One question new and aspiring illustrators often ask me is “What should I put in my portfolio.” Another is “Is my portfolio good for kidlit?” Many need suggestions or portfolio prompts of children to get a handle on filling in their web sites.
In order to illustrate for children, one has to be able to draw children. Children moving, with a variety of facial expressions. Children alone doing something, or in a group interacting with each other, or with an adult engaged in appropriate activities. Children or different genders, abilities, ages and ethnicity is also important. Day-to-day activities as well as flights of fancy. All images in a children’s illustration portfolio should show a snippet of a story, like a snap shot in a timeline.
Here is a list of portfolio prompts of children, in no particular order, to help you get started.
- Brother and sister visiting a farm at the pig pen
- Daring child at a skate board park
- Play date at the local park
- Halloween trick or treating
- Learning to ride a bike
- Sleep-over party
- Sneaking the frosting off a cake
- Waving goodbye to a favorite playmate who’s moving far away
- Taking a test at school
- Hunting for worms
- Sick in bed
- Climbing a tree
- Dancing in the rain
- Birthday party
- Playing hopscotch
- Climbing on counter to steal cookies from the cookie jar
- Best friends
- Ballet classes
- Favorite stuffed animal toy
- In the woods with Daddy
- Little red wagon with big sister
- Kite flying contest
- Mean kid at school
- Karate class
- Playing super heroes
Can you think of any additional portfolio prompts for kids in action? I’ll add them to the list.