As an illustrator, your portfolio website is a crucial tool that helps both fans and potential clients explore your work. As a type of website a online portfolio is also the place for you to craft the story behind your personal practice, shaping its narrative in your own words, colors, and style.
One of the very first steps in making an illustrator website is to look for web design inspiration. We recommend eyeing some beautiful portfolio templates that you can use as a starting point for your own.
In addition, you can browse through some of the best illustration portfolios, looking closely to see what makes them work so well. To get you started with how to make a website we’ve collected a curated list of fifteen portfolios by accomplished illustrators worldwide, being sure to highlight some of the main takeaways for each:
01. Isabelle Feliu
Based in Oslo, Norway, Isabelle Feliu creates watercolor and gouache paintings that are reminiscent of an enchanted desert oasis on a hot day, filled with palm trees and hyper-stylish ladies. The alluring beauty of the places she envisions makes her illustrations into a visual wishlist of her dream travel destinations.
Isabelle’s illustrator website includes an art portfolio that showcases her works in a long scroll format. Some of her commissioned client work – such as that for Marie Claire or graphic design magazine Wrap – is highlighted using individual project pages. She completes these pages with short descriptions, contextualizing the works by providing a bit of background information.
Isabelle’s website also includes an Art Store, where site visitors and fans can shop her original paintings, tattoo permits, and more.
Miranda Sofroniou’s illustrations offer a whimsical exploration of sights and views from her travels around the world – from mountainside road trips to camel rides in desert dunes. Her illustration portfolio’s homepage combines these very different locations into a thumbnail display, using the Wix Pro Gallery.
The internal project pages of her illustrator website provide a more in-depth showcase of her works, ranging from editorial illustration, to book covers, and even illustrated products like jigsaw puzzles.
03. Brian Cronin
New York-based Brian Cronin has illustrated for publications such as The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal and Time, alongside his personal paintings which have been shown in various exhibitions worldwide. He’s also illustrated many book covers, and is the author of a children’s seek-and-find book series.
Brian’s illustration portfolio launches into a short animation to announce his most recent book, The Lost Cousins, setting a festive, candy-colored tone for the rest of the site. Lower down on the homepage, Brian showcases a selection of his works in a grid format, including many of his illustrated book covers. You can also check out these animation portfolio examples.
The illustrator website includes a selection of additional projects, a Press page featuring some of the positive coverage and testimonials he’s received, and an online store where visitors can purchase prints of his works. When hovering over the detailed illustrations in his website’s shop, we discover a close-up of each piece to help us see and appreciate it better – a great practice when selling your art online.
04. Naomi Wilkinson
Based in Bristol, UK, Naomi Wilkinson has worked with clients such as Facebook, Etsy, Airbnb, and Wix – and has also illustrated and created books. Her distinct style merges a nostalgic color palette with shapes resembling paper cut-outs.
Neatly organized on Naomi’s homepage are her many projects, consisting of gifs, illustrated patterns and greeting cards. She’s included ample amounts of whitespace, allowing users to move from one image to the next without distraction. Each illustration opens up into a project page, putting it in the spotlight with more images and a brief textual description to explain it.
If you want a similar look for your illustrator website, you can get an understanding of the best ways to design it by scanning through this collection of portfolio templates for creatives.
05. Rose Blake
Starting with the illustrated pretzel favicon, Rose Blake’s portfolio website is fun and lighthearted. She places a custom logo – a large word mark style logo making up her name – on the homepage, surrounded by a selection of small, clickable illustrations.
This unique navigation method is accompanied by a more traditional website menu at the top of the page, so that site visitors can choose their preferred way of browsing through Rose’s works.
Rose’s About page features a short bio and list of selected clients, accompanied by a photo of herself sitting next to one of her own illustrations. Presenting these details in a compelling and stylish way helps inform visitors and distinguishes Rose's work from that of other illustrators.
