I want to apologize for the delay in this next part to “CAT NIP Promotion!” We had a sad loss in the family that took me away for a month…. but life continues and we must promote it!
NOW…down to the VERY IMPORTANT part of the ‘WHAT’ you must have in your portfolios…online and in person. You must show very good and consistent characters and character development. It’s most essential for children’s book industry projects as they are all about story telling. And what are stories? They are scenes in a person, animal or thing’s life history! whether a moment, a day, a month or a year or a lifetime, characters and their growth and change is what stories are all about. So you MUST show it!
“Character” = (Webster’s) “complex of mental and ethical traits marking a person” or “a distinguishing feature”.
” Development”= “unfold gradually or in detail” or ” to go though a natural process of growth and differentiations = evolve!”
So Character Development in ART then is an artist showing a unique character’s individual growth and change in REACTION to the story line events and over a period of time. (could be a few moments possibly!) This uniqueness for trade books is what the reader/listener identifies with and sympathizes with to experience the events of life through them and helping us understand and internalize the stories underlying components. The success of this for a story is often determined by the artist’s visual depiction of these all important story characters and their details of life.
How do you do this in a portfolio of 15 + images only which must include lots of different elements of your talent? you take two or three sequential action scenes from a ‘story’ (doesn’t have to be an actual one) and paint them! Take a piece you’ve done with a memorable character(s). Now imagine what happened just before this image…and/or just after it. Same character(s) but different emotion, setting, time. Make it clear you can show this ‘development’ in these 2 or 3 images. Good to do this for two stories at least…total of 6 images maybe. Place them together in the portfolio. They are probably the most important things you’ll have in your portfolio. It amazes me how many artist portfolios miss this! It makes the buyers ‘leap of faith’ to hire you to do a sequential book project much less of a guess. Remember, LET THE ART DO THE TALKING. SHOW you can tell a story with characterization.
Now we’ve covered the ‘WHY’ and the ‘WHAT’ of portfolios and promotion, we’ll next get to the ‘Where, When and How’. Tune in! (and write me questions anytime…..)