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What is wrong with my profiles? Help needed! Illustrator, Top Rated, but not getting invitations

Active Member
Anastasiia S Member Since: Jul 7, 2019
1 of 6

If someone can help me with at least one point - I will be very grateful! I wish many + to your karma Smiley Happy
I do children's illustration, watercolor, various 2D illustrations and coloring books.

But with all that latest updates, it became very difficult for me to get new job and understand what will work well and what will make my profile worse.

I have some ideas, what parts of my page are not good, but I don't now how to improve it right. 

1) It seems, since I create 2 specialized profiles, I stop get invitations. But I expected the opposite effect.

Specialized profile added any 1 expansion that I like - extended Skills panel.

I often see job postings where clients indicate skills and styles from specialized profiles.

I was thought, if I will add more related skills and art styles, my profiles will be better SEO.

In result, I only got more mishmash. Now I absolutely don't know what to write in the each overview. Should I write the text as if the client only read it? Or in the specialized profile should be shorter?

2) 97% job success. Smiley Sad Is it all because of it?

3) My portfolio. How do you think, is it ok for childrens illustrator/digital illustrator? 

I used to have enough projects and invitations. But now, even if I myself respond to a job, I do not know how to convince clients that I will do my best and that they will get very high-quality results.


4) Cover letter. (I put my latest in PDF) 
I know I need to write shorter, but how can I stand out if I leave only a few short phrases? 

In my example I tried to write sincerely and show my enthusiasm. 
I did very short cover letters, in a simple and "professional" style. But the results were not much better.

I absolutely cannot figure out how to write a cover, to show in that first line that I am the one who they needed. What words childrens illustrator can use to catch at first sentence?


Usually, I rather carefully select examples in attachments.

How important are the attachments? Maybe clientss see my strange English in the letter, and do not want to look at my pictures? 

I usually made few related collages as individual JPG files. Perhaps it would be better to make at one general collage, as I did in PDF?


5) Profile picture. Perhaps, is not good enough? I attached another photo, how do you think it looks better?


Community Guru
Sanja D Member Since: Dec 18, 2013
2 of 6

I think you don't need to put in hours remark - design  and especially illustration is portfolio based category -  clients like your work and they hire you - simple as that. 
specialized profile - quite a few freelancers complained about those (their portfolio got messed up, hours disappeared) - it seems buggy and I'm really not sure how exactly it helps...but, I don't have one, so I can't really tell...
on upwork design category July is usually a very slow month - so  I guess we will have to wait a few more months to see if changes in client's  packages pricing had any impact on the business here...

Community Guru
Sergio S Member Since: Dec 19, 2017
3 of 6

Don't over-analize... I agree with Sanja, when it comes to illustration people take a look at your portfolio, if they like it you win, if they don't you lose, and that's it. You have a clearly defined style and it's very neat, but clients come in all shapes and sizes so maybe you could improve adding some other kind of illustration too. What if someone wants a retro style in vectors? I mean if they are not looking for watercolors they will not hire you because they usually think what you have in your portfolio is all you can do. So if your samples don't match you're out. It has happened to me in illustration too. Now if you don't like other styles or you just want to do watercolors, that's perfectly fine! However you will need to focus only in job posts that ask for that specifically, otherwise you will be trashing your connects.


I think your photo is fine. Don't worry about it that much. Your English is good enough. And your cover letter must not be a monologue about your experience or what you like to do. You already talked about you in your profile. The cover letter should focus on what you can offer specifically to resolve that particular client's need. A cover letter should never be a canned format.


I can't say much about the specialized profile. I feel it makes things more complex for the client, so I am reluctant to create one. Finally I want to mention that this is hard even being top-rated, we are all in the same boat, and personally I think you are going fine.


I hope this helps you Smiley Happy

Active Member
Anastasiia S Member Since: Jul 7, 2019
4 of 6

Thanks Smiley Happy
I would like to expand my specialization, because there are not so many orders for watercolor only. Therefore, I try to do examples with digital illustrations in the same way.

Oh, to understand clients is an art.

>"And your cover letter must not be a monologue about your experience"
Very good wording, I seem to know this principle, but completely forgot about the use. So, as you described it, easier to put into practice. Thank you!

Community Guru
Kelly B Member Since: Jan 1, 2016
5 of 6

Well, a couple of things. Your illustrations are lovely. You have a very fluid, unique style, so I don't think the quality of your work is the problem. Personally I like to put a few of my portfolio pieces in with my reviews.. Upwork automatically connects them I believe if you specify that a certain portfolio piece goes with a certain project. On the graphic design side of things, I'd say your work is still very illustrative, so a client looking for a graphic designer might be less inclined to hire you for certain graphic design tasks.


For your cover letter, I would either skip that bit about 100 hours or put it at the very bottom. I totally get it, because I used to explain my lack of hours as well, but by and large I don't think clients really care about that. Then I would move your second sentence about joy and color right up to the second sentence of the opening paragraph. They'll either love your illustrations and you'll be exactly what they're looking for or not. I also like your alternate photo better personally.


I did the specialized profile thing and I actually think it helped, but that was to weed me OUT of all graphic designers and INTO someone who specializes in print books. I don't think I get a lot of invites out of my regular graphic design profile, just because there are so many of us. I don't know how hard it is to delete one and add it back in but you could try just using the illustrator profile for a month and see if you notice any change. Just be yourself and keep doing what you're doing. You are certainly qualified and freelancing is very feast or famine. Hang in there!



Active Member
Anastasiia S Member Since: Jul 7, 2019
6 of 6

Thank you for replySmiley Happy
And thanks to everyone who paid attention to my request! You cheered me up a bit.

>"I don't think the quality of your work is the problem"
I worry not so much about quality, but about style. Perhaps I should add something more typical for children's books.

>"portfolio pieces in with my reviews"

I tried a couple of times, but for a few days there was status "awaiting approval" or something like that, on that item. I was scared that the project could be deleted at all and returned everything as it wasSmiley Very Happy
But I will try again.

>" I don't think clients really care about that"
Well, if so.
But is the level of English in requirements important? I had set "basic", because I know that I can make mistakes in the construction of sentences, or use some words not quite right. But when I read, I understand everything perfectly.

I wonder how important this factor is for the books illustrator.
Can clients think that I will not be able to understand their book, and I will draw something wrong? Smiley Very Happy
(Anyway I don't want to exaggerate my level until I will increase it in fact.

>"I also like your alternate photo better"
Now it's even harder for me to choose( I am 26 years old, and I always worry that I do not look professional enough or experienced for serious clients. Although I started working as a freelance illustrator somewhere from 20 years old or earlier.

Of course, I understand that the most important thing is my works and portfolio. I just want to avoid the mistakes I canSmiley Happy