Having multiple styles in a portfolio is a blessing and a curse.
Sure this can indicate that you are versatile with medium/material and yeah this also means that you can illustrate different genres too and that’s fun.
However most publishers/agents/whoever you are showing your portfolio to doesn’t want to see too many styles. They want to know what they’re paying for. Consistency and an organized portfolio is the key to multiple styles.
Consistency in multiple styles? What I mean is make sure you can pop out that particular style anytime. Eliza Wheeler had a similar problem but she ended up owning those styles with a beautiful, prize winning portfolio awhile back.
Here are a few styles that I’ll have in my portfolio:
They are each pretty different huh? The first piece is digital and I tend to work obsessively over details when I work digitally. The middle is watercolor with photo reference, with some composition and color changes, of my cat. The next one is in watercolor as well however it’s more from imagination. I tend to want LESS with watercolor.
Even with my black and white I can still see that I apply a similar “paint” texture. And my shapes and drawing stays the same.
Ultimately I think it’s how you place each style next to each other that will make all the difference. Tell a story with your pieces. Use one piece to progress to another. Or if you are working to illustrate multiple genres split the styles completely in a creative way, that’s what one of my critique members did.
Just for laughs, here is one of my “older” styles…
Yeah, I’ll be having that in a separate portfolio haha.