Anime Art Portfolio – The Complete Guide

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Written by Juha

Your anime art portfolio can be used to help you establish your presence in the marketplace as an artist.

While anime is a competitive niche, there are several ways to ensure that you can build relationships with clients and fans.

If you are an anime artist, connecting with your audience on visual platforms such as Instagram can deliver rewards for years to come.

Only Show Your Best Work

You should only show your best work in your portfolio. Never include pieces that are below the standard of the industry or below your own standards.

Remember that some people are really busy, and they may not have time to view all of the work in your portfolio.

If a drawing that does not display your best technique or skills is the one that they view first, they may not look at any of the others.

The only pieces that you should include in your portfolio should be those that you are exceptionally proud of.

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Do not include artwork just to make up numbers. Always try to make a good first impression with your work, whether you are meeting a client face to face or are connecting with them on a digital platform.

Ensure that the platform you choose allows your images to be viewed clearly on a mobile or desktop device.

That positive impression will remain with potential clients, and they will remember you when they require artists for their projects.

Update your Portfolio Frequently

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It is very likely that your work has improved over time. A drawing that was your best 10 years ago may be below the level that you are at now.

Do not include older works in your portfolio if they do not match your current standard. If an older drawing matches a theme that you like, consider doing the work again.

There’s no harm in exploring the theme in a different way. You’ll get to show how you have changed, and anyone who views the anime in your portfolio will know what you are capable of at the present time, not what you could do ten years ago.

There are certain themes that will be popular in anime for a specific time. 

It is important to show that you can work with clients on creative concepts that are related to those ideas. You can include drawings that are related to television anime adaptations.

Creating fan art is an awesome way to show your skills in understanding characters main features.

You can also look at anime that has received awards in recent times and use that as inspiration for a piece that is included in your portfolio.

Introduce Yourself

Your portfolio should include an introduction to the type of work that you do. Many platforms, including Facebook, will have an About page or an About section. This area should let your visitors know what type of themes you like to work on in your art.

If you have been trained in specific techniques, you should immediately let them know that as well. Your About page should make an impact from the first line of text and engage visitors so that they want to look at all of the work that is in your portfolio.

Make Sure the Drawings are in High Quality

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Drawings that have a low resolution are difficult to enjoy. If an image looks grainy, visitors will skip it and move on to another one in your portfolio.

If they look at a few and keep having the same problem with clarity, they will skip your entire portfolio and move on to another artist.

Some platforms are not as focused on providing a quality viewing experience as others. Make sure you look around the site that you’re interested in first, without logging in, to see if the images are of high quality.

They should be vivid and clear so that visitors can really see what you can do for their project.

Pixiv, Artstation, Behance are great platforms to showcase your anime art and to create a portfolio to. Another great way is to create a website that acts as a gateway to see your skills.

Online Presence

It is important to make yourself known as an artist. You should also make it easy for potential patrons and customers to find you.

To do that, you will have to be strategic, implementing elements of search engine optimization and social media marketing.

There are several extensive guides written specifically for artists, and you can gain a lot by studying these.

This article will also discuss how you can use popular platforms to build your online presence and make yourself known. These platforms that help anime artists to build their brand include:

  1. Pixiv
  2. Artstation
  3. Behance
  4. Instagram
  5. Facebook
  6. Pinterest
  7. Blog

Pixiv

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Pixiv is an online community for artists from right around the world. This means that you can easily connect with artists in your region, regardless of the area that you live in.

If you wish to work outside of your own country or collaborate with artists in other countries on exciting projects that change the world, this is one of the places that makes it easy to do that.

Pixiv lets you post your work so that others can see it.

You can also browse the work of other artists and be inspired. You’ll learn which topics are popular among artists who focus on specific niches or specific countries.

Pixiv also offers organized contests, which give you the opportunity to show what you can do and create interest in your work.

Pixiv also offers a service called fanbox, which enables you to sell your creations to your fans.

Artstation

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Artstation allows you to showcase a wide range of anime art. For example, if you produce anime videos, you can upload the reels here.

They have categories for entertainment artists and game art. You can also show your films and other media. The community gallery is a good way to let others see what you can do and view the work of other artists.

Behance

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Behance art portfolios include CG animation, motion graphics, and more. No matter what form your anime art takes, their platform can support it. 

Even artists who are also web designers and build sites for clients in the anime sector can easily display their work here.

You also have the chance to have your work featured in the Best of Behance.

