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Themes to Include in Your Illustration Portfolio Part 1

Published on 24/04/2023

Images by Yeon Agency illustrator Juan Bjuan

Themes to Include in Your Illustration Portfolio Part 1
Teacher: ITSme Society

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be someone else, to walk different worlds, and see things you haven’t seen before? Books are one of the most accessible forms of escapism. And you have the power to help readers explore a range of worlds with your illustrations. In this series, we will explore the many themes publishers may be searching for when looking for illustrators. If you already have a theme you’re passionate about, play to your interests. Remember that illustrators often get work because they are simply good at illustrating a certain genre.

We believe that the vast subject matter artists can delve into is one of the many joys of illustration. Maybe you want to escape into a fantasy setting to explore unknown realms, or go back and join the legend of King Author. Fantasy can turn you into a hero or a monster slayer and take you on quests through unknown lands. Fantasy can even be more modern. Imagine fantasy creatures such as ogres or cyclopses going to school or working as a barista in our world today. The best part about fantasy is how you can use it to express and expand your creativity.

Fairytale/ Fantasy

Images by Advocate Art illustrator Beatriz Castro (left) and Astound US Inc. illustrator Khoa Le (right)

Many of Grimm’s fairy tales began with a dark backstory but have been updated by studios like Disney to give us much happier renditions, whimsical fairies, excitable trolls, and enchanted godmothers. By entering the world of myth and magic, you may find your character walking through kingdoms ruled by Queens, Kings, Princesses, and Princes or plunging into underwater worlds populated with an abundance of bewitched underwater creatures. Fantasy can take us back to the legends of Ancient Greek Mythology – who doesn’t want to read about daring heroes and murderous monsters? Thousands of years have provided us with countless renditions of these legends; immortalized in sculptures, paintings, and poetry and although science, unfortunately, hasn’t handed us the DNA evidence for these fantastical creatures, they are entwined so tightly into pop culture, that even the most unrecognizable, original characters can feel real if you really spend time perfecting your designs. So let your imagination run wild!

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