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New York - Day 3

Up bright and early Tuesday morning, after a pretty ropey nights sleep, on my squeaky bunk bed. Today was my first day with a meeting, and two of them for that matter. I'm not somebody that is overly confident in their work, and so I was suitably nervous for my day of portfolio reviews.

I hopped on the subway, and headed to my first appointment: The Society of Illustrators.

Society of Illustrators

An enormous group of us met at the Society, from Falmouth - almost half of us that had come out to New York. Though we had worked in groups to organise meetings, and schedule in appointments, it seems that nobody planning this visit had made proper communication with The Society, and out arrival was not officially expected. After some words with the staff, Peter Lott kindly agreed so see us all, in the library, upstairs.

A quick group chat with Mr. Lott, and tour of the Society was first. I got the chance to spend some time looking around the in house exhibition: The Art of MARCH: A Civil Rights Masterpiece (well worth a look if you ever get the chance).

One by one, each of us went to sit with Peter at a small coffee table in the library. The setting was informal, and comfortable, while having a one-to-one meeting made sure that any feedback was more personal, rather than a blanket statement.

My feedback from Peter was the best I have received in 4 years in university, and my 3 years in Falmouth. I left my review feeling positive about my work for the first time in years, and feeling like I could push myself more. I was given advice, rather than open ended observational criticism, and more rounded feedback - focusing equally on what he liked about my work, as well as areas in which he could see room for improvement. We discussed:


  • Do more personal work - this will show what you're interested in, and more of you.

  • Be responsive to the personalities of art directors - change your approach.

  • Change your portfolio often - art directors need to see recent work to commission you.

  • Look at the best work you are interested in - better them, and push the field of your work.

  • Don't undervalue yourself - you can always negotiate a lower fee later if necessary. Aim for the highest fee the commissioner will go for.


  • Alter the order of my portfolio pages - ensure that the hard hitting stuff is at the beginning.

  • Peter LOVED my Welsh Lady logo on the front page ( in my logo at the bottom of the page!)

  • My traditional/digital work is strong, and the colours use are calming.

  • Look into young audience, and packaging work.

  • Characters are strong - objects should take a backseat for character development.

Penguin Books

The meeting at The Society of Illustrators ran quite late, mainly due to the confusion, and how many of us were to be seen one by one, by Peter Lott. Because of this, there wasn't much time to be exploring in the afternoon and my next meeting was at 3pm, a little ways across the city. I made a small stop to grab some lunch near Times Square, and went straight to Penguin Random House.