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Celebrations to Include in Your Portfolio Part 2

Published on 14/09/2023

Illustrations by Illo Agency artist Laura Sayers, Advocate Art illustrator Alessandra Vitelli, and Astound US Inc. illustrator Khoa Le

Celebrations to Include in Your Portfolio Part 2
Teacher: ITSme Society

Who doesn’t love a celebration? As we talked about in part 1 of this series, books that celebrate a special occasion or seasonal event are incredibly popular. Publishers usually have a rough brief in mind and are looking for artists that already have examples of what they want. We have put together another list of celebrations from which you may draw inspiration. If you missed the first article, read it here.

Using your own culture or traditions of these celebrations can enrich your illustrations. Although we know our own holidays and celebrations well, all cultures are enriched with unique and beautiful traditions of their own. Gaining an understanding of traditions around the world can help you gain inspiration and enhance your illustrations.


Illustration by Advocate Art illustrator Sejung Kim

As the calendar on the wall gets decorated in big red crosses, the countdown to everyone’s personal favorite day of the year fast approaches (although we don’t like to admit it). We never forget that sleepless night before our childhood birthdays, tossing and turning all night long in anticipation. A birthday is a joyous occasion, allowing illustrators to crop in and draw big smiles, surprised expressions, and chocolate-cake-covered faces. Perhaps your party entertainment consists of a bouncy castle, allowing you to draw energetic scenes full of movement, so let the kids kick off their shoes and hop on! Pay close attention to the weighting of the characters as they try not to face-plant into the multicolored plastic and consider evacuating when someone’s bounce begins to rocket everyone a bit too close to the roof! Let chaos proceed as your characters throw party hats on their heads and take a punt at the piñata; laugh, dance, and be sure to fuel the endless party games with picnic food and sugary snacks.


Illustration by Astound US Inc. illustrator Alessia Trunfio

Who isn’t a fool for a good wedding?! Every wedding is unique, but they all surely start with an early morning and frantic households getting everyone ready! Don’t just focus on the couple, the room is full of guests and formal attire to embellish your scenes with. Can you illustrate the audience? What do their faces say when the Priest utters the famous words, “Speak now or forever hold your peace?” There are so many beautiful traditions that stem from a variety of cultures’ marriage celebrations, from sprinkling confetti on the newlyweds outside a rural, cobblestone Church of a white veil occasion, to decorating the bride’s hands and feet in intricate patterns of bridal henna for Hindu wedding ceremonies. Researching various cultures, traditions, and rituals from around the world can make for amusing hidden details; from wearing something old, new, borrowed, and blue, to sawing logs, or stealing shoes! These make for brilliant hidden details when drawing weddings.

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