We all know the saying, “images are worth a thousand words.” Let us help you get your illustrations noticed with these top portfolio tips for illustrators.June 18, 2021
Jane Cabrera is a well-known author and illustrator of children’s books. She has written and illustrated 59 books that have been translated into more than 25 languages. She has won awards in both the US and Europe. Jane’s books range from picture books to board books for babies. Jane designs her books from the initial concept, including novelty elements and hand typography. Many of her picture books are based on traditional nursery rhymes, updated with her own modern fun twist.https://janecabrera.format.com
Laila Ekboir was born in Argentina, spent her infancy in the United States and her adolescence in México. She studied English Literature and Theatre at university, and is passionate about storytelling. As a self-taught illustrator, she enjoys working with traditional and digital media to create interesting textures, color combinations, and stylized shapes and slightly distorted perspectives.https://laila-lqjj.format.com
Andrew Dylan Campbell is an illustrator of stories and an art teacher living in Oceanside, NY. He likes to draw in ballpoint pen, watercolors, and gouache. Every new project is a new adventure, and he likes to spend plenty of time researching and sketching before committing to a final image.https://andrew-dylan-campbell.format.com
Sid is an illustrator and comic artist whose drawings are usually irreverent and a little spooky. They live in Toronto, where they're working on a new graphic novel.https://sid-sharp.format.com
Kaelen E. Felix has been passionate about art for as long as she can remember. It started at the age of 2, since she has risen her brand and trademark breaking the cycle of her freelancing skills in traditionally illustrating and designing two children's books. Her past experience in graphic design and print production art lead her to realize her expertise has risen her career to the top. As a published illustrator, she is determined to follow her dream for a lifetime!https://kaelenfelix.format.com
Best know for his playful, minimalist posters, Henry Rivers is an illustrator with a passion for travel. Working in a combination of hand-painted and digital techniques, Henry creates richly textured artworks with a sense of calm and escapism. Originally from the Isle of Wight, Henry is currently living and working in London. His artwork has been exhibited in 18 different countries and appeared on wine bottles, book covers and airline trolleys.https://henryrivers.format.com
Starting a website can feel intimidating, especially when you don't know where to start. The best way to establish your professional illustration portfolio is a clear goal in mind and a plan. Here’s where you can start: what's the purpose of your website? It's likely to attract new clients or show off your creative work for job opportunities. In that case, you want to craft a plan that will get you the results you want.
Steve Adams is an illustrator.https://steveadamsillustration.format.com
Dina Baxevanakis is a freelace illustrator based in Toronto, Ontario Canada. Her work is playful and colourful, and aimed towards educating and enterianing children and youth. She also creates 3D artworks like ceramics, clay, knitting, crochet, etc.https://dina-baxevanakis.format.com
Fernando is a Brazilian illustrator and graphic designer based in London. He illustrates daily life with clear-cut shapes and bold use of colour.https://fernando-volken-togni.format.com
Kevin Herrmann is a freelance animator and illustrator based in Germany. Currently, he is open to commissions and collaborations.https://kevin-herrmann.format.com
Carly Gledhill is a children’s book Author/ Illustrator and surface pattern designer living and working in Stockport, U.K. Combining a love of colour, character design and hand drawn lettering, she has worked as a Print Designer for design studios and completed an MA in Children’s book illustration.https://carly-gledhill.format.com
Sumrow is a New Mexico based illustrator. He works with fantasy, horror, and science fiction. Sumrow spent almost two decades as a Graphic Designer and now focuses on his first love: painting and illustration.https://sumrow.format.com
Rather than sharing every artwork work you've ever done, think about curating your portfolio to showcase your best work instead. We've said it before plenty of times, but your illustration portfolio is only as strong as your weakest work, which means you want your best work to shine through. Cluttering your website with subpar projects will only bring down your overall achievements. If you're not sure what to include in your portfolio, consider the type of work you'd like to do and cater your website to appeal to those types of projects. Don't forget to ask colleagues who will give you honest and constructive feedback about your chosen pieces.
