Work Samples

Today quicker turned from wide-open to illustrate to a full-on job hunt.
My outlook has been a bit glum as of late… between me and my alumni career advisor clawing at every job opening posted, I have had very few contacts and less than a few interviews. I was losing hope a little- who got the job over me? What’s up with my portfolio?

I was feeling all of un-appealing. But my career advisor gave me some good words- she reminded me to stay true to myself and my style. Sure, some chick bagged a job over me because she sketched plainly in black and white, but that’s what appealed to that client for their brand, so mine can fit in somewhere else.
So today I hit the job leads once more, with an updated resume and a hint more of self confidence. By the end of the day, I booked a few interviews! That brings me to compiling some work samples, or “leave behinds”.

For any creative heading into an interview, its a great idea to give your potential employer something to remember you by. Youre resume should be spiced up a bit- I’ve been told my career specialists that the worst thing you can do as an artist is go in holding only white paper with Times New Roman size 12 text all over it (unless classic minimalism is your style!). I was encouraged to add an opaque illustration in that back, use some text that popped, and be creative with the space of the page.

Once my resume and reference pages where snazzy, I needed some work samples to give my interviewer. As any career advisor will tell you, you should bring a hard copy of your resume and references to the interview. Expecting them to have printed it is a bit rude, and by you coming prepared it makes to interview flow smoothly and gives you some brownie points. Instead of handing them a couple of loose papers, I always include mine in my leave behind- mine are a chic folder, with the resume and references pages (printed on cardstock so its a bit prettier!) stapled neatly on one side, and then my illustration prints, illustrator flats, and business card attached to the other side.




That’s how I’ve been doing it, because I looove that it is neat and professional, while also having the quality of being put together by hand. There are many other ways you can go about it depending on your taste- Ive seen

  • Actual hard-bound books (not a great idea, because you’re not going to actually want to leave this.. better idea to use this in place of a portfolio)
  • Cds with an Imovie or Powerpoint presentation (nice and tech-savvy)
  • Brochures
Those are basics, crazy-creative ones I’ve loved have been
  • Playing cards with the designers illustrator and photoshop work printed on them (very neat idea, could be costly though and more creative than actually functional)
  • Fold-out origami styled brochures


Really makes your work and creative signature come alive : ) These are the half-page fold-outs that are in my leave behinds-
Wish me luck!
xx Chels


One thought on “Work Samples

  1. This is a really great post, great ideas, i remember I wen’t for an interview once (graphic design job) and I only sent them a pdf of my Cv and that wasn’t enough, definitely next time I will make sure I have an actuall cv printed out, maybe even a mini portfolio book my friend that’s doing architecture made loads of a5 size portfolio books, and posted them away to loads of places think that would be great. And for illustrators to get commissions I think its a great idea to take part in different collaborations to get noticed and get your name out. I will definitely be looking at loads of PR ideas as a freelance illustrator when I will get more time, let me know how did your interviews go 🙂 x

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