The Craft of Portfolio Artwork Mounting + KOLO Giveaway

Children's Illustrator Portfolio Header

Hello there! Welcome to the last post in The Craft of Portfolio Making Series.

Today, I will show you how to mount your artwork to a Kolo album. I am also holding a Giveaway for a Kolo Newport 8.5″x11″ or 11″x14″ Album (your choice).

But first, let’s recap. Over the past 2 weeks, we discussed “How to Put a Children’s Illustrator Portfolio Together” and compared a “Mentee Portfolio vs. Grand Prize Winner Portfolio”. Today we are mounting your work to your portfolio.

The Kolo albums have a custom, handmade feel that I love. The cloth-hinged pages fold over easily and lay completely flat. The woven covers are matte, their sheets are matte. There is nothing shiny or sparkly about these portfolios but your work once it is in them. For all images in this post, I have used the 8.5″x11″ Newport Album.

It is important to mention that I am not benefiting from sales of any of the brands mentioned in the post nor have I been asked to promote any products. With that out of the way, let’s get to work!

1. Materials.

To mount your reproductions to the portfolio, you will need:

  • Kolo Newport Album
  • 10-12 High quality reproductions of your best work
  • 12″ Metal ruler
  • Exacto Knife
  • 5-12 Exacto Knife Replacement blades
  • Cutting Mat
  • ATG Applicator Gun*
  • 1-2 rolls of 1/4″ or 1/2″ ATG Tape*
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • *What’s ATG? ATG stands for Advance Tape Glider. Years ago, I learned how to do professional, acid-free framing, and learned about materials. I loved the ease of use and convenience of the ATG guns and tapes and have used it ever since. While I was trying to get some links for the post, I found out 3M released a new gun aimed for scrapbookers. They have made a gun, colored it pink and boxed it with 2 rolls of 1/4″ acid-free tape. This scrapbookers’ version sells for less than half the price of the original ATG 700. You can see the tape gun, how to load the roll and how to apply the tape in this video. Please be aware that the yellow gun in the pictures in the post is my ATG 700 purchased in the 90s and still in use.

    2. Mounting the Work.

    Now that you have all your materials together, let’s get to work! What you will do is print your reproductions on white high quality paper, trim and then glue them to a Kolo sheet. Here are the steps in more detail.

    If you have any questions, leave a comment or tweet me @juanamartinez. Please, click on images for enlarged views.

    { Step 1 } Print your reproductions on high quality white paper. Download the template from the list below. Open with an image editor program. Place your image in the center within the white box.

    Using Photoshop: Open the .tif file template. Select View Guides (⌘+;). Place your illustration within the white area. Match the center of your image with where the guides cross (see image below on left). When done, turn your Guide/Template layer OFF (see image below on right). Send to print. This will allow for the illustration to print with no background.

    Using InDesign: Create a Master Page following the template below. Place 1 image per page using the guides. Once done, you will have 1 file for all your portfolio. All portfolio pieces will print with 1 “Send to print”. Guides will be transparent hence no need to turn Layers OFF.

    { Step 2 } Using the x-acto knife and metal ruler, cut around the image right at the edge. Do not cut more than 1/8″ passed your illustration.
    Note: Replace your x-acto blade after trimming 1 or 2 reproductions.
    Note: If you are using the 11″x14″ templates, you will have to trim your reproductions on white paper to 11″x14″.

    { Step 3 } You will have a white window and your trimmed illustration (image below on the left). Fold the white window in two along the length and width to mark the middle points within the window. Put your trimmed illustration inside the box and mark the middle points with a pencil (image below on the right). Make sure the pencil marks are both small and soft. Put the window aside.

    { Step 4 } Place your trimmed illustration facing down and apply the tape using the ATG Tape gun. Make sure your surface is clean. Try to get as close to the edge as possible. If some of the tape is left out of the paper, use your finger to roll it in. Watch this video to learn how to use the ATG Tape Gun.

    { Step 5 } Place your “window” on top of a Kolo Sheet. Align both perfectly. They will be the same size.

    { Step 6 } Start from the corner and place your glued reproductions inside your window (image below on the left). Check that your pencil marks match. Apply some pressure around the edges. Remove your window (image below on the right). Erase your pencil marks.

    { Step 7 } Repeat Steps 2 through 6 as many times as needed. Once done, place all sheets through the post, put the cover on top and screw the post in. If you are not completely happy with the flow of the images, you can reorganize them. Another reason why I love my Kolo Portfolio!

