I had the wonderful experience of attending the SCBWI - LA / Tri-Regions's Illustrator's Day for the 2nd time in as many years. A wonderful experience for any illustrator or writer who wants to learn, observe, improve and be inspired by other illustrator's who have a common goal... getting beautifully illustrated, good quality material into the hands of our young readers.
From picture books to teen fiction, there was quality information to be shared by everyone. Portfolio reviews by seasoned professionals, and advise from art directors on how to present a portfolio and what should be in it.
In a nutshell: Keep the portfolio simple, and make sure it represents the BEST of your work, and the WORK you want to be doing. If you don't like a piece for any reason, don't keep it in your portfolio or it may skew the art director or publisher into a different direction. If your portfolio represents several styles of work, make sure the different styles are segreagted properly, so that there is flow and continuity in what you are presenting.
For more information about SCBWI... and other upcoming events.... click on the SCBWI link...