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Locations to Include in Your Portfolio Part 1

Published on 25/05/2023

Images by Advocate Art illustrators Claire Mcelfatrick (left) and Jenny Wren (right)

Locations to Include in Your Portfolio Part 1
Teacher: ITSme Society 

Oh, the places you’ll go, in your illustrations that is. Your artwork can take you anywhere. The more travel in your work, the more exciting your portfolio will be. Try thinking of your pencil as a rocketship and go wherever you want. You can experiment and mix locations together to invent new illustrated universes. Have you ever wanted to go to a fairground on the other side of the Milky Way? Well, you can!

In this blog series, we will be exploring the places, near and far, that publishers are looking for when searching for illustrators. Two locations you might not think publishers would be looking for are rainforests and deserts. Two very different locations that are equally beautiful. Rainforests are filled with vibrant colors to explore, from the plant life, to the animals that use the color as camouflage. Deserts on the other hand are mostly sand, but that doesn’t mean they are devoid of color or interesting creatures. Get inspired by these two different and unique locations.


Images by Advocate Art illustrators Julia Seal (left) and Diego Vaisberg (right). 

These are magical places full of layers of vibrant colors and creatures. By channeling your inner explorer, you visit a location where you can explore all your senses. Can you hear the parrots cawing in the canopies of the trees? Was that a monkey or a sloth that just rustled in the branches? What do the exotic rainforest animals and vivid plants look like on closer inspection, when you lift binoculars up to your eyes?


Images by Advocate Art illustrators David Creighton-Peters (left) and Rotem Teplow (right).

Yet another location where you can unleash your favorite David Attenborough documentaries! Perhaps consider putting a nature show on in the background whilst you work; this might make the experience more immersive. Parched, spiky cacti grow in the sand. Whilst the sun rises, reptiles enjoy basking in the heat, and as the light changes position throughout the long days, the shadows the cacti cast across the dunes move in symbiosis. Deserts don’t have to be limited to hues of orange; they become cold and blue at night, pink flowers bloom when the sun shines on the cacti, and the decorative patterns on the saddle of the camel your character rides can brighten any picture-book spread. Some of the most vibrant cities and bustling markets exist near deserts. Think of Marrakech! This provides a lot of scope to draw energetic, busy (and slightly sweaty) scenes.

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