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FIVE ESSENTIAL TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR PORTFOLIO. In 2014, my wife and I went to our first ever American comic book convention as a fully married couple.

It was held at the Javits Convention Center, New York City, where over one-hundred-and-fifty thousand people gathered together to celebrate and connect with those in the industry.

Trust me, we both had a right blast, running from one side of the convention hall to another, trying our best to deliver sample pages while looking for some work!


Unfortunately, we weren’t too successful, despite the fact that we got to speak to many professionals and received some constructive criticism. Most notably from the legendary artist, Joe Kubert, who was a real pleasure to meet.

Years earlier, around 2011, I remember doing exactly the same thing, only this time I was handing out samples all by myself.

I did get lucky though — extremely lucky — because I somehow caught the attention of a fairly big publisher, Zenescope Entertainment, who contacted me several months later and asked me to do a one-page test.

Test Sample for Zenescope
Test Sample for Zenescope

Obviously, I jumped at the chance, and the next thing I knew, Ka-Pow!, I got the job. 
Well, to get a good gig in the mainstream comic book industry you need to master two distinct disciplines: Drawing Storytelling. So what I’m going to share with you today is what you need to know in order to impress the editors and get a job with a publisher:


When you submit your pages you must be able to show that you can draw and tell a clear and concise story. This must include the use of perspectivecompositionanatomy, and proportion, as well as other drawing techniques.

Furthermore, you should also be able to demonstrate that you can draw details such as handsfeetvehicles, and buildings, as this will tell the editor that you have the ability to cover a wide range of visuals. 

2) BE REAL: 

Even though the vast majority of comic books feature superpowered heroes doing spectacular things, like lifting trucks, smashing planes, and, you know, that sort of thing, try to keep in mind that you also have to be able to draw real people doing normal things.

After all, there are real people in comic books (allegedly). 

Me and the Legend. Thank you Joe Kubert.
Me and the Legend. Thank you Joe Kubert for everything you’ve done for the comics community.


Along similar lines, pay extra close attention to the environments and backgrounds within your work because they are an essential part of the story.

Seriously, creating a grid of lines just won’t cut it, so try to construct your buildings and make them look real! 


It’s always a good idea to try to draw quiet scenes featuring normal people as well as smartly composed action scenes featuring super-heroes.

That way you can show variation through your work. 


Another way of showing variation is to draw a small three-to-five-page sequence along with a couple of pin-ups!

Well, this is a comic book format, and the editors will want to see that you can draw pages with actual panels!

So there you go, folks. Five quick tips to make your portfolio impress the editors!! Good luck!

NEXT: The #1 Little Dirty Secret

composition for artists

This article was brought to you by Brazilian born, Rod Rodollfo from Alpha Brain Art Studio. Please feel free to download the Master Page Template used by Rod on many Published Comic Books by signing up  here! And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow him on his websitetwitter, and facebook pages.

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