Project Portfolio Sessions

Project Portfolio – Day Seven

Raquel Torres

Raquel Torres Director at La Toma Design and an online teacher with Skillshare, Raquel was lucky enough to study art at a London university in the late 90s. After 15 years of working in various corporate jobs, Raquel finally decided to follow her true calling. After travelling for a year, she decided to study fashion and textiles as a mature age student and since 2017, Raquel has been forging a new career in textile and surface pattern design.

Session One:
Online Portfolio Tips for Creatives

Raquel’s session provides tips on how to get an art portfolio website set-up and running – it’s never been easier!

Subscribe to Raquel’s website to download her ‘Online Portfolio Tips’.

Romica Jones is a freelance children’s book illustrator, designer, and online teacher based in Manchester, England. Her aim is to create illustrations and stories for children that move and delight and to inspire and support creative people by sharing her journey in the creative industries through her YouTube channel and online classes.
Website : Instagram : YouTube

Session Two: How to rock Bologna – Create a Great Portfolio and Show It

If you are interested in attending the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. This session will give you some handy tips for preparing a portfolio that reflects what you want to achieve and that catches an art director’s eye. Plus, some tried and tested tips to make it a great experience, like how to be seen and how to handle feedback.

Giveaway: Romica’s
 How to Rock Bologna Checklist

The Final Session: Finding Your Flow

Following a recap of the Project Portfolio line-up, Nina will offer a mini-workshop, on how she helped illustrator Nichole Wade with the pace and flow of her portfolio pieces. In this session, I’ll show you how to create a simple flat plan to help with the content of your portfolio and to help you find your flow.

GIVEAWAY: Sign-up to Nina’s website for
her video sharing tips on Picture Book Characters

Project Portfolio: Day Six

Wen Sylvestre

Wen Sylvestre is an illustrator from a country town surrounded by cows and sheep in The Netherlands. Drawing was her childhood passion however she also grew up with a love for geology, history, art and for exploring ethnic cultures. Classical music was very prominent in her early years. She learned how to play five different baroque recorders, from soprano to bass. Wen works in both traditional and digital media and loves exploring different art supplies, having re-discovered her passion for drawing and painting through her exploration of embroidery, textile art, bookbinding and mixed media. Wen has recently immersed herself in the world of illustration and is currently working on her portfolio.
Website :  Instagram : Pinterest

Session One:
How to find your own art voice and style

In this session, Wen will offer inspiration and tips on how to create from within rather than from outside influences, discussing why it’s so important to know who you are and why we all need to focus on our OWN work.

Email: Head over to Wen’s website, sign up to her newsletter
and receive a copy of her e-book

Katrina Koltes

Katrina Koltes originally of German nationality, but born in South East Asia, comes from a childhood of travelling, discovering and exploring new places. She loves to create beautiful worlds of magic and mystery, and bring hope and beauty through her art. Katrina now lives in Italy with her two small boys and Italian husband.

Inspired by her love for nature and of telling stories through her art, Katrina is now a full-time artist, (online and in-person) teacher and mother, painting daily with acrylic, watercolors and pastel. It is her wish to inspire others to find their own creative voice through art.
WebsiteFaceboo : Instagram : YouTube

Session Two:
Part-time to Full-time Artist

In this session, by sharing her transition from part-time to a full-time artist, Katrina hopes to inspire others to do the same.   

Giveaway: Katrina’s Project Portfolio tutorial
Sign up for Katrina’s newsletter
to get the password for all of Katrina’s free subscriber tutorials.

Project Portfolio: Day Five

Ben Whittacker-Cook has been a journalist and writer for more than 20 years. He has written for hundreds of magazines, newspapers and websites around the world; including the BBC, Channel Four and The Daily Telegraph in the UK. He writes everything from third-party “ghost” articles for large multinational corporates, to quirky commentary pieces for newsstand titles.

He has written several manuscripts which have been used as the inspiration for Nina Rycroft’s online illustration courses, and he is currently looking for a children’s book publisher willing to embrace his thoughtful and dark storytelling. He is from London and currently lives in Auckland – splitting his time between the two hemispheres.
Website : Twitter 

Session One: workshop
How to write a great bio in 100 words

In this session, Ben explains how to structure and draft an eye-catching and mistake-free author or illustrator bio.

a cheat sheet of dos and donts and common mistakes to avoid.
Email for a PDF or Word printable/downloadable ‘How to write a great bio in 100 words’ guide.

