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I had an illustration class this semester and I made illustrations in it. I'd like some outside input on whether or not any of them are portfolio-worthy, what I should fix, all of those delightful things. I haven't really gotten that much feedback from outside the class.
The focus on the class was on editorial and book styled illustrations as opposed to concept art.
There were multiple projects, and on top of other projects, I had about a week to complete each, so...regrettably these aren't all that time intensive.
We had to reinterpret a popular cartoon character. So here's Hipster Lisa. I tried to do Emo Milhouse, too, but I fell asleep at my computer while working on him, and time constraints after that kept me away. I'm not really sure if he's worth revisiting.
We had to illustrate a fear and a resolution to that fear. Mine was Papaphobia- the fear of popes.
We had to illustrate Greek monsters, and reinterpret them in a different way. Because I'm creative, my reinterpretation was, "What if they were all adorable middle school students?" Characters have to have a white/non-existent background so that they could be floated next to text.
An op-ed illustration about people who pay for their crimes years or even decades after they've committed them. Black and white.
We had to illustrate an idiom in two different ways. Can you guess what my idiomatic phrase was?
We had to create a collage. Mine was created from the madlib, "Erotically. Defacing. Dragon." So it's an erotically defacing dragon. I'm actually not sure how to present this one since it was a free-floating figure when I created it, and not attached to a random, white background. In order to get it to look right, I think I need to install it and take a decent photograph...however, I don't have any decent camera equipment at all at the moment. :T
We had to illustrate a celebrity alongside a hypothetical pet. So it's Conan (Coco) O'Brien and a giraffe, because they're both really tall and orange.
Thank you for having a look. Here's hoping that posting this thread won't give me a stress-induced ulcer.
These all look pretty amazing! =) My persona favorite is the one with the popephobia, really nice having the fingers come out of the broken shards n what not >=). That said I think these would look cooler if you just took the time to clean up the linework, I know styles vary alot but.. I think if you did some of them more clean (like the one in the first Idiom linked) it could attract some more attention. I like the color the most on your first illustration and you have lots of good work here!
People (as always) have different ways of stocking their portfolio.. so it really depends on whether your looking to stick to a certain "style" type or your just trying to cover your bases as far as providing proof that you can accomplish a wide variety of commercial stlyes from clients you think you'd be interested in. It seems a client assume you can't do work in a certain "style" unless you show the ability to do so in your portfolio, which makes sense.
At the end of the day they ALL look pretty good and I can see each appealing to a different group of people. Looks like you might have to choose what kind of people you want to appeal to!
Last edited by Vistico; April 30th, 2012 at 08:21 PM.
Yeah, I too think these look pretty nice. Though personally I think some of them look bit "bare", so to say (since I'm a fan of that sort of "patch" of a background that leaves room for text but gives something than just emptyness) but since you had to use a non-existent background I can't really put that against you (and personally I think the monster school kids would work nicely in a group/collection image).
I do also agree that some of these could use some cleaning up, or alternatively maybe really going to town with scratchy inks, the pope image especially. Some good pen scribble texture/crosshatching as shadows and in the walls might've looked really good, now the gradients and texture looks kinda bare and distracting to me.
I can't really figure out what's going on with #4 though, I originally thought it was a caged fox-thing with really long tail, but now I'm not really sure if that's his scarf or his beard (from the description, I guess beard).
I guess what I could say is keep on trying different methods and mediums (ink, inkwash, digital painting, graphite, traditional painting etc etc) and doing more studies.
You guys are lovely. I'll work on getting these cleaned up a bit, then. I think most of the problems mentioned should be easy enough to fix. Thanks for stopping by, yall.
Lisa and Milhouse:
Good pictures in and of themselves, but I don't think the characters are obvious without any context. Maybe if they were yellower?
First one works well, needs cleaning up. Also, the pope's hands look like they're floating, aren't related to his body. Second one is unnecessary, ditch it.
Middle School Greek Monsters:
I like these a lot. This is the level of finish you should be aiming for.
I have no idea what's going on here, besides the obvious cell bar shadows.
Execution is stronger in #1 (although still a little rough), idea is stronger in #2. Also, I hate hate hate the "chocolate" on the tag in #2. If you have to label something in a illustration, you've failed. Yes, I know kisses have the "HERSHEY" tag, if that's what it is, that's what it should say. And why is there a tag on an unwrapped kiss? See all the unnecessary ideas you've introduced into my head?
Conan & Giraffe:
Clever idea, a little sloppy. I wish you could have gotten the idea of height in there a bit more. If the square format wasn't dictated, you'd probably be better off with a vertical.