Julie Rocheleau is a Canadian illustrator and cartoonist, most notably of the Eisner nominated About Betty's Boob, a wordless, burlesque and uplifting tale about body image and breast cancer, and The Wrath of Fantômas, a tale about the famous, fictional french criminal mastermind. As an illustrator, she tend to combine aspects of the darker side of humans and nature with the vivacious, colorful world of danse and music. Her work is also influenced by cinema, littérature and biology.https://rocheleau.format.com
Sara Sarhangpour is a Toronto-based illustrator and artist. Her work reflects and intertwines her personal experiences with her love of all things cute (and sometimes creepy). She draws inspiration from nature, fantasy, city life, the mundane, and the occult. Her influences include Michael DeForge, FriendsWithYou, TokiDoki, Gary Baseman, and Takashi Murakami. She welcomes everyone into her whimsical and colourful world filled with quirky characters and crazy details.https://sarabearie.format.com
At the root of Tanya’s illustrations and design, there is always a story. Tanya believes it is this story that has the power to influence how a piece of work begins before it disappears or changes form. A person’s story, the dimensions of reality in his/her life and the confluence of rational and irrational in a person's mind all pose as subject matter for Tanya’s art. Tanya lives in Kiyv, Ukraine.https://denysenko.format.com
Miriam Galea studied English and Art at the University of Malta, furthering her studies in Illustration at St Luc in Brussels. She also studied Theatre at MTADA, Malta. She performed with various theatre companies and founded her own theatre company Urbania in 2002. She currently lives in Brussels. Ever noncommittal, she evades definition, in the belief that the unspoken is often truer than the explained, opting instead for a wistful, elusive dreaminess.https://miriam-galea-wzwv.format.com
Jo Ley is a NSW-based illustrator working predominantly in digital. Jo Ley studied Illustration at the University of the Arts London. After the graduation show, he was offered a Junior House Artist job working with two sister studios, one making pre-visualisation artwork and the other finished illustration. Since then, he has moved to Sydney to work as a freelance artist and is represented by The Jacky Winter Group.https://jo-ley.format.com
Madelyn Cordeiro is an Orlando-based Latinx illustrator and graduate of Ringling College of Art and Design. As a Mexican Cuban child who was raised in southern California, she is very passionate about the representation of Latinx culture in art. her goal is to create the art she would have wanted to see growing up. In her work you will find an intimate collection of poems and illustrations that showcases a contemporary look of evolving Latinx culture.https://madelyncordeiro.format.com
Whenever you plan a creative portfolio, we ask beginner illustrators what type of work they'd like to get into. Often, the answer is "I don't know." The best way to get around this is to try a breath of projects and see what area of illustration you enjoy working in. The truth is, the only way to find out is to produce work consistently and to try a wide range of styles and project types from comics, product illustrations, book covers, and animations.
Cyrielle Viany is a London-based illustrator who graduated from UAL and is working with digital or traditional techniques such as collages, creating bold illustrations inspired by the mid-century design.https://cyrielleviany.format.com
"Peeld" is an archive of visual footnotes from the creator Terrence Adeyanju. His works reference the human experience, self empowerment, and the unseen through bold, colorful, and imaginative imagery.https://iampeeld.format.com
Lowbrow and graffiti enthusiast.https://nickistartek.format.com
Ella Bucknall is a writer and illustrator currently working on a graphic biography of Virginia Woolf. Prior to an MA in Illustration at Camberwell College of Arts, Ella studied English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford. Ella is also the founder and editor of Whip zine, a magazine of political cartoons and satirical writing by women.https://ella-bucknall.format.com
Rob Cannon is an illustrative artist, born in Sacramento, California in 1989. He has an associate's degree in Art from American River College, which proudly hangs upside-down in his studio, to remind him of how useful it has been. To date he has produced artwork for 12 comics, lettered and edited many more, and has no plans of stopping.https://rob-cannon-rtwd.format.com
Harmony Hardin Illustration is a 34-year old human learning how to draw. After a 20 year "break", starting up again and improving the skills in children's book illustration.https://harmonyhardin.format.com
Your life experiences, artistic influences, and project work will continue to shape your creative style, which is why you must regularly update your digital illustration portfolio to reflect your work. Stylistic trends will also change over time, so you want to show potential clients that you can maintain relevance in your work. Try to keep your portfolio pieces recent within a 2–3 year timeframe.
Chiara Irene Conte is an illustrator based in Milan, Italy, with a strong passion for watercolor and colored pencils, and coffee.https://chiara-irene-conte.format.com
Mark McKinley is a children's picture book artist and author living in London. He writes and draws books for kids. He has recently finished a book for Bloomsbury Publishing about a Viking boy called Nut who loves baking cakes.https://markmckinley.format.com
Thuy Tien Ho, as known as Junetien, is a Hanoi-based freelance illustrator. After graduating with MA in visual communication at Kingston University, UK in 2018, she has been illustrating for NGO and publishers. Besides the job as an artist, she works as a part-time art educator for children, university students, and people with special needs.https://junetien.format.com
Rawding specializes in digital illustration, caricature design, branding, and book illustrations as well as screen printing and logo design. His distinctive comic art style combined with creativity and passion takes his subject matter to another level, creating edgy, eye-catching designs. For over 25 years, Rawding has taken risks and pushed his concepts beyond the ordinary with a knack for modern, bold, and organic design.https://chris-rawding.format.com
Varya is an independent researcher and illustrator, a biologist with a specialization in marine invertebrates and single-cell organisms. Varya does drawing in gouache, watercolor, oil, pastel, and mixed media, paper cutting, and collage. Illustration is a tool that allows Varya to grab the essence of feelings, personal experiences, and scientific questions alike and to render them comprehensible to a wide audience.https://varya-qlnd.format.com
Alexander Breden is a freelance graphic designer and illustrator based in Hamburg, Germany. He has work experience in illustration, branding, packaging, and contemporary art and performs a playful and colorful style.https://alexanderbreden.format.com
If a project comes your way that you're truly not excited about, learn how to pass it up gracefully. While it may feel like you need to take on all the projects that come across your desk as you start your career as an illustrator, you must learn to only take on work that aligns with your goals. Otherwise, you risk producing sub-par work for projects you're not as excited about, and it won't be helpful to building your portfolio.
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