Yesterday's post in regards to Portfolios.com prompted a response from an anonymous reader:
You might want to check out their testimonials, rather than accepting the opinions from illustrators who have too much time to spend online because they aren't working.
My hero is Drew Struzan, one of the most successful illustrators in the world. He's using them.
I put my money where the most successful artists are promoting themselves.
If you are not serious about wanting freelance work, then stick it out in places where art directors don't go and won't find you.
Exposure and marketing is the ONLY way to succeed, free and cheap generally means you get what you pay for. People looking to "hire" someone on spec or for little money.
How many people really make money off of being on Deviant Art or Myspace?
If after looking over hundreds of portfolios a week, someone sees potential in you, shouldn't you be appreciative instead of maligning them?
First off, thanks for taking the time to comment. Here you will learn that I am not so stubborn as to ignore any opinion that differs from my own. A trait I pride myself on.
But before that, I'm gonna nit-pick a little.
In regards to your "opinions from illustrators who have too much time to spend online because they aren't working" comment, I think you misunderstood the type of web community they come from. It's a relatively small, close-knit forum made up of seasoned illustrators and young freelancers/comic artists looking to further their skills and knowledge of the industry. I won't reveal it to you (I haven't asked permission from the posters to relay their comments here on my blog, which is why they remain anonymous), suffice to say that the the community in question is nothing like MySpace or DeviantArt. I haven't even attempted to promote my work on those sites as it seems largely fruitless to me. The illustrators who responded to my initial query on the forum are all successful practising freelancers. You'll just have to take my word for it.
Anyway, back to the question in hand: Portfolios.com. Perhaps I was a little hasty in dismissing the site altogether. I am just naturally suspicious of unsolicited e-mails asking for $400. I don't think you can blame me for that. However, your response prompted me to find some fellow Aussie illustrators on the site and e-mail them asking how it worked out for them. I've only had one response so far, and here it is:
Hi Joe, well as it happens, I'm just updating my website [on Portfolios.com] now. I have sent out quite a few direct emails to US contacts (given 50 of my choice as part of the deal) and have had absolutely no response. But I have found it useful to send to Australian contacts to keep them up to date with my work. I've been on it for six months and have had no response, but as I said, it's helpful as a website address.
So there you go, probably not very illuminating, but I guess I'm still in the dark myself about it. I keep thinking if I just get one job from it, it'll be worth it.
I'm in the process of creating a new portfolio site at the moment, so I don't think another web address to call my own is worth the $400. Still, I'm not going to make a concrete decision until I've had some more responses.
Again, thanks for the comment, Mr. or Ms. Anonymous. Let's keep this dialogue open.