Sunday, August 06, 2006

My Day of Portfolios...

I missed out on a few sessions today since I volunteered to help out with the juried portfolio dipslay. The other volunteers and I, under the leadership of Priscilla Burris, took portfolios from a long line of illustrators, ran them to tables, arranged the books and artists' promo pieces, and assisted the four delightful judges.

The day was not without it's challenges: We battled the elements--gusty winds sent postcards flying, the hot sun bluckled plastic portfolios. I got a bit of a sunburn and my dogs were barking. But it was great fun just the same.

Several portfolios truly blew me away. One great thing about helping with this event is that I get to puruse the portfolios along with a select few others before the rest of the conference-goers are allowed in to see them. I scored a great stack of promo pieces and got to page through some amazing work.

It's also fascinating to listen to the judges discuss what works and one doesn't in certain books, and what they like and don't like. Here are a few things I overheard:

  • Artist's don't always know what their best work is.
  • Consistency is important in a portfolio. A number of them had wonderful work in the beginning of their books, but as the judges flipped through, the quality level did not hold up. One or two pieces that aren't as good as the others can bring the whole portfolio down.
  • It's important to show movement, not just portraits of characters; show you can carry characters through scenes.
Winners of the portfolio event will be announced tomorrow at the Golden Kite Luncheon. (I know who they are, but my lips are sealed!)

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