A while back we had a visit from The Chase, a graphic design and branding consultancy based in Manchester, but with offices in London and Preston also. They came in and spoke to us about how they commission and work with different illustrators, what they and illustration agencies are looking for in an illustrator, and gave us lots of tips on how to get meetings with art directors, and how to present our work. They had compiled lots of good quotes from illustrators and agencies, which was very helpful.
Now that I'm trying to put together a portfolio, it was helpful to look back at the extensive tips they gave us on the best way to go about it. I've posted below some of what they said about portfolios (and I am paraphrasing!) :
1. Start and finish with your strongest work
2. Don't leave in pieces of work you don't like
3. Include a good mix of work (mix of colour and black and white, different sizes)
4. Spend time working on the layout so that it flows well
5. Try and include original work or good quality scans
6. Don't put foam board in your folder!
7. Practice talking about your work, and find out how much time you have in a meeting so you can go through it all
8. Keep your folder spotless!
9. Don''t take all advice to heart!
They also gave us some good tips for when trying to set up portfolio meetings with agencies and art directors :
1. Find the correct names and spellings (phone up to find out if need be)
2. Include a PDF portfolio of around 10 images, or an easy link to a website.
3. Follow up your emails and mail to see if it's been seen
4. Be nice to receptionists!
5. Know something about the company or people you're meeting with
6. Don't be nervous! Enjoy talking about your work
7. If there are no jobs going, ask about a brief you could have a go at
All the things they spoke about and told us were really helpful, and I think we all appreciated the time they dedicated to giving and putting together the presentation. Check out their website here to find out more about them.