Illustration Folio...

Hey folks, I am re-doing my illustration folio to target games industry jobs (Auran is in the cross-hairs at the mo.)

I would appreciate some honest feedback, especially from industry professionals, on every aspect of it: presentation,page size/ image size/ fonts/ layout/ content order...,images, quality/ amount/ variety, lacking content/information...and everything that I have overlooked!

Currently it is 3.2M (!) beefier than I would have liked. But I feel if i remove anything it will have gaps in what I can do. I intend to include a link to it rather than email it with applications (advice on that too please).

I am hoping to finish it off this weekend/early next week (for applying to jobs ASAP) so some speedie responses would be much appreciated [8)]

edit: thinned the size to 1.1M (hopefully for enticing for a browse now)Still looking for feedback [:0] esp. what is lacking

Kane's picture

hey John...[:D]

I'm just a programmer in the making, but that looks very professional...your art is great and the presentation is excellent...

good luck with it!

Red 5's picture

Looks cool John :)

J I Styles's picture

Looks good John, only real crit I can offer would be to show more flexibility and diversity in your design - it's sad but true, but games are based fairly solely on a set number of artistic styles and executions. Yes there is a number of exceptions to this of course, but these are few and far between - companies stick with what the market expects and accepts. Eg, the "standard" space scifi look, "standard" fantasy rpg look, etc.

A lot of it is about emulating pre-defined styles and designs and making something new from it. I think if you showed this a little more in your portfolio, it would be a great deal stronger

Johnn's picture

I don't think I have ever being so nervious reading replys to a post!

Thanks for suggesting some direction JI. I re-did an architectural pic in (what I hope is) a 'standard' pen+tone technique due to fears that my folio was not covering contemporary techniques well enough.

I think I might have to reassess my folio on 'themes & techniques' level, and start looking at adding/replacing content.

matias's picture

hey John, I reckon it looks good but am no where near a proffessional! I just wanted to know what did you put the pdf together in, I was tryin in Illustrator but hit a brick wall when goin beyong a single page pdf. good luck, with the job! If I had any experience I'd go for it![:D]

unknownuser2's picture

Go for it anyways Matias ;) all the guys i knew from qantm had no previous experience - they were just damn good at what they do - they all secured positions that REQUIRED AT LEAST 2 YEARS PREVIOUS INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE ....

you just gotta be good :D

JohnN - thats a sweet folio man - but i agree with JI about being able to conform to different styles, im not in the industry yet - but have spoken to John and Steve from Krome about whats required - Malus should be able to help you out alot as well.

Bottom line is - if the art director likes what he sees,.. your in. you could be Julie bell or Boris Vallejo - but if they need someone to produce cell shaded comic book heroes, and you showed a whole bunch of perfectly coloured and lit pieces depicting perfect human form - hes more than likely going to overlook it... a bit exxagerated, but you get my drift.

Johnn's picture

I get your drift HazarD- Good to have JI's comments supported. I am going to do some pen + tone visuals soon, might even invest in a few markers!

Matias, I used InDesign for the layout of my folio. PageMaker and Xpress should work well too. You can do it in Freehand but i find it lacks felxibility for creating pdf in some situations (plus some other quirks!) so I wouldn't recommend it. For ease of use Pagemaker is probably the go, especially if you don't have experience with multi-page layout applications.

I haven't used Illustrator in any serious way for some years. A quick browse of help files should indicate if the application can do multipage PDFs. From memory you can tile several pages onto the paste board... if that is the case it should export as seperate pages in a PDF.

MoonUnit's picture

hey john, im not really the expert on the subject but i just thought id just say its looking very nice, keep it up :) (i know you need encouragement at this time :P )

unknownuser2's picture

your work is top class johnN i was looking at it again - as far as illustration goes - i can definately tell you have a graphics design background. But in all honesty i would say that a company really would benefit from having someone as skilled as you are working for them.

Johnn's picture

Well I have begun!

The Auran people don't want to see folios yet so I have time to do some (more) last minute changes. For some silly reason I checked the 'creature design' box on their application form as my focus (the other options were character and environmental.) So I would like to have a few creature designs that are as close to industry standard (quality,technique & presentation) as I can get.

Link below is to the first of my attempts. comments on what should be bumped in the folio would be good to (was thinking of replacing the B&W illustraton page first?)

unknownuser2's picture

i just had a thought - you know what id like to see - i dont know whether this is relevant or what you think about this johnN but my 2 cents anyways.

I wouldnt mind seeing some good model sheets drawn up - especially if your going for the concept art position.

I good front / side / back orthagraphic for a character / vehicle - and any other areas you think need to be emphasized a bit more on your creations.

Just a thought for something to include :)

MoonUnit's picture

nice to see some interesting creature designs in there :D good work

Johnn's picture

you mean like the guard character design but in a 'clean line' style? That did cross my mind too, was thinking of doing it as a secondary image to go with a concept sketch. do you know any links off hand to samples of what you mean?

Folio is being updated as I finish new works- aiming to essentially replace the whole thing and have distinct sections of creatures, characters, environments and mechanical, all in same technique with a few supporting sketches and colour/emotive works for variety. Thats the plan until someone suggests something better anyway!

Me109's picture

Hey John! good work there bro.. I kinda don't understand why a PDF??? seems kinda pointless and unessential.. as It was I had to get a plug in to even view it (not good) You should look at making it web based (3.2 mb.. too big)
Also some drawings seem repeatative.. like the two orc drawings.. Also to make the whole thing more dynamic looking you should do some drawings that follow 'line of action' in otherwords something that demostrates that you are applying what you have learnt from your life drawing.. more action poses.. this would also apply to your soldier from Troy.. a 3/4 view and additional drawings showing 'action', would really beef it out. Apart from that you have the right idea for sure..
I still think PDF is a mistake.. does anyone else feel the same about this??

Johnn's picture

Current plan (as I may have mentioned or hinted at else where) is to have 2 to 3 pics of the catagories- creatures, characters, environments and mechanical. All done with pen marker with a few extra colour, photoshop & emotive samples.

I understand that 'action shots' with dynamic poses is not appropriate for concept art as they are not as clear for interpretation. That said once i have redone all intended section of my folio i plan to do a few images like that (possibly present them as promo/box art)

File is back to under 1Meg :) YES, 3Meg IS tooooo big! I initially did my illustration folio as a pdf for printing it out and adding to my physical folio and it evolved from there. The good points are that it is still good for printing out (unlike a website) and I can(and do) send it as an attachment, so there is no extra step of going to a website, and it is accessible offline to the recipient too... And alot of it is presented on my website too, along with graphics samples (I send a link if I think it is apporpriate)

As for PDF format, you will thank me in time for making you download Acrobat Reader [:p] PDFs are a fantastic, platform independent document format.

That sums up some intentions and explainations, I would be interested in other opinions on these details.