Last edited by Elwell; May 1st, 2012 at 10:42 PM.
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Nice stuff! Very clean and professional execution.
I mostly agree with what Elwell said, although:
1. I kind of liked having to figure out that the top one was Lisa Simpson (for some reason the accompanying text made no sense to me until I figured out who she was.) You did a really great job of creating a real-world version of her star-shaped hairdo. If you need the character to be instantly recognizable, though, it's not quite there yet.
2.The figures in French Kiss #1 look strangely distorted to me--I thought at first there was some sci-fi or Cubist aspect to it that I wasn't getting. If it were me I'd probably find some photo reference and redo it so the perspective and foreshortening on the two heads is closer to correct.
More importantly, when you ask if any of these are "portfolio-worthy," I'd answer that if you want to work professionally in any kind of commercial art-type area, you should put together a set of 15-20 strong pieces in a single style. In my experience, employers really want to see that you can produce focused, consistent results. (If you want to work in multiple styles, you should prepare multiple 15-20 piece portfolios and present them separately.)
As always, just my two cents.
I'm super duper tired, so this might read weird, but-
I'm kinda glad that you mentioned the French Kiss thing. I already tried it without the label, and when I did, essentially everyone in the class told me that it was unrecognizable. So I guess the next step is to wrap the thing back up. The square with Conan and the giraffe was mandatory, but I like the idea of a strong vertical. Or maybe I could have, like, a low-angle shot of the giraffe and Conan, but still keep the square, and imply their height that way. Thanks for the comments.
Alright. Thanks for the comments about those french kisses, though I would appreciate it if you could elaborate on the cubism you're seeing. It's possible that I've been looking at these too long, but nothing is leaping out at me.
With the portfolio thing, what do you think constitutes a style? I think the Pope, Simpsons, Conan and maybe the chocolate kiss are stylistically similar enough to go together. The only serious outliers that I see are maybe the human french kiss and the op ed piece that no one can interpret. What do yall think?
For the time being, I don't have 15-20 pieces that I'd feel all that comfortable showing off. Do you think anyone would hold it against me if for my professional portfolio, I started off with 10 and then tried to work my way up?
The only thing that worries me quite a bit about the consistency issue is that I do graphic design work, and I illustrate a lot of that too. So in addition to doing stuff like this, I also wind up having to do stuff like this, this or this. I'll use these styles, but I won't use them a lot, because they'll only work for one particular project, etc, etc. Because they expose inconsistency, should I be trying not to keep them around? Should I omit the fact that I illustrated them perhaps...? I can see both pros and cons of having and not having them.
Alright, after flipping the canvas on those to kissers the derpism of their faces seems far more pronounced. I think I understand now. Holy smokes.
Edit: The disturbing thing about it is that after I looked at it for a few seconds, my eyes adjusted to what I was seeing and now the errors that I noticed when I first flipped it don't seem blaring/noticeable anymore. But I know what I saw when I first flipped it! I feel like I can't trust my own mind anymore.
Nnnnot really....I'd say that you did every assignment from this class in a different style. Hipster Lisa feels a lot different from the Pope (and they both feel a lot different from the Greek monsters) in terms of color palette, line quality, and the less definable characteristics of "wit" and "sophistication." I realize this is a huge can of worms to open, and I can't really encapsulate a defintion of "style" in a single paragraph.With the portfolio thing, what do you think constitutes a style? I think the Pope, Simpsons, Conan and maybe the chocolate kiss are stylistically similar enough to go together. The only serious outliers that I see are maybe the human french kiss and the op ed piece that no one can interpret...
It depends on your actual samples. The old rule of show biz is: "Always leave 'em wanting more--" i.e., don't put anything in that isn't absolutely 100% great.For the time being, I don't have 15-20 pieces that I'd feel all that cofortable showing off. Do you think anyone would hold it against me if for my professional portfolio, I started off with 10 and then tried to work my way up?
If you want to do both, I'd suggest you maintain two separate portfolios, one for illustration and one for graphic design. Someone should be able to click through your portfolio and feel confident that you will provide them a consistent product. In my experience, the above-all number-one thing clients want is: no unpleasant surprises.The only thing that worries me quite a bit about the consistency issue is that I do graphic design work, and I illustrate a lot of that too. So in addition to doing stuff like this...Because they expose inconsistency, should I be trying not to keep them around?...
Your questions show that you've given some serious thought to your career...I wish I had the eloquence to provide more concise and definitive answers than I can give in a single discussion thread. Keep posting your work online, and keep asking those questions.