ILLU480 Professional Portfolio for Illustrators

An innovative and engaging portfolio is paramount to establishing a prosperous illustration career. Students express their individualized style and brand in a fully realized, professional portfolio, while implementing creative marketing and networking strategies to launch their illustration careers.

• Students will learn how to apply marketing and networking strategies to promote their skills and work.

• Students will learn how to design an engaging portfolio that aligns with their professional objective and highlights their strengths and experience.

• Students will explore a variety of methods and applications to optimally promote their work.

The Importance of Sketchbook

The purest form of visual creative thought. The Artist's Sketchbook is an integral part of developing unique creative ideas and a means to continue to grow artistic talents and skills. Content and exploration in sketchbook is encouraged in this course and  will serve as a process narrative for the artwork developed in this course.

It is an essential tool for today's commercial illustrator!

The Importance of Self Promotion

The success or failure of a prosperous and rewarding illustration career depends on effective self promotion and branding. It is an essential component for every visual artist and vital to every career-focused artist. This course will explore a variety of effective self promotional techniques and materials and the most practical use of both printed and digital tools, and assets.


  • Create or revise a minimum of (4) original portfolio pieces or series.

  • Create at least one self promotional piece and potential mailing list.

  • Create a minimum of (1) Portfolio piece or Promotional piece using

  • Create/Revise a marketing and branding materials

  • Complete mock interview/s and presentation exercises

  • Create/Provide Portfolio Presentation devise/s

Due Dates

Apr 10 - Milestone One - DUE - Must be placed in Dropbox before start of class

Apr 24 - Milestone Two - DUE - Must be placed in Dropbox before start of class

May 1 - Milestone Three - DUE - Must be placed in Dropbox before start of class

May 8 - Milestone Four - DUE - Must be placed in Dropbox before start of class

May 15 - Milestone Five - DUE - Must be placed in Dropbox before start of class

May 29 - Milestone Six DUE - Must be placed in Dropbox before start of class


Recommended Textbooks

Graphic Artist Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines (14th edition) ISBN-10: 0932102166

ISBN-13: 978-0932102164

How To Be an Illustrator By Darrel Rees and Nicholas Blechman (2014)ISBN-10: 1780673280

ISBN-13: 978-1780673288

The Freelancers Bible: Sara Horowitz (2012)ISBN-13: 9 780761164883

Artists Market: Noel Rivera (2014)ISBN-13 - 9781440352836


Bayles, David and Ted Orland. Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking. Capra Press, 1993. ISBN-0961454733; ISBN13: 9780961454739. (Jen Library: N71 .B37 2001.)

Brazell, Derek and Jo Davies. Making Great Illustration. A & C Black Publishers, Ltd., 2005. ISBN-10: 140812453X; ISBN-13:978-1408124536. (Jen Library: NC1000 .B73 2011.)

Taylor, Fig. How to Create a Portfolio and Get Hired: A Guide for Graphic Designers and Illustrators. Laurence King Publishing Ltd., 2010. ISBN-10: 1780672926; ISBN-13: 978-1780672922. (Jen Library: NC1001 .T39 2010.)

Glaser, Milton. Art Is Work. Overlook Press, 2000. ISBN-10:1590200063; ISBN-13: 978-1590200063. (Jen Library: NC999.4.G55 A4 2000.)

Goodson, Anna. The Personal Blog of Artist Rep and Agency Owner Anna Goodson. 2014. (accessed 27 August 2014).

Heller, Steven. Stylepedia: a Guide to Graphic Design Mannerisms, Quirks, and Conceits. Chronicle Books, 2006. ISBN-

10:0811833461; ISBN-13: 978-0811833462. (Jen Library: NC998 .H67 2006.)


Archiving Your Work

Preparing each Final Illustration File.

Digital files (PDFs, animation stills, storyboards, comic panels, sequential art, etc.):

  • All native files, fonts and supporting links contained in a single folder

  • All final submission folders compressed as a zip file

  • All zipped folders named in a manner that includes the campus, year, quarter, program abbreviation, the student's first and last names, and the title of the artwork. This information also needs to be embedded in the metadata so Full file naming guidelines are attached.

    • CAMPUS_Quartercode_DEPT_FirstnameLastname_title

    • Sample: SAV_201910_ACCE_AidanBarrow_snapbelt

  •  All images submitted as JPEGS at 300dpi, JPEG quality 12, Adobe RGB1998.

Disclaimer - All content on this page is protected by the artists who created the work. The purpose for showing their artwork on this page, is for educational purposes only. The owner of this site does not claim any artwork on this page as his own. All rights are protected and considered copyrighted. ©2019