Drawing, Painting, Thoughts

Portfolio Pride

PORTFOLIO PRIDE

It’s taken me this long in my illustration career to realise that a portfolio is – needs to be – a constantly dynamic thing. Thankfully, we illustrators very rarely need to carry around neat black folders of printed work any more: everything is online, and this is a much easier format for change.

That said, I resist it. I was upset a few weeks ago when I deleted my website’s portfolio section by accident. I still have copies of all the work, but making the selections of what to include is always a challenge. I was gifted the opportunity to start over, which I might never have done, and it turns out my portfolio needed a massive clear out.

Hardraw ForceBowerbird 3Lost Mitten

So how did I pick what went in? I asked myself three questions:

Is it current?

I began by only looking at work from 2014 and 2015. Despite feeling like I’ve been ‘taking a break’ these last couple of years, I discovered I had created more than a portfolio’s worth of pieces that are strong, and reflect my current approaches (note the considerable delegation from team scratch board!). In the end, I did also choose one piece that was older to complemented my choices, but that’s all.

DoodlesAlasdair Roberts PosterThe Courage To Be Me

Am I proud of it?

Some people might advise against being so subjective, but I think it’s vital. It looked better as soon as I took out all of the piece I thought I should include, or that other people had like but I’d never felt so strongly about. I know sometimes feeling pride is challenging; we all have days when we feel nothing we’ve done lives up to our hopes (maybe try not to pick a portfolio on one of those days?). But I think we all also know what it feels like to be really chuffed with something. It felt good to pick only pieces like that.

More Than YarnWell WishesOh the potential!

Is it the kind of work I want to do?

There were some pieces that satisfied both of the above clauses, but that just didn’t quite fit. On analysis, these were all pieces created in coloured inks, and they were all very personal. I love this medium when working at my own pace, without pressure, when it doesn’t really matter if things don’t go to plan. But I feel nauseous at the thought of working in this medium for a client, therefore it does not belong my portfolio. What a relief!

A Comic for Jason MolinaGeorge

Finally, I think the best thing I can do for my portfolio is keep it dynamic. In the end I have chosen 12 pieces, which you can see here, and 3 comics, which you can see here. But my plan is that this selection will continue to change to reflect my most current work, both by adding and by taking away.

Drawing, Zines

Thirty Favourites

The Green Bean Volume 4 Issue 5

I turned 30 last year, and instead of joining in the trend to fulfil a “30 before 30” list, I sat down and mulled over my favourite memories and experiences, picking 30 of them to illustrate for a new issue of The Green Bean. The kind of things that cropped up as especially memorable surprised me. I found I treasured many memories to do with animals, and many that took place outside. I realised how much I value my family, and reading, and live music. Hardly any had anything to do with grand achievements: most were tiny, spontaneous moments when I was fully absorbed.

The resulting zine is a collection of small moments that have stuck with me over time, the drawing of which taught me a lot about what’s really important and valuable, and perhaps what I might like to prioritise in the next 30 years. Subscriber copies of this new issue will be posted on Monday 31st March, and your copy too if you place an order here before this weekend.

Have you ever thought about your favourite memories? If you’ve done a similar exercise I’d love to hear how it affected you.

Baking with my Mum

Comics, Drawing, Zines

What is The Green Bean?

What is The Green Bean?

I’ve been publishing The Green Bean for four years now, and I still get just as excited about bringing out a new issue as I did the first time around. It’s become such an integral part of my life, my work, everything! And I love it.

If you’d like to give The Green Bean a try, or you’re a long-time collector with some gaps in your collection now is the perfect time. I’ve made all the back issues available individually at a special price of just £4, for this weekend only. Complete volumes and year-long subscriptions are also available, all here in my shop.

I’m just putting the final touches to a new issue, about my recent birthday and challenging the ’30 before 30′ lists you see. It will be out and on its way to subscribers next week.

Zines

A New Green Bean

Green Bean 4-4

It’s always a happy moment when a new Green Bean is ready to send out into the world. Even after twenty four (twenty four!!) issues, I haven’t tired of the feeling I get cropping those corners and colouring those beans.

This newest issue is all about my recent relocation from Bristol to Devon, adjusting to new surroundings and a different pace of life. There are comics, book reviews, a recipe for delicious pistachio and white chocolate macarons, deer, Dartmoor ponies, maps and lots more, all rendered in fine micron pen and delivered to you on lovely recycled paper. You can find the new Green Bean here, or subscribe to forthcoming issues here.