Illustrator portfolio on the example of a book

Becoming an illustrator today is not difficult, even learning to draw or design is not necessary. If you like to draw and do it creatively, then you can become an illustrator yourself. What does it take to start receiving commissions as an illustrator? The simple answer is portfolio! And that’s all, in fact, you don’t even need a diploma from a fashion institute or a certificate from an art school. If you want to get a higher art education, then this will not be bad. Learning is fun and useful! Let’s get to work.

As a self-taught illustrator, I decided to systematize the steps towards a professional career as an illustrator:

  • make a portfolio;
  • transfer portfolio to digital;
  • publish a portfolio on the Internet;
  • start a YouTube channel and other social networks.

Then you can respond to vacancies, participate in contests, offer people cooperation and your services, look for clients or just continue to draw for yourself and your projects. The main thing we need to do is portfolio. Examples of work, what you can do, what is your drawing style. What materials do you draw? I think it’s better to make a portfolio diverse and extensive. And even better, if you can do some kind of project from beginning to end — for example, to illustrate a book, magazine, website, booklet, etc.

I am making a book called “100 Bad Tips to a Video Blogger“, for which I am creating illustrations. All illustrations are in the “Markers” section. I decided to draw illustrations with lineart style with Copic markers. Then I take pictures of each image on my phone, upload it to Google Drive, from where I can work with images in Photoshop. Processing illustrations is to remove the background, make it white. Then bring the colors on the computer to realistic colors as I drew them. Next, I can modify some of the images in Photoshop — draw something or change the shape, apply filters. Some of the images remain in the original version.

Due to the fact that the illustrations are created by the same materials, on the same paper, in close style — we get a single ensemble. This is the finished work for the portfolio — a book where all the illustrations are made in one style. Having such a project is very beneficial for an artist’s career, because you do not just show a pack of your disparate works; instead, you have a finished product where the images are united by a common idea and style. If you are unable to find a project for yourself where you can practice for free, then you can come up with and implement your own.

Have you ever composed poetry? Maybe you have your own story or you have long wanted to release a comic book? Why not make your portfolio what you would like to do anyway? It will be interesting for you to work on such a project, and the result can be published on the Internet or on paper – it is not so expensive. When you search for art job, you can proudly display your book, zine or comic book. People will immediately see your opportunities and understand whether they want to cooperate with you or not. The best way to create a portfolio for creative people is to do something creative and exciting!

What did you come up with as your art portfolio?

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