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Help me improve my profile

Hello! My name is Amber and I'm fairly new to oDesk. I'm not too confident in my profile so I would love it if a more seasoned oDesker (preferably a fellow illustrator) could look over my profile and tell me what I need to do to spruce it up.

I also have a question- For my portfolio, should I organize things by actual date created or should I set my best pieces to a recent date just so that they show up first? How often do people look through your whole portfolio and how often to they look at just the first few that show up and move on?

Thank you in advance!!!


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I am not an illustrator but I

I am not an illustrator but I do paint and I am also pretty obsessed with children's books, so perhaps my opinion will be of value. Your portfolio is strong enough to make people go through all the work, so I wouldn't be overly concerned with order. In fact, it was strong enough for me to send your profile link to a children's book publisher I work for. However, I can certainly see that there are pieces there that have a special kind of magic, and I can see why you'd want them at the top. I don't see a problem with posting them according to strength, since you can always mention the dates you completed them in the descriptions.

The strongest part of your profile description is, in my opinion, "my style reflects a whimsical love for childhood wonder." I would move that to the first line. I'd also remove the passion--every contractor is passionate and it is pretty meaningless on this platform.

Grammatically, your 'mediums' need to be changed to media. That is the correct plural.

It is against oDesk's terms of service to post a link to a site that carries your contact details.

I am not an illustrator either, but

I totally agree with Kirsten.

There is real magic there. Sorry, can't help much but just wanted to add a bit of encouragement - I love your work, it made me smile before the first coffee had fully worked through my system, and few things manage that Smile

I also think your rate is too low Wink

I totally agree with Petra

I totally agree with Petra and Kristen! But I actually decided to comment because your League of Legends fan art is just gorgeous and very creatively done.

Amber, you have a beautiful

Amber, you have a beautiful portfolio, and yes, it totally makes sense to arrange the items in a way that your strongest pieces show up first. I'd also consider diversity and different types of projects when arranging the items.

But there's a piece in there that contains your contact info. Please remove the contact details from it as it is against the ToS to display your contact info anywhere on your profile or portfolio. Other than that you are one heck of an illustrator!

I wish you the very best of luck and hope you'll land great opportunities here!

oDesk Forum Moderator

Always reach for the skies, for even if you fall, you'll still be on the top of the world...

Your portfolio is great - I'd

Your portfolio is great - I'd say everyone who's serious about hiring a good illustrator will be compelled to browse all your samples, not just the ones that show up first. It would still be a nice touch to put forward your most stunning pieces (or your favourite ones).

Only one thing I could add to what Kirsten said - as soon as you get some feedback (and I'm sure that will happen soon and it will be a great one), bump up your rate. Your skills' value is definitely more than your current rate.

/// Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it's the courage to continue that counts.

3 suggestions, Amber....

First, watermark and trademark everything in your portfolio so that it can't be stolen and resold.

Second, double your least. You are far too talented to lowball yourself.

Third, don't just promote yourself here. Look for other online venues -- preferably ones that don't have as many lowballing clients and contractors as this one does.

Oh wow

Wow, thank you all so much- I was not expecting this at all! You seriously made my day- I think I'm still blushing. I'm sorry it took so long to reply- As I said I'm new so I wasn't sure how to check for replies to my post, haha. A very special thank-you to Kristen for sending my profile to a children's book company- Really, thank you so much!!!

I'll take the advice to raise my rate when I get at least one job on here. So far I've been unsuccessful, but I've only applied to about 10 total. I always get really nervous about writing cover letters.

I removed the piece with my contact info- Thanks for letting me know, sorry about that!

Watermarks were mentioned and I've started trying to apply them, but I have a question- Should I put them smack in the middle of every piece or should I place them according to each piece?

One last question- Cate B, you mentioned looking for work on other sites. Which sites would you recommend? I've tried to google some but they all seem a little iffy.

Thank you all again!! You've all been such great help.

Other sites like Elance,

Other sites like Elance, Freelancer, PeoplePerHour, Guru, Fiverr

Not Fiverr

John Bampton wrote:
Other sites like Elance, Freelancer, PeoplePerHour, Guru, Fiverr

Fiverr is as notorious for lowball clients and contractors as oDesk.

But the rest of John's advice is what I had in mind.

And please, don't lowball to get your first job. Raise your rates now. Once you get a job at a really low rate, then other prospective clients will expect to get you at that rate also...and it makes it doubly hard to get the next job. Start out where you want to go.

You're a Pro, So Set Your Hourly Rate

...on par with illustrators in your local, LA market. It communicates to clients and competitors that you're a player and at least YOU think you're worth it. You can always adjust that rate when you're applying for a particular job. It's easier to scale down your rate than to inflate it on a proposal.


Amber, have you ever seen the

Amber, have you ever seen the illustrations of Dave McKean? He's way darker than you and has absolutely no resemblance to your style but he also uses mixed media with graphics software. He produces amazing work.

Thank you!

Thank you so much for all of your help and encouragement everyone! I updated my profile with your guys' suggestions and fairly soon after I had 2 interview requests. I have also started looking around on the other sites you suggested.


That's great, Amber, keep going!

I just wasted far too much time in your portfolio again. I just absolutely adore your work. I keep going back to the Mouse characters especially. I don't know what it is, but they make me want to read the story they're drawn for.


That's great. Good luck to you and landing your first job! Love your Renekton comic piece, by the way Smile

Elance is one of the better sites, so if you are looking around I'd try them first. is also good.

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” - Inigo Montoya