“I’m a freelance illustrator specializing in cartoon character and mascot design. I have a great love for bold, colorful characters and certainly anything that makes me laugh!
When I was a kid I was always doodling some sort of cartoon and this seemed like the natural path to follow as an illustrator. I have been making a living from mainly mascot design for small businesses for the last 5 years but I’m now attempting to take this a step further, which is why I wanted a critique from Art Prof.”Purchase a portfolio critique
Partial Video Transcript
“I’m going to be reviewing your portfolio, first as a body of work, and try to give you some general feedback; comments about what you can improve on and how to edit this portfolio to be as strong as possible, and then going into some more detailed critique of each of these individual pieces.
I think right off the bat, looking at this portfolio, I am encouraged by how clear your focus is. I think your interest in character reads immediately and consistently throughout the collection of work. But each individual character has a ton of personality, and it’s not just that you yourself have a very distinct visual style that reads throughout every image, but also that each character has their own unique personality that reads very successfully.
I think that has a lot to do with your talent with acting–I think that’s a bizarre way to put it, but I think all great cartoonists have this skill with acting through character, through conveying personality through body language, the broad gesture of a figure, facial expressions, and you have that down, pat. Your characters are extremely expressive.
In general, my one suggestion in particular is with editing this portfolio, because I do think that this portfolio is a few images too long. I would shoot for having a professional portfolio be anywhere between 7 and 12 images–I think the fewer, really, the better. I think you want to air on the side of whoever’s looking at your portfolio wanting more, rather than feeling overwhelmed by too many images that are sort of decreasing strength.
The thing you should keep in mind–the principle that you should really use to make your decisions about which of these pieces you ultimately want to include in a professional portfolio, is the same principle that I think all great character design artists should focus on first and foremost when designing a character: which is to try and have each character have the most distinct and visually interesting silhouette.
I think the silhouette of the character is everything. You know, you want to be able to cast a character entirely in shadow, just black them out entirely, and be able to read who that character is, and their relationship to the other characters in your world and be able to tell them apart immediately. So that if you removed all of the surface elements of the character, like their facial expression, maybe the details of their costuming, you should be able to still be able to tell based purely on the most fundamental design elements of who this character is.
That said, let’s get into more specifics. First image, this little girl character riding this pig–I love this as a start to this portfolio, because it reveals your own point of view, your sense of humor–I love, again, the facial expressions of the characters. One thing that I think could be improved upon in this piece is the color choice.”