I’m having a bit of an identity crisis with my style this week.
Hopefully all of you might be able to help me get myself back on track.
I took some time this morning to rifle through my old portfolios, which were gathering dust under our bed. I came across some pieces I worked on a couple years ago and decided to scan them in and add them to my website. Now… seeing the contrast between old and new that I dug up, I am second guessing my current direction a bit.
This illustration is based on a poem by Shel Silverstein titled “Captain Blackbeard Did What?” about the day he shaved his beard. I did a series in this style a few years ago (you can see more on my portfolio page) and have gotten wonderful feedback from anyone who has seen them. When I pull them out and look at them they always make me smile. However, in the past I wasn’t sure that they were colorful enough or expressive enough for children’s books. Now, seeing them side by side with my other work, I am beginning to wonder if I could find some sort of happy middle between the style and what I have been doing with my colored pencil work.
This illustration was actually a class assignment to do a book cover illustration for a classic fairy tale. I chose the Prince and the Pauper and I love the contrast between the smooth gold and the rough texture of the burlap. It was done in chalk pastels… a medium that I tend to avoid due to the mess it can make. However, I love how much movement it captured. I seem to work a lot looser in pastels… which might be something to explore a bit more this year. I also wonder if I could achieve this (or a similar) style in digital medium… something I would also like to pursue.
My request for feedback today is actually a bit more general. I don’t really need feedback on these pieces in particular. Instead, I would like some feedback on my portfolio AS A WHOLE.
NOTE: You can view my entire portfolio at http://www.andiosiek.com
In particular, which pieces do you feel are my strongest, which are my weakest, and which direction should I go from here? Which of my styles do you feel would (if pursued more) be the most marketable (don’t we hate that word) for children’s publishing? I also need to select a group of them to print for the SCBWI show in New York this month… which pieces do you feel I should include? Which ones would you leave out?
I know that I am asking a lot of questions, (many of which are ENTIRELY subjective) but I’m hoping it might generate some good discussion that we can all apply to our work. I’m sure we all struggle with that peculiar definition of “personal style” sometimes. I know I find that I enjoy so many different techniques and mediums that I have difficulty settling in sometimes. While this in itself is a great thing, it definately makes pulling together a “cohesive portfolio” to be a challenge.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. And if any of you are struggling with the same thing I’d be happy to give you my opinions as well… for what they’re worth. 😉