Portfolio for Illustration?
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  1. #1
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    Portfolio for Illustration?

    Hey there guys.

    Well, I'm going to submit a portfolio for the illustration department to this school I plan on going to. The problem is I have never submitted, let alone made a portfolio before. All I know is that it will represent who I am as an artist and it will have my best works. From what I can gather, I'm not supposed to submit any actual work, but work that's photographed and/or copied onto high quality paper? Are there any common places where I can get this done at? Where I can get a carbon copy of my work without the quality suffering? I assume if there aren't any places I can photograph my work at, I assume I will have to do it manually with a high megapixel camera, crop it myself on the computer and print it myself? Or are there places where I can get high quality prints? I know this all sounds like common sense but I really don't know what I'm doing and any help for those of you who have successful portfolios will be highly appreciated. I just don't want my work to suffer. Again, I haven't done this before so sorry for my ignorance.

    I was planning on going with a 11"x14" portfolio - feel free to suggest something otherwise. But although I can draw on paper that is 11"x14", I also have other pieces that are bigger, from 24x18 paper to a few feet tall (like boards) to other odd-sized drawings, and obviously it won't fit in the portfolio, so I guess that means I have to shrink it down? But won't that look odd? Or are there some exceptions when you're shrinking down work to a certain size? It was mentioned in the requirements that if I had work that are quite big that I send a CD copy in addition, but I guess I just thought it may be more convenient to just have all my work in the actual portfolio. My main concern there is how I'm going to present it if it can't fill the whole 11"x14" page on the portfolio.

    Anyway, enough rambling. I really would like to hear anyone's thoughts, comments, suggestions and experiences with their own professional portfolios. Again, pardon ignorance, and thanks to those who are helpful in advance.

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  2. #2
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    Elwell is offline Sticks Like Grim Death Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
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    If your having an in person interview, a portfolio of originals is fine, even preferable. If you're submitting samples as as part of an application, different schools will have different preferred formats, check with the individual admissions departments to see what they want. Usually it will be slides or a CD. If you're going to shoot the work yourself, make sure you know what you're doing and have a decent camera. If you need slides or digital shots professionally done, check with local art supply stores (often there are flyers posted), or any local art schools for recommendations. There should be plenty of places to get art shot in a city like Berkeley.


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  3. #3
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    Forgot I posted this.

    Thank you very much Elwell. Though, I've never really seen an illustrator's portfolio. I have work that are on surfaces (papers, boards, walls) of different sizes. According to the school's website - the school being the Art Center in Pasadena - it cannot exceed 24x36 inches in height and 8 inches in width.

    A few questions to you or anyone willing to be helpful. First, if I have a 2x4 foot (not inches) illustration/drawing/painting, will it look just right being photographed and shrunk to accomodate the portfolio's size? Second, what in the world do they mean about 24x36 in height and 8 inches in width? I assume they mean it can be 24x36 inches wide/high and will not be any thicker than 8 inches?

    I guess my main concern is the translation in the quality of my work. If I will be photographing, say for example, a drawing made on a slim surface, how will I fill the page (given I have 24x36" to work with) so it wouldn't look unprofessional? Like I said, I've never seen an illustrators portfolio, or at least, none that has work like mine with oddly sized images. Normally I would see portfolios that are exactly the right size matching the size of the portfolio. Assuming the picture would be cropped appropriately to fit the actual size of the piece, how am I going to put that in a portfolio? Wouldn't it look odd in one of those page protectors/sleeves by itself? Or do I paste it in some black paper for a background? And even as I typed that it sounded very unprofessional, but then again, what do I know.

    Sorry if that sounded annoying and/or ignorant. I'm just a newb who's never done a portfolio. Ever.

    Thanks again in advance for any helpful questions.

    PS, Elwell, what do you mean originals? As in the actual, original artwork?

    PPS, Just realizing that 24x36 is indeed 2ftx3ft I doubt I'll be making my portfolio that big (or that expensive.)

    Last edited by Sleep_Eden_sleep; June 26th, 2008 at 06:54 PM.
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    Pretty much what you may want to try to do is photograph and/ or scan all the images that you are considering for the portfolio. Light them well, then
    take them into photoshop and format them there for a uniformed look. You should be able to scale down images to meet the 11x14 criteria which would take care of any real size issues, afterall its not the original work that your showing. I'm not sure where you would get these images printed . . . I usually go to one of my graphic design buddies to use their printers.

    Aside from showing your skills, portfolios are at times used to show how well you can organize your work. I've seen second rate artists get first class jobs all because they knew how to organize their portfolio.

    What exactly do you need in your portfolio?

    do they want to see only finished projects or stuff like thumbnail pages?

    How many images?(I always heard its best to stay between 10-30)

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    Check out the Education forum. There's one on-going thread atm with current portfolios, but a whole ton if you use the search tool.

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    I actually just saw that Mirana. Although mine is going to be just an "entrance" portfolio. But maybe I shouldn't make it seem like it has any lesser of a purpose. I now heard that the school actually prefers originals. I would gladly put together one that's 18x24, but for a portfolio that I'm just going to give away, wouldn't it be impractical (since I'm poor) to buy a 150$-250$ portfolio? I was thinking something along the lines of 11x14, does anyone think that's too small? Again, it's for the illustration department who's looking for still life, figure drawings, concept designs and personal art work, both in color and black and white.

    Thanks to Mussel and Mirana and an advanced "thanks" to those who will answer.

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