    And because I love pictures and I took a lot within the last few weeks, here are some portfolio details.

    3. Giveaway.

    You have probably heard enough about Kolo albums and are ready to buy one. Hold on for just one more week! I talked to the great people there and convinced them to give One (1) lucky winner a brand, new 8.5″x11″ or 11″x14″ Kolo Newport album (your choice). The album showcases your reproductions beautifully and meets SCBWI guidelines for the Portfolio Showcase! Pretty amazing, right? So here are the Giveaway details:

    The Prize
    One (1) Winner of an 8.5”x11” or 11″x14″ Kolo Newport Album (your choice)
    Any of the currently available colors.
    Note: Shipping is not included. The winner will receive a special code to use at time of checkout at

    How to Enter
    You can do one or all of the following. Each one count as an entry:

  • Leave a comment below telling me what was the most useful info for you in this post series
  • Follow me on Twitter @juanamartinez and copy this retweet on your status:
    RT @juanamartinez Enter to win a KOLO Album #giveaway
  • Like my page on Facebook and share the image from this Post.

  • Once you are done, leave ONE comment letting me know what you did. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced here on Tuesday, June 4th, 2013. Good luck!

    And this concludes the Portfolio Making Blog Post Series. In case you missed the previous posts in the Series, links below. Read you next week :)

    Children's Portfolio Series and Giveaway

    > Stay updated: email | rss | facebook


    • ATG! Now that’s what I’m missing from my life. :)

      Thanks so much, Juana, for this series of inspiring posts. I’m so ready to revisit my portfolio!

      May 28, 2013
    • I thought the info about how you took critiques and applied it to your portfolio was the most helpful.

      May 28, 2013
    • Howdy Juana! I just did all the requested steps for the giveaway. Hope my name gets picked for the prize :)

      May 28, 2013
      • I just realized that “all the requested steps” are steps to enter the giveaway three times. Reading comprehension is not my strong suit. :)

        May 28, 2013
    • That new glue gun is perhaps one of the most useful pieces of new information for me.

      May 28, 2013
    • Great post series, Juana! I loved every bit of it! I have been wondering where to get the cloth hinge pages for awhile so I can use it in my portfolio. I will definitely be using them this year! Thank you for the info, it was great timing! :) and I’m entering your giveaway (3 times!) so I can also get a new portfolio to make the change complete! :) Thanks again!

      May 28, 2013
    • Thank you for providing such a useful resource!

      May 28, 2013
    • Hello! I just RT’d the Twitter link. This is a fabulous giveaway!

      I think that the most helpful part of the series for me was your “Mentee Portfolio vs. Grand Prize Winner Portfolio” post. I had a great time looking at your images and thinking along with what strengthens a portfolio. I will definitely be keeping your lessons close as I rebuild my portfolio for children’s illustration.

      Thank you for these great resources!

      May 28, 2013
    • The most helpful part about this series, aside from learning about KOLO, was being able to see how you took feedback and reworked your portfolio!

      May 28, 2013
    • Ana maria

      I was following for a while from your FB page, i am just started doing my portfolio as a children Illustrator,and your clean and professional web page included your FB page has been an amazing tool for my next steps.The information giving me a great boost to start!! Thank you for your dedication to your followers.

      May 28, 2013
    • Wow, another great and informative post, Juana! Thank you :) I was already following you on twitter and FB, but I also retweeted and posted to my FB timeline. I found all your post really useful, but had no idea how to mount my work, and the above tutorial was really interesting, I especially like that tape roller- I plan to check that out. Fingers and toes crossed, I’d love to win a KOLO portfolio too :)

      May 28, 2013
    • It’s hard to say what was most helpful! I loved seeing your two portfolios! That is invaluable. Seeing how you mount your work is great too! I’m planning on doing that for the conference. Thank you!

      May 28, 2013
    • I also retweeted and shared on Facebook.

      May 28, 2013
    • Ana maria

      Everything is so useful. thank you!! thank you!!!.

      May 28, 2013
    • The most helpful tip was the point you made at the beginning to make a portfolio look as nice as possible, and not just stick copies into plastic sleeves.

      I did all of the above – comment, Tweet, and FB share.


      May 28, 2013
    • Sharalyn Edgeberg

      Juana, I can’t tell you how wonderful this whole series has been. I am putting a portfolio together for the first time, and attempting to show it at SCBWI. All of your information has been most helpful. I would love to win the Kolo album. Thanks so much for all this valuable information. I don’t know how I bumped into your info, but I AM SO THRILLED THAT I DID! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

      May 28, 2013
    • I entered by retweeting you ony twitter @KGIllustration . These portfolios look awesome!

