Making a Portfolio of your work and MOO

Posted: September 22, 2010 in Uncategorized

Painting small scale models (28-52 mm) for others is an interesting side job that I’ve had the luxury of doing this for a while.  I honestly don’t get a feeling that I am working when I do this, more of letting my creativity spark come out and play to see what the result might be.   I enjoy sitting down with someone who explains to me their concept of a model, and if I think I can do it.  To date, I’ve never turned anyone down, telling them that I’m willing to give it a go, and see what I might be able to come up with for them.   After taking notes on their idea, and maybe a few sketches, then in a short period of time,  produce a finished concept model for them to critique, it’s a great feeling when you see their eyes light up, and they exclaim something along the lines of,  “Awesome! That looks great!”, or “That’s just what I wanted, how’d you do that?”   I pride myself on this, as well as getting lots of pictures of it before and after painting, to make myself a portfolio of sorts.

Because of this, I’ve got file on top of file of pictures, works in progress, paint schemes and more, around 10GB the last time I dared look.  When I have a consultation requested, I try to feel the person out ahead of time, so I can try to get an idea of what they might be looking for, to make sure and have some pictures or previous models at hand to show them as examples of some of the various techniques I have previously used.  This seems, at times, to be a daunting task, sifting through this and that, to find what I need (even with as organized as my portable hard drive is, I still get stuck at times on what to weed out and use) to pull and use.  I thought about printing pictures out at one point, then decided that I’d also need to invest in a binder that would last for them, and that pulling something like that out could look rather daunting to a prospective customer.

I happened to be on facebook one day, and the ad popped up for MOO, with the idea of a “pocket sized portfolio”.  I kind of stopped, read it, and immediately clicked on it, thinking, hey, let’s see what this is all about.

I surfed around their site for quite some time, being amazed at the business cards, that I could get 50 different, colour images on them, and started thinking, this could be exactly what I need for both my miniatures and my photography studio as well. (Side Note:  I am also a photographer & drive a tractor trailer, so the idea of a tiny portfolio rather than a large one and having my large prints ruined by being in the truck with the changing weather conditions, and the vibrations seemed like a brilliant idea in addition to everything else)

Being that putting the pictures of my models onto the cards  puts them at the size of most infantry sized models, this seemed like a great idea, lots of examples to show a future client, and it doesn’t look as intimidating as a binder full of pictures does on the table.  I am saving up the money to get 2 sets of these for my miniatures, and a set for my studio, so I can showcase my work in a small space.   Doing something like this gives an artist more flexibility, so you don’t have to make the dreaded statement “I’m sorry, I don’t have shots of that particular model”, or “I didn’t bring that one with me, but you can go to http://www.–.com when you get home to see how it turned out.” While I know that you can’t predict everything and have everything with you at once, doing something like this gives you more flexibility.  Also it gives you more of a professional appearance than if you were to bring a laptop and spend 10 minutes searching for something, or flipping though stacks of pictures until you found what you were looking for.

For those who run a studio with multiple artists under one roof, using something like this gives you the opportunity to have multiple artists’ work available in a smaller space as well.  If you have artists who have a particular specialty or  favourite medium, it works well too.

For example:

Studio “A”

Has 3 painters, 1 specializes in infantry sized models (minis would be about average size on the card for a 28mm figure), while one specializes in creating custom banners and standards (cards could show examples of previously completed projects actual size) and the other specializes in bases (hence showing the bottom portion of the model on the card, highlighting the base).

Rather than have a lot of models that can be easily broken when handled by multiple people (or just that one shot of a model done for a customer), lots of shots in a binder, or digital gallery for each model (which could bore a customer, flipping through an extensive online gallery) you could have each artist do a set of these cards, highlighting their 20 best works (or more if need be) and the set has their information on the back.

This comes in handy when someone is flipping though the cards and says “I would like something done like that” and on the back of the card it has the artist name/contact information and possibly the name of the project on it as well, clearly referencing what the customer is asking about.  Even if someone were to keep one of the cards, or hand them out business cards with an example of their work on it.  Doing this at an event such as Gen-Con, or a similar event,  they have the artist’s information and an example of their work to look at, without having to go anywhere.  Makes packing for an event of that nature easier too, bring a couple decks of these cards, versus packing models that could break on the way, or binders of pictures that could get lost or worse.

Studio “B”

Has 6 people. 2 people paint miniatures, 2 with photography, 1 digital artist, and a sculptor.  You could have an easy portfolio, for each of them,  as well as choosing a piece of work that best represent each artist and each could have their own full colour business cards.  Especially with digital artist and photographers, this is such a minimal investment for the potential outcome!  Also, the photographers and digital artist will appreciate the miniature business cards, and the frame you can get to showcase them!  I really like the innovation in this design, personally.

Making your own cards is a snap, you can either upload the pictures and let them fit it on the card on the site, or you can download the template in either a .jpg or .psd file.  This works with either the Paint program, or various versions of Photoshop (including Elements), by simply opening it, and following the instructions provided.  You then upload that picture when you go to MOO to upload, and voila, you’re on your way to getting the cards! You may find it a bit time consuming to do this, but I feel that the time spent is justified given the results. By downloading the template, you ensure you’re putting exactly what you want where you want it on the business card, which gives YOU the user, more control over the finished product.


I highly recommend you checking out their site, and seeing what it could do for you, as a miniature model painter.  It will only take you a minute, but the results could help your business in the long run.  a $22-25 investment, for 50 regular business cards that can have 50 different FULL COLOUR designs on them.

Gives you the ability to showcase 50 different miniatures or projects, at actual size!!


*****Red Stick Studio recommended product*****


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