Illustrator Online Portfolio

Don't know how to start building your portfolio? Here are five beautiful illustrator folios to give you some much-needed inspiration.

When you're an illustrator, putting together a portfolio website can seem like a monumental task. Do you include a diverse set of styles, or do you aim for uniformity? Do you include as many projects as you can possibly fit in, or do you keep it minimal and clean? All these questions can hamper the process and make it seem next to impossible to get the job done.

For many, the best way to get out of a creative slump is to look at other great work for inspiration. Let's take a look at five stunning portfolio websites from successful illustrators around the world. These websites are made with Format's website builder and showcase each illustrator's work and unique personal style in the best way possible.

And once you've got a good idea of how you can build your own portfolio, head over to Format's template gallery to pick the preset that feels right for you!

Common Pitfalls Of Illustration Portfolios

Now that you're familiar with the various ways you can design a beautiful portfolio, it's also best to know which decisions can make or break your site. When designing a portfolio website, make sure you avoid these all-too-familiar mistakes.

Overwhelming Your Visitors

Less is more. Creative work isn't just about showing everything you've got—it's also an exercise in restraint and knowing how to cut out all the unnecessary filler. The same goes for your portfolio. Narrow down your work to 10 to 20 of your best illustrations and learn to say goodbye to the pieces that don't spark joy!

Choosing Irrelevant Work

As you're narrowing down your options, remember to choose work that exemplifies who you are as an artist. Each creative should have a personal style that's unique only to them. This should encompass your preferred mediums, your color choices, and the themes you want to explore. While it's good to show a sense of diversity in subject matter and creative briefs, make sure you maintain a sense of focus and cohesiveness among your chosen illustrations.

No Sense Of Organization

In the same vein, you need to keep things neat and organized. As you may have noticed in the portfolio examples, a creative must take the time to organize their works into neat galleries and pages, as well as pay close attention to site navigation. Clients don't have a lot of time to peruse each and every portfolio that comes their way. You need to make sure your website is easy to navigate so that nobody leaves your site frustrated with very little takeaway.

Inaccessible Work

A disorganized website isn't the only thing that will leave clients unsatisfied and frustrated. A design portfolio that's filled with huge files that take ages to load, or on the contrary, features pixelated, low-res illustrations that don't allow anyone to see the details are a huge turnoff. Always optimize your photos so that the photos come out clean and load as quickly as possible!

What Art Directors Look for in an Illustration Portfolio

These are a few key traits each artist must have to impress art directors:

Cohesiveness

Like we said, it's important to achieve a sense of cohesiveness when you showcase your design work. While you may want to impress art directors with your range of styles and mediums, this can backfire and be misinterpreted as a lack of direction and focus.

A Sense of Personal Style

Always have a point of view. Art directors want someone who has something to say and knows how to say it in their own unique way. This goes hand-in-hand with the trait of cohesiveness.

Why is this important? You and your work need to stand out from everyone else. And in a world saturated with digital images, clients are always clamoring for something that looks bold and new.

Diversity

You may think that cohesiveness and diversity are on opposing ends, but it doesn't always have to be that way. You can achieve diversity and variation in your work without coming across as confused and lacking focus. Diversity can mean tackling different formats, subject matters, characters, and creative briefs—as long as you can still inject your voice and vision into the work.

For example, if you can do digital illustrations as well as tattoo work, don’t be afraid to add galleries for work in both (or make a separate portfolio altogether). Again, just make sure they still align with your brand.

How to Create a Stunning Online Illustration Portfolio

With Format, you can quickly build a site in just six steps:

  1. Sign up. Join Format and enjoy a 14-day free trial. No need to use a credit card for the trial!

  2. Pick a theme. Choose from any of the themes mentioned above, or take a look around our theme gallery to find the perfect preset to showcase your work. If you change your mind, you can always replace your theme later!

  3. Upload your illustrations. Haven't narrowed down your work yet? You can pick at least 10 photos to get started, then add more and organize them into galleries and pages later on.

  4. Customize your site. Organize your site menu to help visitors find their way around your portfolio.

  5. Personalize. Your portfolio is a reflection of your brand, so you should also work towards customizing every aspect, from the fonts down to the background colors. Format lets you customize your site to your liking!

  6. Don't forget the add-ons. Format's website builder gives illustrators special add-ons that help with their business, from SEO to social media integration.

Illustrator Portfolio FAQs

Still confused? Here, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about building an illustrator's portfolio.

Create illustration portfolio

Make Your Own Online Portfolio

Whether you're a children's book illustrator, a fashion designer, or a cartoonist, creating a beautiful illustrator's folio is easy when you use Format. With tons of themes and options to customize your site, Format allows you to build a site in a flash so you can focus on what matters the most – your work.

Sign up to Format and use the free portfolio builder for 14 days, then upgrade to a plan for as low as $7 a month!

Create My Illustration Portfolio