A little over a week ago I contacted Stuart Price from the 'ideas agency' Thoughtful, a resident agency within Stockport College, who recently made a visit to the design pathways to give a lecture on what constitutes a good portfolio. At the time of their visit a lot of us were attempting to complete a deadline, and so sadly, I was among a few who didn't get to hear this lecture, which is a shame as it was apparently extremely informative, and dealt with the more professional side of illustration, which we aren't often exposed to.
However, after contacting Thoughtful, I managed to schedule a meeting with Stuart, to take a look over my portfolio. When the time came round Stuart was incredibly welcoming and made me feel really at ease, despite my being the last in a list of people vying for his attention. Immediately Stuart picked up on my paper-cut bee mobile, which I'd put at the beginning of my portfolio as I feel it's one of my stronger pieces of work, which has gotten the best result. He appeared to be very impressed by my papercut work, and seemed to enjoy looking through my portfolio, being very enthusiastic. Stuart asked what my tutors thought of my work and I admitted that they'd prefer for me to create more paper-cut work and didn't particularly like my paintings. While he disagreed that my paintings weren't any good, Stuart said that there was something much more powerful and striking about the cuttings, and that he could see them in a much more commerical context too which would stand out as he doesn't know of anyone else doing the same quality of work.
We talked about how I felt about moving more towards paper-cutting and the difficulties which it poses, such as needing to photograph work and be able to take control of the way work is shot, adding that extra dimension to the work and potentially creating really interesting narratives. It was once again clear that the paper-cuttings were much better received in comparison to the paintings, though simply because of just how enthusiastic Stuart was.
While we talked a lot about the work, Stuart didn't seem to have any problems with the layout and appearance of my portfolio, except to say that it might be an idea to take out the black paper between the prints in each portfolio sleeve, as this could be seen quite noticeably if a print shifted when the page was being turned.
Stuart said he'd been really impressed by the quality and attitude of each of the students visiting, and to feel free to show him future work, as he'd love to see how my work progressed. This was such a reassuring meeting, and having another person's perspective on paper-cutting vs painting really helped, and I came out of it feeling really refreshed.