There are so many online portfolio sites. Some are paid and some are free. We’re still trying and experimenting. I can’t say much at this point about what works and what doesn’t. I’ll just try to share a list of sites we were considering and enter some comments about them.
Paid illustration directories / portfolio sites
- Directory of illustration – This looks like one of the more professional services out there. It’s not just an online portfolio but a much more complete site with a physical publication that gets to thousands of buyers. Seems very interesting, but costs a small fortune (over $2500). Maybe someday…
- Dripbook – General creative portfolio site. More reasonable pricing, starting from $90. Features a lot of artists
- theispot – Dedicated to illustration, a bit expensive (over $600)
- Contact A Creative – Illustration and photography, £100+VAT per year
- Folioplanet – I read somewhere that a while back they used to be free, right now they charge a something just to receive a link and over $400 to get an actual online portfolio. It is dedicated to illustrators.
- Picture Book – Another high end directory, I saw some respectable reps use this site. Very expensive (over $1000) Similar to directory of illustration above, has a physical publication.
- 3×3 Magazine – the magazine has a talent gallery, you can join in for a fee ($300)
- Society of Illustrators - I don’t know that much about it, probably deserves a bit of attention. I saw a book of the society in a bookstore. It seems that you need to get a recommendation to enter and then it costs some to be a member… but again I didn’t look deeply into the matter.
- Planetpoint – Another one that I didn’t investigate much. Hosts portfolios and reels (don’t know what these are) for a modest fee.
- Hire an Illustrator – This is the site I selected to pay for. It looks very professional, nice team, not too many illustrators use it (at least for now). Very professional contributers. Medium fee range (about $300 per year)
- WORKBOOK - Expensive, very professional. Has both online and publication options.
- Altpick – Don’t know much about this one. Modest fee for entry
- ChildrensIllustrators.com – Many artists, quite well known, medium price range ($350)
- The association of illustrators (AOI)
- Viewbook – Low pricing, just saw it today for the first time.
- The Creative finder / Taxi – Medium price range, seems professional. Didn’t read about it much yet.
Free online directories and portfolios for illustrators
There are probably more online directories and portfolio sites. There are web directories that just provide links – I won’t even mention those. I’ll give a list of everything I’m aware of and I’d be very happy if you contact me (or comment) with more so we could create a complete list:
- Behance – I think this one is by invite only right now
- Elfwood – More science fiction / fantasy stuff
- Saatchi online gallery – That’s a nice name to place on your resume. Fortunately/Unfortunately they let anyone use it for free.
So far, from the free sites – I published to DeviantART and Carbonmade. I decided also to invest a bit and to publish also on a paid service. From all the options I selected HAI, which is reasonably priced, has a great quality feel and doesn’t ask for too much commitment.
I’ll slowly examine the rest and see how it goes. Actually some of these are very difficult to work with as they require so much work. Otherwise you’ll find it’s just a waste of time publishing a few illustrations that soon enough will drown in a sea of other portfolios. There’s just so much talent out there…