While updating and getting my portfolio ready for the conference, I noticed how important it is to edit out my weaker pieces. As I looked through my portfolio, I felt like it had some good pieces and some mediocre works. I was having a hard deciding what should stay and which images needed to retire, which ones I had outgrown. As I striped away a lesser piece, it was immediately evident that it didn't fit. I paired down, to what I felt were the strongest illustrations. My portfolio was no longer a mix of hits and near misses, but the strongest work that I had created over the last two years.
Here is my online portfolio. Although you've probably already seen it!
Now that I can compare and contrast my work in that collection, I can see what I need to strengthen. What I'd like to add and what to improve. If I had held onto those other pieces, I wouldn't have had the insight to move beyond where I am now and what steps I need to take next.
I think it is a never-ending process, if I'm creating, I'm growing and hopeful producing better work. I've heard a study sited many times about two groups of art students. The first were given the whole semester to create one masterpiece, the second were told they would be graded on the quantity, not the quality of their work. At the end of the semester the greater work always came from the students who were graded on quantity. In moving forward and constantly creating, they had grown as artists and produced stronger work. Not every piece will be my best, but if I create enough work, I will hit upon a few gems along the way. The maturity comes in knowing which pieces to count as studies and which ones to put in my portfolio.
The photo is from the beach in Cozumel, Mexico. I love the winding shoreline, it reminds me of how I work, going back and forth over ideas, until I'm ready to move ahead. Meandering along the path before me, searching out who I am.