06. Levi Jacobs
Levi Jacobs’s works have been known to add a refreshing flare to everything from the pages of The New York Times to food packaging and more. Based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, his unique use of color, texture and shape is carried across the different mediums in which he works, such as digital illustration, murals and printmaking.
Notice how Levi makes sure to take quality photographs of his art in different contexts. By photographing his prints or murals and showcasing them as finished products, he brings his work to life on his illustrator website. Levi’s also kept his site up-to-date, a reminder that as an illustrator, you should make a portfolio that will grow as you produce new work and develop your ideas.
07. Ana Leovy
Having worked with The Guardian, Man Repeller, Teen Vogue and many more, Mexican illustrator and artist Ana Leovy creates colorful compositions using acrylics, gouache and watercolors.
In contrast to her lush paintings, her illustration portfolio’s homepage is clean and typographical. What makes this one of the best portfolio websites? With no imagery at all, the design nonetheless commands our attention while highlighting Ana’s visual sensibilities.
The use of text throughout her website boosts Ana’s personal brand, helping visitors connect to the person behind the works. The text on her About page, for example, does a great job of explaining her love for depicting strong, confident characters and celebrating diversity through her work.
Alex Gamsu Jenkins is an illustrator, cartoonist and animator from London. His work offers a humoristic exploration of the absurd, surreal and grotesque. This unique tone is extended onto his website design, starting with an animated, gradient logo of his name at the top of the page.
He has also made sure to link this same logo back to the homepage - an important design portfolio tip that greatly improves navigation and user experience.
His illustrations and comic strips are displayed using the Wix Pro Gallery, stretching over the full width of the screen. When clicked, the images open to full screen mode. This enables site visitors to view each of them individually, set against a clean, white background.
09. Nathalie Lété
Throughout her prolific art and illustration career thus far, Paris-based Nathalie Lété has collaborated with endless brands, from Gucci to Anthropologie, illustrated many books, and has participated in various exhibitions.
Her portfolio website opens into a splash page that depicts an illustrated cat, inviting site visitors in. The site’s background is a scanned page of a sketchbook, giving us a symbolic peek into this artist’s studio and inspirational stages.
The homepage design offers an interesting take on the website menu, using hand-painted elements – flowers, a hedgehog, a squirrel – serving as buttons and leading to the site’s different pages. The result is a highly personalized illustrator website design, that’s perfectly in line with Nathalie’s body of work.
Hedof, also known as Rick Berkelmans, has worked with clients such as Nike, Nickelodeon, and Samsung. His illustration portfolio places an emphasis on what his works look like in real life, whether they end up taking the form of three-dimensional sculptures, printed objects or mural paintings.
To indicate the diversity of his final products, Hedof shares photos of people interacting with his pieces. You can see individuals holding his printed illustrations, wearing stylish tote bags, or exploring his sculptures.
The portfolio is intuitive in its navigation, with elements such as a Back to Top button and a logo that links back to the homepage, greatly contributing to the site’s user experience.
11. Allie Banks
Allie Bank’s feminist illustrations send a strong message while bursting with imagination. The branding of Allie’s illustrator website is completely on point – using a light pink color scheme that appears repeatedly in her artwork – the feminine hue works its way into her logo, contact form, navigation menu and more.
While it’s easy to spend hours admiring Allie’s organized portfolio – she doesn’t ignore the fact that she wants her visitors to take action. An inviting contact form calls on potential clients to hire her, while a special membership program entices visitors to shop for products, collect points and receive rewards for their loyalty.
12. Abby Leighton
It’d be hard to choose a “Mount Rushmore” from the vast list of illustration portfolio websites out there, but if we had to – Abby Leighton’s site would most likely be on it. Partly because of its masterful design and content, and partly because her work is largely focused on illustrating maps of national parks and landscapes.
The off-white background of Abby’s site is a refreshing change from the maximalist or minimalist extremes we’ve seen in the web design trends of this year. Its subtle touch is emphasized by the warm desert tones used throughout the rest of her site, which are all perfectly on-brand.
