Back to News

Themes to Include in Your Illustration Portfolio Part 4

Published on 14/12/2023

Illustrations by Advocate Art illustrators Aditi Kakade Beaufrand, Esther Hernando, and Kevin Payne, and Astound US Inc. illustrators Abhilasha Khatri, Addy Rivera Sonda, Isabelle Duffy, and Markia Jenai.

Themes to Include in Your Illustration Portfolio Part 4
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.

Diversity is an important theme. Children can struggle with feelings of loneliness and feeling left out. These emotions can be difficult for children to deal with, but seeing themselves in artwork and in different stories can help. Including diversity in your artwork can make your portfolio relevant to more audiences as well. Everyone wants to see themselves in something, so it is important to represent people of all types in your artwork.


Illustration by Astound US Inc. illustrator Nadja Sarell

As mentioned previously, in the past personified animals were often used to explore some of the complex issues surrounding diversity, but the world is changing. It is more important than ever to explore subjects such as race and disability. Every person on the planet has a different personality, face, age, skin and hair color. People come in all different shapes and sizes and this should be celebrated in your art! Just imagine how beautiful your detailed scenes of different communities will be when you consider the unique style of every character. The world is beautiful, unique and the need for young people to see themselves in stories has never been more necessary. You can be part of the book that people will remember and credit as the first time they saw themselves truly represented.

For more free tips for how to improve your illustration portfolio, subscribe to our ITSme Learning Newsletter!

Other News

What Is Comp Shopping? And Why Is It Important?

What Is Comp Shopping? And Why Is It Important? Teacher: Bhavisha Patel, creative director at Advocate Art One of the best ways to keep up to date and in the know in the industry is to go comp shopping… So what is comp shopping? Comp shopping is simply scoping out the competition in the real…

ITSme Learning Launch a Success at Bologna 2024!

Bologna was a great success for ITSme Learning and the ITSme Society Agencies, with over 500 people visiting the ITSme stand for portfolio reviews! Next year we plan to have a bigger stand, and more ITSme staff ready to accommodate the demand for portfolio reviews. We look forward to meeting you at the show in…

How to illustrate kids’ puzzles: from simple to complex!

How to illustrate kids’ puzzles: from simple to complex! Teacher: Bhavi Patel, Advocate Art Agent/ ITSme Learning Almost every theme and subject matter can be adapted to both kid and adult age groups; the key element that differentiates the two is the level of difficulty. This is determined by how much detail is in the…

What is a Greeting Card Range?

Greeting Card designs by Advocate Art illustrator Charlotte Pepper  What is a Greeting Card Range? Teacher: Jo Cave, artist agent at Advocate Art In the Greeting Card world, we generally plan and create designs in ‘ranges’, which are essentially a collection of designs that are aesthetically linked by style, technique, colour, or theme. Ranges can…

Design Tips: Sticker Books for Illustrators

Design Tips: Sticker Books for Illustrators Teacher: Carrie Knights, Collaborate Agency’s Design Manager Sticker activity books are fun and engaging for children. They help with the development of fine motor skills, imagination, and learning abilities. Here are some helpful tips for your sticker activity book project from Collaborate Agency’s Design Manager, Carrie Knights: The cover…

Top 3 Greeting Card Portfolio Tips

Greeting Card designs by Advocate Art illustrators Amanda Shufflebotham, Kathryn Selbert, and Victoria Nelson. Top 3 Greeting Card Portfolio Tips Teacher: Amanda Hendon, Advocate Art Global Manager Today, we are sharing Advocate Art’s Top 3 Tips for Greeting Card Illustration. These tips come directly from Advocate’s Global Manager Amanda Hendon. Amanda has been working in…