Years ago I had a request from Disney to submit my portfolio for consideration on a print project. Specifically they said they had selected me and 4 other artists and asked if I had any ‘underwater’ work. I found out it was for Finding Nemo. Long story short I did NOT have underwater work so spent the weekend trying to put some together. When the weekend was done and I was getting my artwork boxed up, I made sure to include the new work.
I did NOT get selected. Heartbroken (thinking this was my lucky big break) I told myself I was boycotting that movie. Of course I saw the movie and have gone to Disneyland since and seen every darn Disney animation since. But I learned a valuable lesson that weekend. Just because someone wants to see a subject matter that you don’t have, does NOT mean you need to create something just for them. Why? Because I was in such a hurry to just give them what I thought they wanted, that I was NOT true to my art, and sent something that did not measure up to my standard. In retrospect, I believe that was my portfolio downfall. I created two additions that were not as thoughtful, were not as well executed because I thought I had to.
The reason I bring this up is that last week I had an inquiring potential licensor. I did end up creating some new work to submit today. However I used my very serious editorial eye and did NOT submit several pieces even though they were the right subject matter. The work wasn’t good enough. Lesson learned that I want to only submit work that I feel is my best work. Now, if they do not choose me I won’t feel like I screwed up, I will know in my heart it just wasn’t the right fit for them, right now.
See full post here: one illustrator's perspective2011-05-02.