My visit to London was rather short and sweet sadly due to financial issues so couldn't stay for the whole 3 days but I still found it very rewarding and ended up coming back to Manchester with bags more confidence. I wasn't completely 100% satisfied with my portfolio at the time but I didn't want to let it stop me from going so I bit the bullet and got myself out there. I wish i'd gone with a more substantial set of work like I feel I have now because I think I would've found it much easier to talk about my work and come across as more confident. I arranged a visit with Harper Colins, who were extremely friendly and even though it was rather brief, I felt like i'd achieved something. I spoke to Julian Humphries, the Art Director and he took a liking to my Sinbad the Sailor work. He said it takes a lot of courage for students to come in and sit down and talk about their work, plus it's impressive when someone goes and makes that extra bit of effort to research the company first by finding out names which adds a more personal approach. We didn't discuss my work in too much detail, it was mainly about the Illustrating industry as a whole and I asked him about the sort of things like how do they prefer to view somebody's work. They said they preferred to view a clear, neat online PDF portfolio so they can cut straight to the person's work instead of receiving hoards of parcels of work in the post which I can understand. It comes across as being more professional if the person has their own website and is easy to find online. At the end of the day, they want to be able to quickly flick through the illustrators work, cut to the chase and see if they are capable of producing the work for a specific brief.
As mentioned before, it has only really been in the past month that I've felt tonnes more confident about my work so I have sent my online portfolio to a number of companies, most of them on my client list so i'm awaiting replies. I will post feedback on here once received.