‘I promised in my last post to write a series about portfolios and promoting your artwork. Last weekend’s SCBWI FL event prompted me to see the need for an informational update on these subjects, and I’ve decided to call the series CAT NIP – an appropriate way to use our agency logo brand! (Christina Ann Tugeau) These will be little ‘teasers’ to help motivate artists to rethink or reorganize themselves promotionally. I hope to help you better understand the WHY, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN and HOW of it all.
Let’s start with the “WHY” of a portfolio. I already mentioned last blog that today your WEBSITE is actually your best portfolio. It’s hard to get ‘in’ to see buyers, but if you want to be hired …you have to be SEEN. That is the “WHY”. Buyers need you. They constantly require new, unique art for their story manuscripts and educational programs. They are always looking for new visual styles and approaches. Your samples presented on your website and in your physical portfolio needs to show them YOU…the professional, dependable, talented, unique, consistent YOU.
Another way of looking at this = your website, blog, mailers etc. are your resume if you are corporate…your audition if you are a musician, dancer or actor …your head shot if you are a model. It’s ONLY PURPOSE is to show off your talent and style to potential buyers you hope will hire and pay you to do a job for them.
If you are not ready, or are not interested in being hired, you do not need a portfolio! Again, it’s only purpose is to SHOW your work to buyers by letting the ART DO THE TALKING….. and to get you hired to do work you are paid for. All else comes after an understanding of this simple fact. Put your business hat on when you are choosing the images that will be seen as ‘you’. (more on that later)
Websites make it easier for buyers to find you. Understand that buying this sort of assignment art creates a dilemma for the buyers! They can not see the actual art before it is assigned to an artist… It has not been created yet! That’s also what is so exciting and wonderful about this industry. It is a huge LEAP OF FAITH for them to hire you as their artist. Your website portfolio must show them what they need to know…. that they can trust you to take a manuscript or specs and turn them into just what they are needing. (their job depends on it too!) So your portfolio must give them this confidence to hire YOU (and not another artist) for their needs. This is the ‘WHY’….and leads us into the ‘WHAT’. Tune in for more CAT NIP soon! (and spread the word…the WHY of my doing this series is to help artists…get the word out, please!)