Saturday, February 21, 2009

Illustration Portfolio Reviews - A Realization

Today I received portfolio reviews from two very talented and well-established illustrators, who reminded me of a few things that I seem to have forgotten about in the past year. I hesitate to name them here, since I respect the suggestions they gave me and I would prefer to keep their identities private.

One of these suggestions was that I work on more humans. My portfolio was all birds, except for a couple of pieces. Last year, when Yuko Shimizu visited SCAD-Atlanta, she said the same exact thing about my portfolio, and it was a bit disheartening for me to realize that for an entire year, I haven't created anything non-bird related that I was pleased with enough to place in my portfolio. My plan for this year (aside from completing my thesis), is to work on more human-figure work.

The two artists I spoke with had no problems with my work having fantasy elements - in fact, one of the illustrators has worked for Tor Books, and his own portfolio has a bit of fantasy. As the other illustrator said, "you're great at birds. You've got the birds down. Now lets see some people."

I am going to listen to her advice. I'm quite excited with the ideas that are coming to mind.


  1. It was so gratifying to speak to Yuko and have her and the other reviewer (the comic artist whose name I forget) point things out to me to work on. Granted, these are things I think we inherently already know, but it just makes a difference hearing that we are doing some things right from the lips of a professional. It also has the effect of making us take our faults more seriously, I think.

    I'm totally looking forward to seeing more human work from you, especially from the awesome refs you showed me. I've always felt like combining humans with animals makes for some of the most potent emotional work of yours (such as the Angel of Outcasts).

    You know you've got a free model for refs here if you ever need one:)

  2. I'm always self-conscious using myself for reference since I don't look anything like the figures I want to paint. But primarily I'm going to use it just as a guideline for proportions and the like.

  3. Actually, I've seen some awesome artists on conceptart post photo references of themselves...which was amazing because they were the complete opposite gender than the character they were depicting using their photo ref O_o

    Ya never know, it might actually be better to use it as a guideline only so that the photo doesn't overtake the image too much. All depends on what you want to achieve, methinks.

    I do wish I could get more male models to pose for me, I've been taking photo refs for a Melakim picture and I just can't seem to channel the proper man-ness XD

  4. and BTW your refs were beautiful! *twaps* I might have to hound you for some for Iolani for me:D