I'm looking for some portfolio advice to get into the illustration field. Here is my current website: http://jonsunart.tumblr.com/
-Should I take out the sculptures because they are irrelevant/not directly related?
-Should I make my own website, or at least buy a domain name, so that it's not a "tumblr" blog? Or does anyone have any suggestions for portfolio sites?
-Should I focus more on one style/medium?
-Should I work on the content of my images? I know I at least need to bulk up the "illustration" side of my stuff, since a lot of it is "fine art", but how much?
-Should I include digital stuff? I haven't really done any digital work in a while, as I've been focusing a lot more on traditional mediums, but I could get back into it and start working on some pieces if it's necessary.
-I have some sketches in my moleskine that are "less finished" but are more "illustrationy" should I include those in my portfolio, or should I only include "finished" pieces?
-Also, if anyone has any other advice or if anyone sees any potential/direction in any of my work please tell me.
If you want to be in illustration then take the time to make a portfolio of illustration pieces geared specifically to the market you want to work in. You have to show potential clients that your work is equal to, or better than the people they are already working with, otherwise why should they hire you?
The work on the site doesn't seem professional for anything, galleries or illustration.
If you want to work you have to up your skills to a professional level.
Can you give me some crits of what I need to work on? Is it craftsmanship? Content? Composition? Color? What should I focus on? Obviously, I should work on everything, but I'm just wondering if there's anything specific that sticks out as "not that good".
For the landscape/environment pieces I would work more on showing depth. Breaking scene more into foreground/middleground/background or using atmospheric perspective or making same size elements (like waves, clouds, rocks) get smaller when going into the distance or all those things together.
The pieces with people on horses are very atmospheric but in parts where light hits the characters the form isn't well defined. I think it's mostly values problem. Your paintings are very loose and a bit messy which of course it's a matter of taste. However a little bit of design or detail here and there would hold attention for longer and make these paintings a bit less ambiguous. If these are intended to be fantasy paintings then something in the scene should suggest that it's some kind of fantasy world.
I think you got some sense of composition developed. Colour could be better but values are your bigger problem in some pieces.
Hope that helps.
Last edited by Farvus; November 28th, 2011 at 01:18 PM.
"-Should I make my own website, or at least buy a domain name, so that it's not a "tumblr" blog? Or does anyone have any suggestions for portfolio sites?"
Yes. Or at least organize your blog so that an art director looking for an illustrator doesn't go there, see some sculptures, go "Wut? This is not what I need." and then move on to their next submission.
"-Should I focus more on one style/medium?"
"-Should I include digital stuff? I haven't really done any digital work in a while, as I've been focusing a lot more on traditional mediums, but I could get back into it and start working on some pieces if it's necessary."
Focus on whatever you want to be paid for doing and make it easy for people looking for that specific thing to find it on your site. If you wouldn't want to spend the next five years doing it, don't put it in.
"-Should I work on the content of my images? I know I at least need to bulk up the "illustration" side of my stuff, since a lot of it is "fine art", but how much?"
I hear you need 8-16 pieces of whatever you want to be hired for.
"-I have some sketches in my moleskine that are "less finished" but are more "illustrationy" should I include those in my portfolio, or should I only include "finished" pieces?"
I'd stick them in your sketchblog, which should be there but not mandatory to view. Some people want to see your process, some people don't.
If you want all your work on one site, you should try to make separate sections in your website (accessable through an easy to recognize/operate navagation bar). That way your fine art, your sculptures, and your illustrations are not all just put together in one big mass of images. If you want to make an illustration portfolio, it has to be a portfolio of just illustration work (if you include sculptures, they would probably be maquettes or 3D studies for your finished illustrations, and may belong in a 'rough' section). If tumblr doesn't allow you to make a nice navagation system to clearly separate and access different portfolios of your work, maybe try wordpress - it seems like a pretty good portfolio site. But right now, all your stuff - illustration or otherwise - is just sitting, unorganized, on your homepage.
The thing to do, like dpaint mentions, is just bring your skills up to a professional level. The rest will follow. In other words, if you're good enough the rest of it doesn't matter.