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Themes to Include in Your Illustration Portfolio Part 2

Published on 13/07/2023

Illustrations by Astound US Inc. illustrators Camilla Frescura and Yeena Mariana, and Illo Agency illustrator Ana Salopek

Themes to Include in Your Illustration Portfolio Part 2
Teacher: ITSme Society

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. 

Themes are not just ideas for settings, but subject matter as well. A subject matter theme to consider is science! A lot of children are naturally curious, and that makes science really fun. Science is about figuring out how the world around us works; exploring and testing new ideas. There are a lot of iconic science imagery such as lab coats, beakes, and test tubes. These can be a great place to start, but science as a theme offers so much more. 


Illustration by Astound US Inc. illustrator Elena Bia

One of our favorite memories of school was switching on the Bunsen Burners! Watching bubbles broth in petri dishes and noting down our findings on the blackboard.  Biology, chemistry and physics are home to the most fascinating discoveries. We want to encourage young people to develop an interest in these areas, after all any reader could grow up to be the latest prodigy in new scientific discoveries, so why not  add science to your portfolio and credit yourself as the catalyst in inspiring the next young Einstein’s journey?! This could be a great chance to explore the more intricate details of nature; how can you draw the process of photosynthesis or how flowers get pollinated by nature. What details can you see inside the macro lens of a microscope? So, pop a lab coat and goggles on your character and don’t be afraid to doodle your favorite, mad-scientist hairdo when the experiment goes wrong!

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