Question submitted by Devere W. Sketches provided by James Paick

I was wondering if there is any value to including sketches in my portfolio, (call outs of details and other parts of the development process) or if its best to stick to single image presentation of designs like you did in your portfolio?

Hey Devere

Because concept artists are basically creative problem solvers, sketching and brain storming is usually the first step in the design process.  Instead of asking: “Should I include sketches in my portfolio?”, you should be asking: “What is the benefit to showing my sketches in my portfolio?”.  That means you will have to  determine how much value is in the sketches themselves.  I think showing sketches works best when they accompany a polished image (as call-outs)

I would include sketches if they :

  • Offer additional information or clarity that cannot be found in the finished image
  • Demonstrate a good understanding of the foundation skills (like form, anatomy, perspective etc.)
  • Are clean, presentable and can be organized well on a page.


Below is a good example of “portfolio worthy” sketches. If your sketches are on a similar level, then you may want to consider including them in your portfolio.


You also want to make sure that you have enough sketches to be consistent in both quality and quantity. Check out Feng Zhus school gallery to get an idea on how to arrange sketches in your portfolio.

Being that you come from an industrial design background (and assuming you are in the habit of designing not only the function of an object, but that object from all angles… chances are your sketches will make a great addition to your portfolio.

Hope that helps.