      May 28, 2013
    • Thank you for these posts, Juana. I think seeing both of your portfolios and hearing the crtitque comments is invaluable.

      I’d love to win the giveaway. I’ve left this comment, tweeted and shared on FB.

      May 28, 2013
    • OK, so I RT your giveaway and posted to FB. I wanted to say thank-you again for helping others as you have been helped along.
      The most valuable info for me was your suggestion to examine my portfolio pieces for emotional interaction between characters and for elements which did not contribute to the overall mood/emotion. These small changes have already helped me look at my pieces with fresh eyes. Thanks.

      May 28, 2013
    • Wow, what an inspiring and informative series! I especially loved that you posted the advice you got from the mentors and how you applied it to your portfolio! Thank you so much!!
      (Comment + Facebook like/repost) I don’t have twitter, but I do follow you on Instagram @linamaslo.

      May 28, 2013
    • Dominique

      Thank you for a great tutorial Juana. I am a scrapbooker so the tape was not new to me :-). But I love the idea of using the “window” to place the art in the book. Also, I am a Photoshop novice, and I appreciate all the hints I can get on that subject.
      Fabulous posts! Thanks for taking the time to help us newbies.

      May 28, 2013
    • Tweeted, liked, shared…and the most useful for me were the visuals, being able to see how you progressed in your work knowing of the advice you had received. This has all been very helpful! Thanks for sharing it all!

      May 28, 2013
    • Thank you for this treasure trove of advice! I’ve liked and shared your FB post, and I’m sure all my illo friends will appreciate it too!

      May 28, 2013
    • Zach Roush

      All three blog posts were very useful but particularly loved seeing the difference between your bright mentee portfolio and the more muted winner portfolio the following year. Congrats!

      May 28, 2013
    • Thanks for all the helpful tips Juana!

      I retweeted, shared on Facebook, and here is my most helpful takeaway: the difference between your mentee portfolio and your winning portfolio. It was helpful to see what changed, how it became more consistent and more effective from one to the next. Also — I had no idea where to find cloth pages for inserts. Thanks for that too!

      May 28, 2013
    • Thank you so much for this inspiring blog series. for many years I have used a tradition folio – big and ugly. This technique has opened my eyes to how elegant and yet simple an effective folio can be. Thank you again Juana for giving yr time and experience.

      May 28, 2013
    • Such a great series! I was especially interested in the process of improving and choosing the right pieces for the portfolio. Thanks for a great blog!

      May 28, 2013
      • Ugh, sorry about this – but I also shared your post on my FB page! I meant to put that in my original comment, haha!

        May 28, 2013
    • Hi Juana!

      This whole portfolio series was fascinating. It’s hard to choose, but I think the most useful information for me was being able to view both the mentee portfolio and the prize winning portfolio images in more detail while reading about your growth. I have a feeling, though, that the technical aspects of putting together a portfolio will be most helpful to me once I get to that stage.

      I liked your page on FB and shared your image. I already follow you on Twitter but I retweeted your tweet (although that may not count because it wasn’t from my personal Twitter status).

      Thank you again! I am a bit of a blog addict and have been scouring the web looking for portfolio tips to prepare for SCBWI. This series has been invaluable.

      May 28, 2013
    • Juana, thanks again for a great post. I love how your posts are very practical. The post on comparing your Mentee and Grand prize portfolio was my favorite, as it felt like you let us in on a secret :-) Looking forward to more posts.

      I did all of your entry suggestions, FB, tweet and comment.

      May 28, 2013
    • LOVED all three posts! I especially appreciated the feedback you shared from the SCBWI mentors. I had always wondered what, from their point a view, makes a portfolio stand out. Thanks so much for this series!

      May 28, 2013
    • Thanks, Juana! This series has been so helpful. Learning about the types of portfolios was very helpful, as well as choosing work to include, and, my favorite…the ATG tape gun! I’m following you on Twitter and posted the Retweet.:)

      May 29, 2013
    • I think the whole series has been priceless! I really appreciated the feedback from the Mentors. You are a gem!

      May 29, 2013
    • Thank you so much for all three of these great posts. I bookmarked them to refer back to over and over. You are so sweet to take the time & share all of these great tips!!!

      May 29, 2013
    • Heather Nelson

      I have always struggled with getting my images straight on the page. Your window idea is brilliant! Something so simple can be so helpful!

