Every professional illustrator knows that their online portfolio is essential for their business. It’s the first place they direct potential clients, the way that they represent their brand, and has the capability to make or break a career.
If you’re an illustrator, you want your online portfolio to be a space where people will immediately get an idea of your work, have any questions answered, and dissuade the need for additional references or work samples.
At Format, we’ve seen some of the most inspiring portfolios on the internet, from some of the top illustrators. They’re visually appealing, creatively displayed, easy to navigate, and compatible with all devices.
Scroll through the below 20 best illustration portfolios for some inspiration: it’s time to kickstart your own portfolio or update the one you haven’t checked in a while.
From traditional ink and pencil illustrations to new media and animation, these are 20 illustration portfolios you need to see.
Designer and illustrator Michael Molfetas uses the sleek Ora theme to create a clean homepage grid. All of his illustration work is neatly organized by project names, which makes it easy to explore.
Dena Cooper creates a lookbook of her own using Format’s Horizon Left theme, giving the viewer an intimate look at her streamlined fashion and lifestyle illustrations.
Ashley Eansor uses a combination of traditional and digital media, and her Horizon Left portfolio lets viewers seamlessly side scroll through examples of her work: from fashion-inspired illustrations to text-based design work.
Illustrator Zach Meyer uses Format’s Order theme to give his portfolio the same look as the graphic novels he illustrates: a crisp storyboard. A quick click allows the viewer to zoom in each image, complete with side scroll.
Alvaro Tapia’s portfolio opens with a single, poignant image. Click through and you’ll find more of his portrait-style abstract illustration work, laid out in a clean grid style. His vivid use of color and line work is displayed using Format’s Order theme.
Created using the Grace theme, artist Michael C. Hsiung’s drawings, videos and tattoo art can be navigated through at top right with every section clearly labeled in drop down menus. It’s easy to explore the LA-based artist’s extensive portfolio without having to click back to the home page.
Iveta Karpathyova’s online portfolio captures her feminine style and dual passions: fashion and wildlife. A lefthand sidebar makes it easy to explore by specific project, including campaigns for Holt Renfrew, Variety Magazine (pictured here), and custom wedding invitations. Karpathyova uses Format’s Peak theme to display her work in grid format.
Illustrator Nayeon Lee mixes still and animated images in her homepage grid, though all are united through a shared pastel color palette. The large header menu enabled by her use of the Sierra theme separates branding work from editorial and personal illustration projects, allowing the viewer to experience both sides of her work individually.
Using the Amazon theme, quirky UK-based designer Nick Alston lays it all out on the homepage. A combination of illustration work, apparel and video is displayed grid-style, with quick links to contact Nick or purchase his work.
Deshi Deng’s portfolio is a mix of illustration and animation. Using the Slate theme, Deng shows each type of work in a separate grid-based gallery. The header menu moves down the page as you scroll, allowing for quick access to other pages of the Canadian illustrator’s website.
Graphic artist Paul Pateman, aka Pâté, uses Format’s Horizon Left theme to let viewers scroll through his images one at a time, taking in the full scale of his work, which includes clients like BuzzFeed, Financial Times, and Fast Company. Vibrant colors and text work create the illusion of posters on a virtual wall, a nod to his background in advertising.
London illustrator Cressida Djambov has a distinctly graphic style. Her painting, drawing, molding and animation works are appropriately displayed using the Horizon theme that keeps you scrolling until you disappointingly get to the end.
Stockholm-based illustrator Maria Källström uses the grid-based Peak theme to give visitors to her online portfolio a quick overview of her work and artistic style. Källström’s illustrations are vividly colorful and modern, especially when it comes to her children’s book work, which is full of playful characters.
Based in Montreal, Genevieve Godbout works as a children’s book and fashion illustrator. She’s worked for clients like Disney and Random House, and she also creates beautifully detailed pattern designs. Godbout uses the Amazon theme to showcase her illustration and design work in separate grid-based galleries.
Jan Bowman’s training as an architect is visible in her illustration work, as her images tell the stories of people in places. She uses the Peak theme to display her work on a main page grid, providing an easy click to zoom on images and view descriptions.
Format’s Amazon theme provides structure to Marne Grahlman’s whimsical, nature-inspired illustrations. Check out all the details in the single image view.
English illustrator Nick Grant uses the horizontally-scrolling Sierra theme to showcase his work, which ranges from linocut designs to more pop art-inspired graphics.
Gizem Vural uses a neatly organized sidebar menu and grid-based galleries to showcase her portfolio with the Order theme. With galleries for editorial and personal illustration work, as well as paintings, patterns, and comics, Vural makes viewing her large portfolio easy. Her work has appeared in publications including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New Republic, and many more.
Looking at Lily Qian’s portfolio is akin to opening up an issue of Vogue. Clean and stylized, her watercolor, ink, and charcoal designs focus on people, places and fashion. Format’s Peak theme provides the perfect backdrop and easy scroll for personal work as well as projects for the likes of La Prairie and L’Oreal.
Brooklyn illustrator Vicky Leta uses gestural lines and easy humour in her comic-style illustrations. Her main page reads as a graphic novel, inviting the viewer into her colorful world. The Ora theme’s side bar allows for easy navigation between projects.