Illustrators portfolio

August 23, 2012

Every time we speak about our cosy and comfy business to journalists or students we have to speak on the illustrator’s portfolio. But as soon as novices still ask us what a portfolio should look like, we’re going to give a proper description in detail once again.

We get many letters from foreigners and Russian illustrators. We usually thank them for attention to our agency and promise to answer if we get interested in his/her works. Several times a month we scrutinize all the letters (there are about 50 of them). We like to get personal letters where authors explain why they’ve sent their portfolio to Bang Bang. We look closely to those who write correctly and interestingly. And we turn down those whose letters are too long and and seems more like a merit list than an illustrator’s portfolio.

Illustrators’ works speak louder than their awards. We ask you to send them in attached to the letter JPEG files or the full portfolio in PDF format as it takes more time to look for pictures on Flickr than to look through them after all.

Every style should be represented by not less than 10 works. We don’t work with the illustrators if their portfolio has 20 works in different manner even if we like two of them. Sometimes we ask to send more works or to contact us later – when the technique spoils the pleasure taken in ideas, for example. When the works are nice, but still unsteady.
Every style needs a separate portfolio. It’s a good idea to create a virtual author of the works in a concrete technique. These virtual characters can be more demanded than the signed works of the artist.

There’s no place in your portfolio for the works you don’t like, as well as the odd works or those in the style you don’t like working in.

We also remind that no form helps when content fails. That is to say, there is no need to design the portfolio.

It’s worth mentioning if you’ve worked with well-known brands, but if you’re a novice with a good portfolio we (as well as every other agency) will treat you with the same respect we treat the legends of illustration.

Now we sometimes have to turn down even really cool guys. There’s the difference between one’s own taste and the market’s needs. In this case we just keep them in mind and try to get them involved in the right projects.

What the market really needs now is Pixarra cartoons’ style, photorealists and storyboardists. The illustrators who are able to draw people and a wolf that really looks like a wolf will always find a work now.

The main thing is not to be lazy. Give yourself the trouble to send your portfolio to art-directors and illustration agencies’ managers. And of course send your works to foreign agencies – you never can tell where the you have luck.

Here are some sources we always look through (pretty good for everyone’s art views)

We also buy such editions as Illusive, Archive, Illustration now, and bring many books and periodicals from abroad.