Featured Pro Portfolio: Anna Podedworna

Becoming an artist wasn’t in Anna Podedworna‘s original career plan. Following the advice of her teachers and family, she first pursued architecture, eventually realizing it wasn’t her interest. Taking a leap of faith, she dropped out of her master’s degree and assembled a creative portfolio. “I applied for a junior position at CD Projekt RED and by some miracle, I got in,” says Anna.

Today Anna’s accomplished portfolio includes work for such recognizable titles as League of Legends, GWENT: The Witcher Card Game, Cyberpunk 2077, Magic: The Gathering, and Pathfinder. We spoke with Anna to learn more about her inspirations, what she does to develop her portfolio website, and how she stays connected to her audience.


To start, can we talk about one of your favorite pieces in your portfolio?

I think my personal favorite is a piece called Bliss. It’s a rather simple painting – basically, it’s just a portrait but that’s also what makes me like it so much. It was a breeze to paint. I created it in September 2019 to mentally say goodbye to summer and get myself into the right mindset for the upcoming long winter nights. It was a very blissful autumn and winter that year I have to say.

Find prints of Bliss on Anna’s ArtStation portfolio website here >

Which artists inspired you growing up?

Growing up, the Pre-Raphaelites were my biggest influence. I was collecting any and all artbooks I was able to get my hands on. I still have a great sentiment towards their body of work. I was also really fond of XIX century Russian painters such as Ivan Shishkin, Ilya Repin, or Viktor Vasnetsov.

Can you share one of your favorite ArtStation Pro features, and why it’s your favorite?

My favorite feature has to be the blogs section. I feel like it helps to keep my profile alive. I was surprised how good audience engagement on blogs is. On many websites this kind of feature is a total ghost town, that’s not the case here.

ArtStation Pro users can create or import their own Blog. Learn more >

I love posting more casual stuff such as sketches, WIPs, and quick little drawings. I feel like it helps to keep my profile alive, even during periods of time when I don’t have anything “worthy” of posting to my main gallery. It’s also a great place to post announcements about festivals or conventions.

My close second favorite feature is analytics. Differences in demographics across platforms fascinate me to no end.

 

ArtStation Pro includes advanced analytics and tracking tools for your projects, and Google Analytics integration for your portfolio website.
Learn more >

What advice do you have for artists trying to make a portfolio that will get them hired?

I would say the most important thing is consistency. It’s very hard to judge someone’s potential off of only a handful of pieces. Two or three good works can be just a fluke. With ten or more you can make a proper judgment of the artist’s skill level and take a chance with them. When you are just starting off, building a gallery of ten plus quality artworks can be a daunting task. Nonetheless, it’s definitely worth the effort. A portfolio like this will be more attention-grabbing than even the shiniest art school diploma or highly polished LinkedIn profile. I’ve never met a client that cared much for those anyway.

It’s also good to have some idea as to what kind of projects you are interested in working on. It’s very hard to build a portfolio that will have at the same time stylized assets for a mobile game and hyper-realistic environmental matte paintings. Almost nobody can do both well. You have to pick a lane. I understand that in theory casting a wide net might sound like a good idea. Unfortunately, in practice, it’s a recipe for a very mediocre portfolio. But hey, you’re an artist so it’s not like you’re unfamiliar with risky career choices. Commit fully to your niche of choice and it will do wonders for the quality of your portfolio.

I have to say that the first job is the hardest one to get. It gets way easier as soon as you get that ball rolling.

Finally, what is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Go for wool socks instead of polyester. Unless you mean the best advice regarding art. In that case, I would go with the advice I’ve received from one of the senior concept artists at CDPR to always prioritize values over hues in illustration. On the surface, it’s a very straightforward idea but for me personally, it was an absolute game-changer.


See more of Anna’s work on her portfolio website.

Find out more about ArtStation premium websites here.

Read more ArtStation Pro Portfolio interviews here.


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