Notes from a conversation with a publishing director.
I had my portfolio reviewed yesterday by a publishing director. A friend send me a link to something she thought I could sign up for, I did, and I got a slot.
I’m taking my scribbled notes and trying to put them into sentences that I can refer to later, and you can hopefully benefit from. In writing these sentences, I’m trying to capture what was said, without adding too much of my own opinion because I want to continue thinking about what was said and what it means.
So here’s what was said :
A portfolio is not a CV; it is evidence that you can do the type of work you want to do.
The conversation with the artist tends to be; “what do you like doing, and what do you want to do, and is there a project that fits that”
Demonstrate characters showing emotion and the physical aspects of the character without losing consistency.
Do research by seeing what is happening in the industry, do this in the bookshop, where is shelf space being allocated, what’s in demand, what’s missing. Look at the extremes use this as boundaries to play within.
Sometimes inspiration can come from other children’s markets outside of picturebooks, like fashion or other children’s products
Illustrators lean towards wanting to do picture books, but there are many opportunities in children’s publishing outside of picturebooks:
nonfiction for all ages, e.g (dinosaurs for babies -Jurassic park)
Style choices need to be consistent in a piece, e.g are we going for a dimensional style or a flat style.
You’ll need to move your characters through scenes, have them doing different things, having simple interactions with people and objects. More pieces with the same characters.
The search for artists normally happens on the commute, design your website for that.
It’s great that texture is used to describe something and not; “oh cool I found a new brush!”
If you do 2 things well; e.g drawing animals and drawing kids, what would it look like if you combined them together?
Ps: if you liked this, you might like this related post: Advice I got from top illustrators
Thanks so much for sharing!
Brilliant tips and another great newsletter! Thank you 👍🏻