CAT NIP: “WHAT” part 2,

I left you last article thinking about the fact that your website and person portfolio and all your promotional material BETTER BE SAYING THE RIGHT THING about you, your style, your professionalism.  So now that you’ve got that settled in your mind as you’ve reviewed your samples, let’s get to the overall a of WHAT should be in and being seen in your collection of samples.

To start, you only want to have maybe 12-15 of your very very best work in a physical portfolio, and basically the same on your website. Leave them wanting more, but enough so they KNOW you a bit.  You want the images to be as big as they can be on the website so the viewer doesn’t have to struggle to SEE the details.  And no one will do a lot of scrolling unless they are mesmerized, so have your BEST ‘wow’ pieces first. And think about grouping that makes visual sense.

I will list the MUST HAVES now:  and get into them each a bit.

Characterization… showing interesting, appealing characters grow…more on that in it’s own ‘WHAT’ part 3 to come next!  HUGE!

KIDS and people (all ethnic types and ages), animals of all sorts, interacting in their lives. Figures (no nudes! lol) and gestures.

Expressions…happy, surprised, sad, questioning, angry, love and content, lost…….

Sense of place and time…scenes!…sequential scenes. Inside, outside, night, day, school, home etc. ATMOSPHERE

Ability to tell a story! not all ‘presentation pieces.’  Show sequential scenes and page turn ability.


Perspectives…up/down, close/distant, complicated/ simple, surprise us!

Black and White…. if you do this, show it. At end perhaps.  Later elementary and middle grade b/w tone art is very needed these days.  Show a couple from same story-age appropriate.

Two styles max….not including b/w.  You want to be REMEMBERED, and they can’t if you aren’t even sure who you are.  Once they know you, then surprise them with more!

So this is a lot, I know! and you can’t show everything in 15 pieces, but you can make them want to SEE MORE. Arrange your pieces so the BEST ‘WOW’ is first, and then a sequential piece showing more about the characters and ‘the story.’ next. (doesn’t need to BE a story actually.)  Think about what you are evoking as you place images…. think thematically even, styles together, GREAT piece at end of color too, and b/w together at end (or separate page on website and then show more.) I think using both sides of a physical portfolio is a plus…shows a spread big like a real picture book. or two images from ‘same story.’ Think like a buyer…what would WOW you to contact this artist and want them to work with you!?

more CAT NIP ‘WHAT’ very soon…all about the all important Character!

YIPPEE  BURRISPriscilla Burris…character master!





About catugeau

art agent
This entry was posted in Children's Publishing Art, industry tips, Portfolios and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s