Amy Calautti

Amy Calautti is an illustrator, living with her family in Perth, Australia. With an early love of drawing and art, Amy studied fashion and textile design at Perth TAFE. After a 15 year gap, and following children, Amy rediscovered her love of drawing, illustrating her first picture book, ‘When the Moon is a Smile’ by Teena Raffa-Mulligan. Amy is currently working on two publishing contracts, both to be released in 2020.
Website : Facebook : Instagram

Session Two:
Illustration Challenges – Projects to Publication

Amy’s session will show us how she used online illustration challenges to not only make effective portfolio pieces but then to get a picture book contract with a publisher.

Use this link to join Amy’s #drawthisinyourstyle Instagram challenge.
Don’t forget to hashtag #ninarycroft #projectportfolio #amygorgeousness

Amy’s 8-step guide, covering all of the things that Amy talked about in her Project Portfolio Session.

Project Portfolio: Day Four

Michelle Worthington

Michelle Worthington is a full-time writer based in Brisbane. She credits her three sons for giving her an endless source of inspiration for her writing, as well as her wrinkles.

Her picture book, Yellow Dress Day, was featured on ABC Kids Play School, which was a highlight in her career, as like most Aussie kids, she grew up watching the programme.

As Founder of Share Your Story Australia, she loves coaching aspiring authors and illustrators achieve their dreams of publication.
Share Your Story website : Share Your Story Facebook Group

Session One:
Creating a Sustainable Creative Business

Michelle Worthington will discuss her journey to becoming a full-time creative, including best tips, traps to avoid and best practice to create a sustainable career in the arts industry. No question is off limits as Michelle aims to debunk the myths around making money, asking for money and knowing how much to charge. This session will cover all aspects of being a creative looking to make a living doing what they love.

Sign up to Michelle’s newsletter
and receive a guide on how to write a successful cover letter as well as a breakdown of what we will be talking about on the webinar.

Nic Squirrell

Nic Squirrell is an artist and illustrator based in a small village in the south east of England. After driving her parents crazy by painting on every available surface, she grew up and took the long way round to doing what she loves best. With a head full of ideas, imaginary places and quirky creatures waiting to get out, if anything stays still long enough, Nic will draw on it.
Website : Instagram : Facebook : Twitter: Skillshare Classes

Session Two:
Print on Demand for Artists and Illustrators

There are many ways to make money with your art, and it is a good idea to have a variety of income streams. Nic has been selling art via Print on Demand sites for over ten years and it provides her with a good regular passive income. You do the work at the beginning when you make the art and upload it, and then you continue to earn from it over a long period of time with minimal extra input. Whether you are an established illustrator or just starting out, Print on Demand is a great way of monetising your existing or new art and illustrations, of smoothing out the feast or famine nature of freelance work, and of earning money while you sleep! In this session Nic will share her experience and her tips for success.

The links below links will take you to Nic’s Skillshare classes. If you’re not already a Skillshare member, you will get two months free Premium Membership with access to over 25,000 classes.
Print on Demand for Artists: Earn While You Sleep
Print On Demand for Artists: Painting to Pattern to Product, The Complete Process

Aurore McLeod

Aurore McLeod is a French illustrator living in Tasmania, Australia, with her 8-year-old daughter and husband. Her illustrative world is made of magic and nature, with quirky animals, imaginary creatures, and more recently, little witches. Aurore mostly works in watercolour and uses ink and coloured pencil to highlight and add details. She sells her work as originals or prints through private commission, wholesale orders and her Etsy shop.
Website :Instagram : Facebook

Session Three:
Create a Portfolio that Sells

Aurore will share her experience getting her first printed portfolio ready to showcase at a picture book conference, offering tips that she learnt along the way. She will then talk about the transition she made in selling illustrations online.

Sign up to Aurore’s mailbox to receive Aurore’s colouring-in sheet

Project Portfolio: Day Three

Zoë Collins

Zoë Collins is an illustrator and graphic designer who has a penchant for books of all descriptions. Working with key clients, Zoë’s strengths lie in quirky and witty illustration, branding, and communication strategy — with an emphasis on delivering originality and a strong visual presence. Zoë has a Bachelor of Arts, and a Diploma in Visual Communication. She has taught typography, design and illustration at various tertiary institutions and has been a professional mentor for aspiring graphic designers. Zoë has a blog called ‘Hoodlum Friends’ which she writes and illustrates as frequently as she can.
Website : Instagram

Session One: workshop
The Ridiculous Selfie: Uncovering your unique persona

In this workshop session, Zoë will walk you through her creative thinking strategy to help you define your unique persona. This hands-on session is designed to tease out who you really are so you can have a better idea of how to present yourself authentically to your audience. Join Zoë in the Ridiculous Selfie branding exercise that will challenge your perception of who you are, as an illustrator – and a human being.

