A number of months ago I made the decision to enter a phase of making paintings that are solely for my illustration portfolio. After completing (or should I say reworking to death) several of the paintings, I have been getting increasingly frustrated by the inconsistency in style, from one piece to another. And I have looked at all of them for so long that I can't tell exactly why they aren't working together. This inconsistency is an old foe of mine and has been the largest obstacle in the path of my success for many years now. Fact is, there isn't any art director out there who is going to take their chances on an artist who can't deliver predictable results.
With that in mind during this last year, I have been diligently experimenting with process, keeping what works and discarding what doesn't. I must have absolute control of the medium, absolute control of the narrative.
And after the repeated attempts and failures I was really starting to feel like I was gonna lose control...of my mind! ;)
But then this morning I had this sort of epiphany thingy. I was working on a value sketch, and thought "what if I just paste this on a page with all of my other work and compare them all at once, so I can make sure it fits?" (instead of flipping through the images one at a time like a slide show) And low and behold -by simply adjusting some very basic elements- in a matter of minutes I had a piece that was much more consistent than before. And because I could see them all there together at one time... the ability to see what needs to be fixed in the other pieces to make a stronger body of work...its like night and day. I can see many elements that need to be changed and/or repeated throughout the other pieces to make a more cohesive portfolio.
And then I thought "Well, what happens if I take a bunch of images of my favorite artist's portfolios and put there work on separate pages, and then put my page up next to all of theirs and compare?" I think in that single moment I learned more about what makes a successful image (and what doesn't) than I have in a long time.
Sound silly? Sound ridiculously simple? Well, the more I practice at this thing, the more simple it all seems. It's all about the fundamentals isn't it?...
Posted by Jeremy Moore