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Behance badges you can earn when curators love your work or see it otherwise exceptional and noteworthy.

With the Best of Behance, their curators select art in different categories, allowing the artists selected to gain additional attention for their work. 

The site receives millions of views every month, so it’s a good place to get traffic to your work.

Behance has enabled me to get steady traffic of commission requests, and I can say that business people do visit that site quite a lot.

Instagram

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Instagram allows you to reach people who would not be on platforms like Pixiv.

Individuals who need anime artists and do not know about these other art platforms will not find you.

You must ensure that you use art-specific as well as general social media to promote your brand as an anime artist.

This helps you to cover all of your bases.

For example, if a community group wants to use anime to raise awareness of educational issues related to young people in their community, they may not know that Artstation and Behance exist.

They are more likely to search for an artist on Facebook or Instagram.

Instagram has several features that make it an asset to anime artists. Since the audience is more diverse than just artists, you are likely to find artists here who use anime to express their political views or even anime artists who work on murals or street art with permission.

If you want to make an impact with your anime art on issues that affect society, consider displaying your work here as well as on a platform that focuses more on commercial art.

Facebook

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Like Instagram, Facebook makes it simple for you to reach a diverse audience with your anime art.

Facebook is a social network with the largest number of users. You can also use keywords skillfully in your page description to benefit from Facebook’s search features.

The search field will automatically populate with keywords that are related to the type of anime art that you create.

Pinterest

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Pinterest is used by many artists who want to market their work. Pinterest lets you build your digital presence by using pins and boards. If you do anime related to animals, you can have separate boards that apply to each type of animal that you draw.

All of your pins should also contain accurate descriptions that make it easy to find you on Pinterest.

Pinterest is a visual search engine, and thus showing your work there might not be that bad of an idea.

Website / Blog

If you don’t already have a blog, it is important to get one.

While Behance and other platforms allow you to connect with artists, a blog with your own domain name gives you a permanent home on the Internet.

On a shared platform, you usually don’t have complete control over what happens to your art. If the platform changes its rules tomorrow, it could impact your profits significantly.

A blog allows you to build your clientele.

Most shared platforms allow you to include a link to your blog, so anyone who sees your work can find your blog.

Your blog also allows you to share more information about projects that you may be working on and issues that concern you.

This helps to define your brand more as an artist.

Making Money with your Anime Art Portfolio

Artists must be able to earn from their work if they want to thrive. Your anime art portfolio allows you to connect with potential clients on a wide range of sites, including Upwork, Fiverr, and Behance.

You can also create art in collaboration with a company that makes products for sale and earn commissions on each sale.

To choose between commissions and an upfront payment, calculate the potential sales of the product that your art will be used on.

For example, if you create a design for a shoe company via Upwork, you can ensure that you are paid a commission for every sale, in addition to receiving an upfront payment.

Some anime artists on Fiverr also choose to have a single payment made upfront, but you should ensure that this is the best way for you to earn well from your work.

Upwork and Fiverr make it easy to find clients who already have jobs posted, such as creating anime book covers for kids.

Fan Art vs. Original Art

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Targeting your audience is critical if you want to make money from your anime art on sites like Behance.

You should always have a specific audience in mind when you are creating the pieces that you want to display online.

If you want to work for a malt beverage company, you should make sure your drawings display skillful techniques in that area.

Similarly, if you want to work on art related to an anime like Pokémon, it is a good idea to create fan art for that and display it online. 

After that, make sure all the clients that could be interested in your work have several opportunities to see what you can do.

Although you may have your personal style, you should ensure that the work you display is compatible with that film house’s style.

They must see you as a good fit for their brand.

Fan art helps you to show companies that you can draw their characters. You can land jobs that way since companies can directly see what you can do for them.

If they see a drawing of one of their characters that you’ve done and they like it, they will want more. However, make sure you don’t sell fan art without permission, as that wouldn’t look good in the client’s eyes.

Dave Rapoza was able to do that effectively by drawing characters for TNMT. This boosted his online presence, and you can do the same. 

Always inject a lot of personality into any character that you create as fan art. This helps to make your work distinctive and has a greater effect than just focusing on mechanics and movement.

Conclusion

Many artists have never used a physical portfolio to gain clients.

Digital is the way of the future, and this makes it easy for you to connect with clients all over the world.

Share your anime portfolio on sites like Behance and include links to your portfolio on other sites like Fiverr, LinkedIn, and Upwork, which help you to profit from your creativity and raise awareness of your brand.

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