Materials: There are no limits to this! I love a bit of collage, to take the pressure off my drawing skills, so go hunting for body parts and accessories (not necessarily human). So, we’re looking for: feet, legs, arms, torsos, eyes, hair, mouth, nose, ears, necks, hats, shoes, socks, any particular colours of patterns that appeal. Plus, whatever you feel comfortable sketching quickly with. I use a black sharpie marker. Sometimes I also use lead pencil, coloured pencils, coloured markers, crayons. Anything that takes my fancy, or anything within reach!

Click the link to download
And you are? Top 5 tips to clarify your professional identity.

Yvonne Mes

Yvonne Mes is a children’s author and illustrator from Brisbane. Her hands are always covered in ink or paint, but she does try to keep her keyboard clean when she writes!

Her picture book, Meet Sidney Nolan, (illustrated by Sandra Eterovic) was published in 2015 with Penguin Random House Australia and her picture book Oliver’s Grumbles (illustrated by Giuseppe Poli) was re-released with Yellow Brick Books in 2017. Her first picture book as an illustrator will be published later this year with Yellow Brick Books. Several of her short stories are published in The School Magazine and her story A Starry Christmas was animated and displayed on Brisbane City Hall for two weeks over Christmas in 2017.

Yvonne is most in her element when writing, illustrating and making up and acting out stories with children during school visits and other workshops. Yvonne coordinates Write Links, Brisbane’s children’s writers and illustrators group. Yvonne is represented by Mayfair Literary Agency.
Website : Instagram : Facebook : Twitter

Session Two: workshop
Passion Project vs Portfolio Project

Yvonne will cover the necessity of following your passion in order to feed your commercial projects such as your portfolio and ultimately bring them closer together. The session will look at creativity, the latest in neuroscience on creativity, research and development and how these apply to your portfolio.

Materials: pen and paper

Giveaway: Click on the link to sign-up to >> Yvonne’s Newsletter <<
to receive the information and resources covered in the session.

Project Portfolio: Day Two

Susanne Gervay

Marjorie Crosby-Fairall

Susanne Gervay is writer and Regional Advisor, Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators Australia East and NZ, SCBWI

Writer, Ambassador Room to Read, Books in Homes, Patron of Patron Monkey Baa Theatre, Lifetime Social Justice Literature Award by International Literacy Association, Nominee Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. Website : Facebook : Twitter

Marjorie Crosby-Fairall has illustrated several children’s books and her magazine work includes The School Magazine and Australian Geographic. Her books appear on the Premier’s Reading Challenge lists and have been shortlisted and won awards, including the CBCA Eve Pownall Award for her first picture book. Marjorie is an assistant regional advisor for SCBWI Australia East & New Zealand.

Her picture books include Brothers from a Different Mother (Penguin Random House), One Christmas Eve (Black Dog Books, an imprint of Walker), and The Croc and the Platypus (Walker Books). Her collaboration with Susanne Gervay, Boy in the Big Blue Glasses, will be out in July 2019. To visit Marjorie’s Website

Session One:
Creating a union of art and story

In this session, illustrator Marjorie Crosby-Fairall and author Susanne Gervay reveal their process to create ‘The Boy With The Big Blue Glasses’. They will share how playing with ideas, character sketches, layout, storyboard, black and white to colours is a creative and explorative process that enhances and reveals the narrative. With tips on how to apply visual narrative to our portfolios.

Post your ‘child in the classroom’ character sketch in the Project Portfolio Facebook Group for your chance to win a signed copy of Susanne and Marjorie’s picture book Boy in the Big Blue Glasses. The prize will be available in July 2019.

Katrina Avery

Katrina Avery is an illustrator and surface pattern designer with a legal and commercial background based in sunny Brisbane, Australia. Katrina enjoys illustrating everyday moments as a way of capturing memories like ‘snapshots in time’. Favouring traditional watercolour, she also loves creating and incorporating patterns. At the end of 2018, Katrina kick-started IllustrationBiz – a community for illustrators and creatives sharing learnings about the business side of illustration.
Website : Instagram : IllustrationBiz Facebook Community

Session Two: Workshop
Fitting it all in – An IllustrationBiz Planning Toolkit

For many illustrators and creatives, it is a juggle to ‘fit it all in’ – family life, a personal life, your illustration or creative business, and maybe even another job. This session is designed for illustrators and creatives, to help you organise, prioritise and plan your commitments and the tasks on your ‘to do list’. Participants will be encouraged to walk their way through a suite of templates during the session, to help them practically apply their learnings to the planning of a week in their life as a creator.

