustrator Eric Rohmann:
"Put only your strongest work in the portfolio. If you want to
illustrate books, then your samples should demonstrate your abilities to
that end. Demonstrate your understanding of how narrative works in a picture
book. Other things are obvious, but bear repeating - know your craft, have
an interest and some knowledge of picture books, care about your audience."