Thursday, September 17, 2009

Getting some continuity

I have evaluated my portfolio and found that I am still missing the following elements from my portfolio.

Adults, Parents, Grandparents
Interior scenes
Character continuity pieces
Interaction of multiple characters

This has made me take the pieces I had in process off my plate and choose to focus on the areas that I know are lacking. Now, most of you probably know that one of the most important elements of your Children's Book portfolio is character continuity. Your ability to draw the same character in different settings and situations yet remain consistent in appearance and demeanor. This is a BIG hole in my portfolio, so I am focusing my efforts there.

I decided to do multiple pieces of the Chef John story. Largely because I already had a second image sketched that I had yet to complete. For the past week or so, I've been working on that second image (sketch below) and I will be putting some of that process stuff up within the next few days. I'm still not done though, maybe next week or so. And yes I have had to fix his facial structure and body type a bit since this sketch!! LOL! I'm working hard at getting the character down before I go too much further! It's a lot harder than it looks!!! (Which is why it's so important.)

In the meantime I did the four sketches you see below. I need you guys help in deciding which ones to take to tighter sketches. I want to have three or four pieces in my portfolio from the same story (not including an eventual dummy of some sort.) So at most I will need two of the four images, unless you guys think I should have more. But check em out and let me know what you think and which you would go with. Also let me know if there are any glaring character inconsistencies. Also note that none of the characters other than John repeat in the other images. If some folks look way too similar to each other let me know!

Please enlarge these to get a better look at them.



Edrian Thomidis said...


Thanks for your recent comment. I wanted to answer your question...
I’m also a graphic designer so I designed all of the pieces for the self promotion package myself. I looked into existing paper ideas that I could use to make my own packaging rather than having everything custom made (less expensive and easier to handle small quantities). was a great place to find the especial envelopes and labels. I then designed all the materials using Illustrator and Photoshop and printed the labels and letters at home. I also printed and assembled my own dummy book and had postcards and business cards printed through I hope that answers your question…

By the way I like the different points of view with the character and the varied compositions.


Dustin Foust said...

They all look great but I really love the one with all the fruit.

Mighty Kwan said...

Thanks so much for answering my question. I remember the graphic designers in college coming up with things like what you've done and me being in awe of it even then. Thank you for the insight into your process and a starting point for me to begin my search for something unique and interesting! Thanks again!!!

Heya Dustin!!
That Avalanche of fruit will probably drive me bonkers trying to illustrate. I really will need to go to a Farmers market to get enough of a variety of fruit and veggie reference to make sure I don't run out!! LOL! Thanks so much Dustin!!


mai s kemble said...

what great advice- you're dead-on. I was just thinking that I need to draw more variety of people, too... as well as show some "scenes" or sequential scenes with people/animals.
I personally feel like the top two and then the spread with the pile of groceries (?) looks awesome..
all the different perspectives are great, too!!! and then the finished piece makes me really excited to see the others!

Amy C said...

what a great series this is, I love all of the angles you are using and the compositions are fabulous

Mighty Kwan said...

Heya Mai and Amy!

Mai, I'm not sure if it is my comic book background that makes me do all those weird perspectives and viewpoints. I'm sure it is. It just seems to me that often in kids books the POV tends to be very similar throughout most books. Which in many instances works fine for those stories. So I may need to reign that in some or at least balance it with the rest of a book when I do one. Sort of the way you only break borders or have a splash page when the impact is needed otherwise the impact of those moments gets lost because you've used that effect too often. Does that make sense?

And yes I definitely needed more scenes in my portfolio. Sadly, i had very little actual storytelling going on and I needed to increase that some! Here's hoping the others come out ok! Thanks for your input and insight!

Amy- Thanks! I'm still up in the air on whether or not I should make this story my dummy or not. I'm not sure if it has all the elements an editor may want to see in a dummy. We'll see though! And thanks again!! :)