Earlier this morning I had another portfolio visit this time with the good people at Taylor O’Brien. I arrived 15 minutes early (as I’m still not too familiar with the streets of Manchester) and was greeted by Helen who very kindly made me a brew. Helen had a couple of things to sort before she could see me so I waited happily in the sitting and enjoyed my hot beverage. After a couple of minutes she was ready to see me along with head designer Lee. Before they looked at my work they asked me a few questions about what I’d done before and what I wanted to do when I graduate. I spoke a little about where I had come from and how I decided to become an illustrator and my love of character creation.
Helen and Lee were really easy to chat to and gave me an in-depth and helpful overview of my portfolio and advice on what they thought I could do to improve it. Helen thought my vector drawn work was really strong and said that this kind of work would be favoured in a corporate environment as it could be used for logo’s and branding. They could also see potential for editorial work in my pen and ink drawings and thought the characters drawn for the child audience would sit well in education or children’s books. Helen suggested sorting my work into sections in my portfolio so that clients could see how my style could work over different market areas.
They mentioned that I didn’t really need to put textures in my work and I should maybe think about playing with colour washes like I had done with the Craig Oldham poster. They thought by doing this it would be appealing for a corporate client who might want an illustration with their corporate colours.
Near the end of the visit I asked for some advice on how to best market myself and Helen told me it was a good thing to have a web presence don't fall into the trap of relying on a website bringing in work. She thought the best way was to visit a lot of different design agencies and speak to people in the flesh as this way you stand more of a chance of being remembered. They suggested sending people new illustrations through email with a note to say hello and keep you in mind should any relevant work come up. Another nice suggestion was to drop in samples of work with your contact details at the receptions of design agencies this way a small sample of work could be pinned to a notice board near a desk and help to keep you in peoples thoughts, it would also be a nice distraction for a designer to look at something different. They also thought getting an agent to represent you would be beneficial.
I really enjoyed this meeting as they made me feel really welcome and I think I kept them chatting for over 40 minutes. It was all good and I've come away with some nice ideas to think about.