10 Ideas to Shake Up your Portfolio


1. New mediums or work in mixed media.

I have recently been experimenting with merging traditional mediums with digital painting and trying to hone in on the most efficient workflow.


2. Tackle new subject matter.

Research what art directors and commissioners are looking for. SVS Learn has a fantastic resource for what to include in a Children's Portfolio.


3. Indoor, outdoor and different perspectives

Is there enough variation shown?


4. Create with a backstory.

Exercise your imagination by creating a backstory for all your illustrations. It doesn't have to be a fully defined narrative but I think it can help in creating more believable character expressions if you understand their motives and personality.


5. Limited palettes or black and white.

I absolutely love colour so it is hard for me to cut down. However, experimenting in this way allows me to think more sensitively to value and visual hierarchy.


6. Animations/GIFS

I really recommend trying the animation features in Procreate as it's very intuitive and an easy option to get started in motion graphics! I think technical skills in that aspect widens the possible applications for illustrations too.


7. Incorporate textures

Painterly, loose and expressive. These are some of the traits I would like to incorporate more in my artwork. I find working with textures digitally allows me to make bolder decisions as I can always undo!


8. Linework

Experiment with different thickness and pressure. Broken or solid line. Consider how edges are read in the artwork.


9. Include Photographs (of products, on-location shots etc.)

Can help in bringing to attention how your illustrations have been applied to various projects. (Ex: show photograph of the physical book instead of a jpeg of the cover)


10. Design a logo and unique header

An element to show you put care into curating your portfolio website and not just sticking to default templates.

Thanks so much for reading till the end! I could always use some tips for my portfolio too. I would love to hear your thoughts via instagram: @natalie.illustration

All artwork on website is copyrighted and may not be used without artist permission

© Natalie Illustration © Natalie Hui, all rights reserved 2021

I am a children 's book illustrator based in Toronto, Canada!

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