      May 29, 2013
    • Heather Nelson

      I shared on FB, twitter, and left a comment! Go me! :)

      May 29, 2013
    • Juana!

      These posts have been fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing your work. My fave part was seeing you compare your mentee portfolio with the 2012 winner. It was incredibly helpful. I retweeted and posted on FB, because I know that other folks will find it as helpful as I did.


      May 29, 2013
    • Jauna,
      Thank you for sharing. I am impressed with the ATG tape gun. It is nice to see the process of how to put together a professional portfolio. I follow you on Twitter and FaceBook. I also shared your post.

      May 29, 2013
    • Kathryn

      Juana, it’s hard to say which of the three posts were the most helpful because they were all so informative and professionally presented. I did not know about Kolo so that’s a plus, and the portfolio before and after was extremely helpful. I think the step by step of which tools to use and how to use them was probably the most helpful to me. I have painted digitally for 14 years and don’t have many of the traditional tools anymore, like tape guns. Thank you very much for sharing your wisdom, experience, and most of all, your gorgeous art!

      May 29, 2013
    • Juana, thank you so much for this wonderful information. It has been so very helpful. I have shared it on Facebook, not sure how to retweet. Thanks again

      May 29, 2013
    • Gayle Wing O'Donnell

      Juana, all of this is worth saving and referring to as needed! I thought your use if the left-over piece from the cut-out artwork to place the work evenly on the portfolio page was so smart! Your videos are helpful, too.
      I am also liking your page on Facebook.

      May 30, 2013
    • Dawn Beeson

      Juana, thank you so much for this series! It’s always so helpful to see how others present their work and get great new ideas. I love the way you place images on the page by printing them onto a template and using the cut-out space for alignment! It’s so simple, and yet – for me – it’s a “why didn’t I think of that?!” I use glue tape all the time, but never knew about the Scotch ATG applicator – a new “must have” for me!

      May 30, 2013
    • Hi Juana,

      I love the way you used the window left from cutting out the art as a template. I also didn’t know about ATG, have to look for the Scotch pink applicator. The Kolo looks like the perfect portfolio I’m building my portfolio very soon.

      May 30, 2013
    • Sharalyn Edgeberg

      I entered by making a comment, and liking your FB page & sharing your post.

      May 30, 2013
    • I had no idea the ATG tape gun existed! This will make my life better in so many ways!
      I also retweeted on Twitter!

      June 2, 2013
    • Juana – It’s all been super – but your method of template-ing and using the ‘scrap’ to mount each page precisely was most helpful for me. I’m sold on the idea of switching to this type of album now, for sure. Thank you for all of your work in these posts!
      Oh, and I did all 3 things to enter the giveaway. ;)

      June 3, 2013
    • Patty Mynczywor

      Love the ATG tape gun and the templates . . . that was my favorite take-away from this post. Loved all the posts in this series though. Extremely helpful and inspiring!

      June 3, 2013
    • Patty Mynczywor

      Just shared your post to my fb page. Thanks for the opportunity for this give-away! Love your work.

      June 3, 2013
    • Just retweeted your post!

      June 3, 2013
    • I always thought we should use plastic sleeves to protect the paper portfolio pieces. But after reading your post, I see that it looks much better simply mounted on paper. Thanks for all this helpful info!

      June 3, 2013
    • Excellent post, Juana! We linked to it from Facebook today:

      And we Tweeted:

      Beautiful work. Thanks from all of us at Kolo!

      March 24, 2014
    • Pam Phillips

      Thank you so much for all the information. I’m just getting ready to put my portfolio together so everything was helpful. I’m sorry I missed out on the drawing for the free portfolio, it would have been nice to win one. I have an ATF tape gun and I have always loved it, I use to do custom matting too.

      July 6, 2015
    • Pam Phillips

      Thank you very much, I am just starting to put my portfolio together so everything was helpful. I have had an ATG tape gun since 2001, I love it. I use to do custom matting too, and that gun made it a breeze. Good tip, I probably wouldn’t have thought to use it.

      It was so nice to see your portfolios from different years. As well as the judges critiques. It helps give me perspective of what to put in mine.

      I’m sorry I missed the drawing for the free portfolio, it would have been nice to win it. Have you thought about contacting them and giving more away? If you do please let me know so I can enter to win.

      Thank you again, Sincerely Pam Phillips

      July 6, 2015
    • Thanks for the useful information.

      March 7, 2018

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