What would you like to see in Visual Novel Portfolio?

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Rozume
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What would you like to see in Visual Novel Portfolio?

#1 Post by Rozume » Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:46 pm

Hi guys! I'm asking this question because I want to set up commissions in a couple of months but I realized I don't have a portfolio and I don't know what to include in it. Is there anything specific commissioners would like to see from artists in their portfolio? For example, an artist showing that they can do different styles? Anything VN specific?

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Re: What would you like to see in Visual Novel Portfolio?

#2 Post by Asceai » Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:52 pm

Example tachie*, example CGs.

For tachie, show an example with a couple of poses, expressions, outfits, so that when you list a price for a character, then a certain amount for each pose, a certain amount for each expression, a certain amount for each outfit... people will get a clear idea of what they are getting.

For CGs, I'd just go with whatever your best work in that area is. They're normally quite focused on characters, but this can be a good opportunity to show a range of different things (since different VNs have different requirements)

Plus examples of anything else you're offering (backgrounds?)

*standing pictures, paper dolls, character sprites, whatever you call them. I'm still not sure what the most commonly accepted term here is >_>

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Re: What would you like to see in Visual Novel Portfolio?

#3 Post by Sharm » Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:31 pm

If you feel comfortable with other styles showing a range of styles both in the basic structure and coloring it's a good idea to show what you can do. But don't post those styles if you don't feel comfortable doing them over the course of an entire game. It's okay to keep your portfolio pieces in the style you want to work in. If you're going to do backgrounds I would at least want to see both a nature setting and a man made one, since those can require different skills. I'd also like to see interior and exterior but that's not as important of a difference. For CG I would like to see the character interacting with something, either another character or something in the setting. It's even better if you can make that background and character the same ones that you used as BG and Sprite examples.
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Re: What would you like to see in Visual Novel Portfolio?

#4 Post by Fungii » Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:19 pm

Sprite samples, Background samples, and full illustration samples, like entire scenes, because that's what CGs are though most times i just gank and gaussian blur the background i've already drawn.
As for style stuff, I'd say like, choose 2 or 3 distinct stuff or link to a gallery with "more examples" rather than post 23497298 images just to show your range. Also offer the choice to mix n match style stuff (lineart style, colouring style, and, uh stylisation style). You don't want to just crap out lots of things to try and drill in your capable range, because they'll just get bored looking at a lot of things that arent what they're looking for.

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Re: What would you like to see in Visual Novel Portfolio?

#5 Post by sendo » Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:20 pm

As already said, samples samples samples! As for style, I agree with Sharm that you should only put the styles you're very comfortable with on your portfolio.

But also ask yourself what commissions you want to take. If you enjoy doing sprites then market yourself as a sprite artist, and fill your portfolio with your best sprite art. If you love painting backgrounds or CGs, do the same... Market your strengths, while you improve on your weaknesses. Doing commissions you personally enjoy will not only produce better quality works, it will help you avoid the dreaded burnout.
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Re: What would you like to see in Visual Novel Portfolio?

#6 Post by Tempus » Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:00 am

The most common advice for art portfolios is that a portfolio is only as good as the worst piece within it. An artist can have amazing portfolio, but it will be judged by the one or two pieces in it that are not quite as good as the others. Making a good portfolio is about catering to the needs of those recruiting and then being critical about your work (not putting yourself down) in light of that so that you choose only your best pieces that meet those needs. A portfolio can be improved by the removal of a not-so-good piece just as much as it can be by a beautiful addition.

As a side note, I'd say be aware that some recruiters will research artists. It's what I'd do before paying anyone. That means any profile of an artist that can be found via their portfolio can be (and for any serious artist, should be) thought of as an extension of the portfolio itself. I was looking at a person's profile on Deviant Art offering commissions and they seemed okay, but after just glancing through their DA blog I saw them repeatedly refer to themselves as "lazy" — not exactly a quality a potential client is looking for.

In short, good presentation is just as important as skill. Include samples, yes, but only your best ones. And arrange them nicely. I'd say three is enough, but more than eight is too many.

Anyway, that's my opinion based on experience and reading I've done.
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Re: What would you like to see in Visual Novel Portfolio?

#7 Post by Anne » Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:16 pm

Tempus wrote:The most common advice for art portfolios is that a portfolio is only as good as the worst piece within it. An artist can have amazing portfolio, but it will be judged by the one or two pieces in it that are not quite as good as the others.
While this is true as a commissioner I'd prefer to see the quality I'll be getting. Because it's quite often you see artists putting their original characters / contest works they've spent days on as an example when they are not ready to put that amount of work into every commissioned piece.

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Re: What would you like to see in Visual Novel Portfolio?

#8 Post by Tempus » Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:27 pm

I do agree that an artist should only show things they're comfortable working on, I just didn't mention it since it's already been said.

As a client though I would prefer that the artist I choose has good presentation. It means they can discern between their good and not so good art — something which in itself takes practice. It means when they're working on my project they'll be able to tell which of their concepts is the best and most fitting. An artist who just dumps variable quality artwork in their recruitment post doesn't have (or doesn't appear to have) the ability to tell how this affects the perceived overall quality of their work.

Also, the bigger the client, the less time they spend looking at portfolios. 20 seconds is a long time when they've got 100 applications to get through. If they see a single dud they close the page. If the page is difficult to load or navigate they close it. If it's playing annoying music they close it. If there's unfinished work they close it. If there's lots of superfluous exclamation marks they close it. And so on.

It's not necessarily true for all recruiters, but it's a good thing to assume as an artist, especially one who hopes to transition into a professional art career.
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Re: What would you like to see in Visual Novel Portfolio?

#9 Post by pineapplepocky » Sun May 18, 2014 8:08 pm

Phoenix, i'm asking myself the exact same question! *follows thread*

Although partly related to visual novels, I'm an illustrator, and one thing you should not do is to find an epic awesome piece you spent years on and post it in your portfolio unless you think you can pump out the exact same quality in the time described. Also, choose things you want to draw. If you like drawing a certain genre, then put up work that describes your interests. If you want to work with a bxb game, then putting out sample work of really hot bishounen is the way.

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