Leanne Barrett: Day Six and Seven: Portfolio Project with Nina Rycroft

Friday, 29 March 2019

Day Six and Seven: Portfolio Project with Nina Rycroft

Day Six and Seven of Nina Rycroft's online course, Portfolio Project. 

Day Six, Session One, was with Wen Sylvestre looking at How to Find Your Own Art Voice & Style. This is a idea that many aspiring children's illustrators struggle with, how do you find you own style? 

Wen walked us through how she worked on finding her own style, where you are no longer copying someone else's style. You need to:
1. Look into yourself, and
2. Explore and capture your environment.

She asked us to answer many questions but the most central question was Who Am I? 
To find out more about this process see here.  

I took on the challenge to not just answer the questions in words but to push myself to draw the answers. 

What do you do in your spare time?

Day Six, Session Two, with Katrina Koltes was about the steps to move from being a part-time artist to a full-time artist. Katrina had lots of great suggestions but the two take home tips for me were;
1. Take baby steps to get to your goal.
2. Opportunities will come if you put in the work.

Nina and Katrina both spoke about their time in online art classes with Flora Bowely, for more see here

Day Seven was about portfolios;
Session One: Raquel Torres (La Toma Design), Online Portfolio Tips for Creatives.
Session Two: Romica Jones, How to Rock Bologna: Create a Great Portfolio and Show It.

I have been asked recently - Do you have a portfolio?  
The simple answer is Yes. The more complex answer is No. 

Yes
  • I have images of my artwork in a folder.
  • I have images of my artwork online.
No
  • I have a folder of my artwork but it does not qualify as a portfolio that I would show to a publishing house nor is it ready to be assessed by an art director - Why? Gaps. Lack of characters.
  • While I have my artwork online it is not organised into a selection of 10-20 of my best illustrations that show that I could illustrate a book of stories. It is a collection of my artwork that shows my journey or illustrations that are for sale.

At this point I am still discovering my style and voice. I have begun to see a style starting to shine though but my voice is not clear yet. This is not the inner critic this is me saying I know I need more time to work regularly on my style. 

I have done the steps suggested by Raquel regarding; 
  • creation of a website with my own domain name
  • built several pages including an about me page and an artwork page
  • be contactable, I have a specific email address for people to contact me 
  • have a photo of yourself, check I got a professional one done at the CYA conference last year.
  • blog page, yes I just need to use it regularly and include a variety of content
  • marketing is already linked to my social media pages
See here for suggestions from Raquel about Updating your Portfolio.

But what I need to do is work on my 'Core Portfolio' aptly named by Romica Jones if I want to show my portfolio to the publishing world. I have most of the 'Extended Portfolio'   stuff; business cards and post cards. 

I have a portfolio of artwork, but I do not have artwork that show characters that are consistent and repeatable.  

I think I need to go back to Day Four with Michelle Worthington - and create artwork that answer my Why? This will help me move forward with my portfolio and what goes into it. 


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