5 Key Pieces to Kick-Start your Publishing Portfolio
Here’s a few ideas to consider covering when creating new sample work to approach publishers with. This is not a definitive list but should hopefully inspire you to get creating with confidence!
A great kid’s publishing portfolio should contain bags of personality, strong characters and original scenarios. However, it’s a good idea to demonstrate how you deal with some of the more commonly tackled subject matter below in your own inimitable style.
1) A Fairytale:
Fairytales and fables are out of copyright and in the public domain, so are often revisited in publishing. The stories are instantly familiar and have a broad appeal to this day. Try a double page spread from a familiar favorite or create your own reimagined ‘fractured’ fairytale: ‘Goldilocks And Just The One Bear’ by Leigh Hodgkinson is a brilliant example of the latter: http://nosycrow.com/books/goldilocks-and-just-the-one-bear
2) A Classroom Scene:
If you can do great kids in a school or educational setting you’ll always be in work. It’s really important that your characters reflect today’s multicultural society, so make sure you include children with a range of ethnicities.
3) A Farmyard Scene:
Farms are popular settings for children’s books and a perfect opportunity to illustrate lots of different animals within one image. Busy scenes with many characters and expressions work best.
4) An Underwater Scene:
A great chance to show your skills and originality; i.e , don’t just draw fish! Be inventive with your underwater worlds and the characters that inhabit them. This piece by Migy is a great example:
Working with a publisher is a symbiotic relationship and so it’s great to show fledgling ideas and receive useful advice on how to improve them. Art directors are fantastic at developing work and love to be asked for input, so let them do their job!