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Image of logo for the school of illustrations 'Building a Portfolio' online course.



As a freelance illustrator, your portfolio is EVERYTHING.  And its not just about great illustrations either.  Your portfolio also needs to have instant impact, a clear sense of audience, be finely curated and keep potential clients engaged until the very last image. It sounds a lot (and it is!) but never fear, our Building a Portfolio course is here to help you!


​In this course, we break down the process of building a killer portfolio into small, manageable steps. Covering everything from creating high quality commercially focused illustrations to curation, design and marketing, you’ll learn how to show off your work to it’s best advantage to help you to attract the attention of your dream clients.


Learning is brought to life with real world examples and behind the scenes stories from our own careers, plus a bank of easy-to-follow tasks enabling you to put your newfound knowledge and skills into practice so you can craft a professional portfolio that stands out from the crowd!


Who is this course for?

This course is suitable for: 

Career changers looking to move into freelance illustration

Graduate and early career illustrators who need a kickstart to launch into industry

Experienced illustrators who need a portfolio refresh

A selection of illustrations by illustrators Frances Moffatt and Nick Moffatt.


Bitesize lecture-style videos breaking down the foundational principles of how to create a professional, high quality portfolio that helps you to win those all-important commissions.

Module 1 - The Role of the Portfolio

·    What a portfolio is for 

·    Why having a portfolio is essential as a freelance illustrator

·    Why your portfolio can have several different audiences

·    Why it’s important to keep your portfolio updated

Module 2 - Creating a Body of Work

·    How to create a consistent, high-quality body of images for your portfolio

·    How to consider the audience and end use of your illustrations 

·    Why focused experimentation is important

Module 3 - Curating Your Portfolio

·    Choosing the right number of images to include in your portfolio

·    How to effectively edit your portfolio and select your strongest work

·    How to demonstrate breadth and versatility within your portfolio

·    Design, flow and engagement

Module 4 - Types of Portfolio

·    Different portfolio formats, including physical, digital and social media portfolios

·    Free and paid for online portfolio hosting options 

·    How to decide which types of portfolio are right for you

Module 5 - Designing a Portfolio

·    Online portfolio template and web hosting options

·    Why branding is important 

·    What to include in your online portfolio and why

·    Integrating e-commerce into your online portfolio

Module 6 - Your Bio Page

·    Why a bio page is an essential part of your online portfolio

·    What to include in your bio page

·    Telling your story and engaging your audience


Hours of video case studies and insider insight based on our own experiences as commercial illustrators

Another series of bitesize videos to accompany each Creative Fundamentals module, but more informal and chatty, kinda like a seminar.  These videos contextualise the module content, exploring real life examples and sharing behind the scenes stories from our own careers to deepen your understanding.


Topics include:

  • Portfolio case studies of our own successful creative practices

  • How your work can tell a client everything they need to know about you

  • The importance of keeping your portfolio fresh and exciting - and how to do it

  • How to animate your work in Procreate


Downloadable documents and tasks to help you on your journey and put the course into practice

A treasure trove of focused tasks to help you put what you’ve learnt into practice!  This can sometimes be the hardest part of the learning process but our easy-to-follow prompts make it a breeze.  Our tasks help you to apply your newfound knowledge and sharpen your skills to reflect, plan and take action to craft your dream illustration career.

Tasks include:

  • A 12 step plan to create a winning portfolio – make a schedule and stay on track

  • How to write an engaging bio page – breaking it down and making it simple

  • Finding your niche – identify where your work sits within the industry

  • Portfolio prompts – the best bit! Start creating those fresh new portfolio pieces

An Easel displaying the school of illustration logo in the illustration studio.
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