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Welcome to rachelsays... The blog of Rachel Lewis, containing my thoughts and musings on illustration, design, fashion, music, cakey-bakey goodness, culture and things that I generally find cool. There's also a good chance my own illustration work will pop up on here.

All work on this blog is copyright to me unless I state that it isn't. Obviously. Don't do stealing, kids.

So come on in, have a look around, and leave a comment if you like what you see.
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Sunday, January 24, 2010

AOI Open Portfolios Evening

On thursday 21st Jan I went to an AOI Portfolio Evening. This was my first one I'd been to, they do them every 6 months or so, and thought it would be really great to get advice on my portfolio, now that I've graduated.

I'm an AOI member so it only cost me £11, which was a fair price really. It was held in the depths of Bethnal Green (well not that deep, a few minutes from the tube station lol..) but still a bit of a dodgy walk! Thank god for my heavy portfolio, I'd give an assailant a whack with that. Anyway, it lasted a good 3 hours, and I found it so invaluable. I met with Abby Glassfield, who works at Eastwing Illustration Agency; I decided to book with her as I know that I really want to get picked up by an agency so was good to have advice on what kind of thing they look for. I actually thought it would be individual one on one sessions, but it was actually a group thing, which I much preferred.

There were about 8 or 9 of us meeting with her, and it was really nice to see other people's work; there were people from all stages of their career, a girl like me who graduated last year, a couple of graphic design-type people who wanted to branch more into illustration, a few who already had an illustration career behind them but wante dto either change direction or get newer clients as work was drying up. So that was good, to see lots of varying styles and approaches. I always miss group crits from uni where we analyse each other's work and this felt a bit like this, it was nice to get input not only from Abby but also from the others too.

So I got some really good advice on what I should do and what to focus on, the main points I have to consider are:

  • Keep doing new work, constantly. A lot of the work in my portfolio is from Uni and I need to make sure that in a year's time, it's all fresh and new.
  • Do a lot of practice editorial work, get friends to give you articles which have had the original cut out so you're not influenced.
  • When it comes to my work, I should try not to not include so much text in all of my images; even though I love working with text, I need to make sure the images speak for themselves.
  • Do more book covers, I only have 2 in there.
  • Concentrate on including figures whenever I can.
It was great, I felt really energised to do lots of new work, so am working on things as we speak. I should have a good 2 or 3 new pieces by the end of the week!

I'm still in the process of making and sending out my self promo books, it takes me about 3 hours to make 4, I'm trying to make 4 a day to get them all done and sent out.

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