Starting out #2

Here’s another one…

#2 Folios

1. Don’t put anything in there that you don’t want to do! Sounds simple but it’s funny how often we assume we should cover everything. If you hate drawing technical pictures – don’t put them in your folio. If you hate a particular style that everyone else is doing, don’t put it in your folio. There is nothing worse than having to do a whole lot of work in a style or technique you really don’t like. What if that’s all the work you ever get?

2. Be very consistent. If you’re not very confident in something yet, hold off from including it until you are. Naturally everyone will assume that anything in there is work you want to do and are ready to do.

3. Big versus small. That’s really up to you. An extensive folio may just mean you’re diverse and you need to show all the things you can do. A small folio may mean that you are very confident with what you do and you have just the one style. Nothing wrong with either of them. You don’t need to include everything you’ve ever done or lots of things replicating each other. Just a sample or two of each style or technique you’d like to work in.

4. Storytelling. Remember that if you want to work in books you’ll be dealing with multiple views of the same character. It’s a great idea to make one up and do some sequences. Try to show some different emotions and actions. Characters interacting are great. And don’t forget that illustrations don’t need to be balanced and central. A big  part of storytelling is using space and layout to move the story forward. Try making up a caption to go with it, as if you are illustrating a page out of a book.

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  1. Posted May 21, 2009 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Elise, thanks so much for your timely and generous advice! I’m working on my folio at the moment and have been a bit paralysed by nervousness and second-guessing myself. I think this will give me a bit more focus!

  2. Posted May 22, 2009 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Very happy to help! Folios are definitely hard. I have too much in mine I think. Time for weeding. Having a version online is very useful too – that way people can refer back to it and you don’t have to send around so many photocopies. Which was a big problem when I had no jobs and no money! Good luck with it.

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