This multi-talented illustrator provides an extensive portfolio which displays her work in posters, branding, wallpapers and more. Since she’s coming out with a new book this year, Abby strategically promotes this new project on her homepage. Using a charming image of her presenting the finished product, visitors can click through to a dedicated landing page for more information and a sneak peek at what’s inside.
13. Rafael Varona
Rafael Varona is an illustrator specializing in motion design and complex animated loops for TV and social media. One such loop is revealed to us at the entrance to his illustrator website – a quirky cityscape including animated characters happily “getting their groove on” in the midst of the city’s bustle. This use of homepage real estate is both intriguing and exciting, and instantly exhibits the illustrator’s talent.
Scrolling down to view Rafael’s portfolio, we can see that he’s highlighted a wide range of projects: illustrated Snapchats, infographics for tech companies, and animated loops. It’s a reminder to every creative creating a portfolio website to display works that demonstrate your diverse capabilities.
Before we bid Rafael ado – let’s take a moment to appreciate his modern logo design, expertly turned into a favicon to seal the professional look of the website.
Natalia is an illustrator based in Barcelona whose site is bright, colorful and easy-to-navigate. She proves that creatives can be business savvy by organizing and promoting her own illustration course: “Developing Your Own Illustration Style.”
Should you as an illustrator venture into a side hustle like Natalia, you can learn a thing or two from her about marketing online using your portfolio website. Natalia anticipates that her visitors are a good target audience for the course, and entices us to sign up with two clever methods.
First, upon entering her site, visitors are presented with a well-designed lightbox which displays a short blurb about the course. Second, she places an additional advertisement by adding a strip to the top of her homepage, including an effective call-to-action button encouraging users to register and “Get 2 Weeks Free!”
15. Johanna Puhl
Apart from Johanna's alluring and mystical illustrations, the actual star of her online illustration portfolio is the bold – yet charming – entrance to her online store. Encouraging website visitors to purchase her work, Johanna places a small icon of a shop sign, paired with a colloquial call-to-action “Buy Some Art”. Engaged customers will be delighted to find that Johanna’s shop offers plenty of items to collect: dainty cotton bags, playful calendars, wrapping paper and more.
Johanna’s contact page stands out with an authentic bio and friendly headshot. She gives us just enough information to appreciate the industrious hands behind her products and illustrations. Furthermore, including a mailing list sign up form on her site is a great way to potentially build her following, keep in touch with her current clients, and update fans when she comes out with new work.
Why you should create an illustration portfolio
Now that you are inspired by these incredible illustration portfolios, it is time to learn why you should create one in the first place. There are a number of benefits for any illustrator, whether aspiring or established:
Showcase your work. Your portfolio is a chance to show potential clients what you are capable of and should include a variety of illustrations that highlight your different styles and techniques.
Build your career. As you build your portfolio, you will start to develop a reputation as an illustrator. This will make it easier to get work and to move up in the industry. When you have a portfolio, you are more likely to be noticed by art directors and clients. They will be able to see your work and decide if you are a good fit for their projects.
Learn and grow. As you create your portfolio, you will learn a lot about illustration. You will learn how to draw, how to use different illustration software, and how to market yourself. These are all very valuable skills for illustrators to have, and constant learning and growing is how you stay at the top of your game.
Tips to create illustration portfolios
It's time to get started. Here are some tips for creating an illustration portfolio:
Brainstorm your goals. What kind of illustration do you want to do? What are your strengths as an illustrator? Hone in on your niche and what your "thing" is. Once you know your goals, you can start to create a portfolio that will help you achieve them.
Choose the right illustrations and stay updated. Your online portfolio should only include your best work, so choose illustrations that showcase your unique style and techniques. As you continue to illustrate, you will need to keep your portfolio updated. Add new illustrations as you get them, and remove any illustrations that are no longer relevant.
Hire the professionals. If you can, hire a professional photographer or designer to help you with your portfolio. They will be able to make you look your best and to capture your unique style.