BA (Hons) Illustration – portfolio advice

Sending in a digital portfolio

Make sure that you have good quality images to send, we want to see a variety of work not just finished imagery. Have the work organised as you would in a physical portfolio and send it to us as a PDF file. 

If you are unsure how to make a PDF, using Adobe Acrobat it is as simple as:

1. Within Acrobat, click on the Tools menu and select Combine Files.

2. Click Add Files to select the files you want to include in your PDF.

3. Click, drag and drop to re-order the files and pages. Double-click on a file to expand and rearrange individual pages. Press the Delete key to remove unwanted content.

4. When finished arranging files, click Combine Files.

5. Click the Save button. Save as your name not just ‘portfolio’.

What to put in your portfolio

You don’t have to show us everything, but your portfolio will probably contain around 20 images. Make sure the file is not too large, if it is above 5mb try and resize or re-scan the images.

Show us images from your sketchbooks, don’t worry if you think they look messy, that doesn’t worry us, we want to see how you think through and develop ideas.

Show us some life drawing, again careful how you photograph these, as large drawings may need to be photographed using studio lighting to get the best possible results. If you don’t have any life drawings make sure you show us some figure drawing.  

Show us current projects you are working on even if you haven’t finished them yet.

Show us some research, who are you interested in, which artists/illustrators influence you?

Feel free to annotate the images to explain the work if you feel it necessary.


You can submit your portfolio anytime to artsportfolio@plymouth.ac.uk

  • Submit your work as digital images only, taken from either original digitally-based work, scans of flat work, or photographs of three-dimensional work.
  • Your portfolio should be a collection of JPEG images saved as either a single compressed file, if JPEG format, OR as a single compressed file or single combined file, if PDF format.
  • Acceptable digital formats are limited to only JPEG or PDF files; we cannot guarantee that we will be able to view work sent in other formats, so please adhere to the guidelines.
  • Online portfolio submissions can also be considered, but please ensure that the files are public and can be viewed by anyone with a link.