Materials: A printout of the IllustrationBiz Planning Toolkit, a list of your 2019 key goals as an illustrator or creative, a printout of ‘The IllustrationBiz Planning Toolkit’

Giveaway: The IllustrationBiz Planning Toolkit

Project Portfolio: Day One

Karen Abend

Karen Abend is an artist living on the island of Sicily. She loves to draw, paint, collage, design and illustrate. One of her greatest joys is immersing herself in the creative process and channelling that energy in service of a collaborative project. Currently that looks like designing greeting cards, illustrating a book, and organising and hosting the online workshop, Sketchbook Revival – an exploration of daily creativity in community.

Since the Sketchbook Revival Online Workshop, Karen has been cultivating her passion for daily creativity and is thrilled to be able to share this passion with a vibrant online community of fellow creatives. Through the Sketchbook Revival, Karen discovered how deeply rewarding it is to be able to offer support to others in developing their own creative practices.
Website : Instagram : Facebook – Sketchbook Revival

Session One: mini-workshop
The Heart of Sketchbook Revival

In this workshop session, Karen will talk about the profound discoveries she made following her Sketchbook Revival Online Workshop. Taking inspiration from the 100 daily heart drawings that helped kick-start her daily art practice, Karen will walk us through the process of setting an intention, sketching, designing and then illustrating a simple but effective heartfelt intention for what you’d like to achieve in Project Portfolio.

Materials: Markers, pencils, paints … or whatever you have on hand.

Plan Your Practice Toolkit: video and planning worksheet and 30-day tracking calendar

Penelope Pratley

Session Two: Show & Tell
Perfectly Imperfect

Penelope Pratley is an emerging illustrator, writer and educator living in NSW, Australia, with her first picture book ‘The Art Garden’, written by Penny Harrison, published in 2018. Using watercolour, ink, pencil and mixed media, Penelope always had a BIG dream to write and illustrate quality books to inspire children to read. With an aim to grow hearts, Penelope is currently illustrating two picture books due to be published in 2019 and 2020.
Website: Instagram: Facebook: ASA style file

In this session, Penelope will talk about her portfolio from last year compared to this year’s portfolio and how they differ.

for your Penelope Pratley PDF Printable Illustration

About Project Portfolio

Hi there! And welcome to the Project Portfolio! My name is Nina Rycroft, and I’ll be your host for this event [more about Nina].

For those of you who don’t know me, I’ve been illustrating picture books since 2000 [to view my books]. As well as illustrating picture books, I teach an annual 8-week [Picture Book Illustration e-Course] once a year. I also teach a series of shorter character development and illustration classes on Skillshare [to view my Skillshare classes]. Though my teaching, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some incredibly talented artists and illustrators. I’m always excited to share my skills and to help fast-track anyone on their illustration journey.

Through my teaching, I am always asked to teach a class on how to put together a portfolio. But really … there is so much more to a portfolio these days than the traditional style portfolio book. But rather than have me teach a class on portfolio, I thought it would be far more interesting to pool together the collective wisdom from our creative communities. We all have so much to offer each other … and by sharing our personal stories and insights we’ll be able to help each other kick-start, re-think, re-work, work on our portfolios, so that ultimately, we can get our work in front of clients and find work doing what we love!

My goals for Project Portfolio is to …

  1. bring together the ‘collective wisdom’ from our creative communities. I feel ever so grateful to have come across so much talent on my illustration and teaching journey. So much so, that I felt the need to hand over the reins for this one!

2. offer an ongoing community for participants to continue working/sharing their portfolios. Now for me, this is important. Whether you are just starting out or diving right back in, there will be something here for you. Sharing our collective knowledge is only going to fast track our individual journeys. So buckle up and stay with us on this sometimes bumpy ride!

3. Empower and enable creatives to establish a sustainable way of doing what they love! … This is a big one your guys! Being an artist does not mean that you need to be poor and starving! The very nature of creativity is expansion and abundance … so, let’s get our portfolios up-to-speed and let’s get to work!

Project Portfolio is a week-long programme showcasing a line-up of illustrators, artists, writers, and industry experts all sharing their personal nuggets of wisdom, insights and inspiration so that you can get your portfolio ‘client’ ready. Because at the end of the day, our portfolio the thing that we us to find work.

Sign-up to the Project Portfolio
Once you’ve signed up, you’ll be invited to join the Project Portfolio community page. This is where I’ll be posting the latest videos and links, and it’s also a place where we can share our tasks from the videos, and connect with like-minded people.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Nina 🙂