By Nicole Tinkham
If someone were to ask to see your art portfolio, what would your response be? Do you have one? Do you even know what the purpose of one is? If you’ve never heard of it, an art portfolio is basically a resume for artists used for a new job or when trying to get into an art gallery. And even if you don’t have plans for either, that doesn’t mean you should ignore the idea altogether. Aside from the professional use, art portfolios are also a nice reminder to yourself of how far you’ve come and a great way to show off your work to friends and family. Let’s face it; you rarely have your artwork readily available to show samples of. This can help! Whether you’re doing it just for you or you have something in particular you’ll need one for, read on for 12 quick tips for creating an art portfolio.
1. Best work only. We know how difficult it is to eliminate some things from your art portfolio (although, it is really awesome that you love your own work so much!) but limit your portfolio to your best work only. This is your first impression so set your artwork standards high. Choose 10-20 of your best pieces to feature.
2. Consider placement. Start off with one of your top pieces and end with a bang as well. All of the work you display will be your best put pick the best of the best to start and finish with.
3. Artwork must be complete. It may be tempting to throw a work in progress in there that you’re really proud of but when it comes to your art portfolio, make sure all pieces are complete. Incomplete pieces are unprofessional and show that you don’t finish what you start.
4. Work on it often. Chances are, you need to put together an art portfolio for a new job or to get into an art gallery. Once those things are accomplished, don’t just forget about your portfolio. Keep working on it and making changes. You never know when you may need it again.
5. Don’t try too hard. You want your art portfolio to be an accurate overview of you and your artwork. Loosen up and be yourself! Trying too hard to give them what you think they want is just lying to them and yourself.
6. Remember the details. Every single piece in your art portfolio needs to be labeled with the title, medium, and date.
7. Make everything flow. You’ll want to show your best work and a variety of different pieces but you also need to make sure all artwork makes sense together.
8. Get a little help. Ask fellow artists which pieces they think should go in your art portfolio. Make sure you choose people who will give you their honest opinion and remember to not become discouraged with criticism.
9. Read the requirements. If you’re putting together your art portfolio for a specific purpose, make sure to read over any guidelines and requirements.
10. Be organized. We know the struggle of organization and we typically say everyone is different when it comes to this and that’s ok. But when it comes to your art portfolio, organization is a must. Make sure your artwork is matted, straight, and looks presentable.
11. Focus on the work. Your art portfolio can be unique and a little different but don’t go too overboard and take away from the most important part, the artwork. Highlight art rather than take away from it. Remember that!
12. Take photos. Any large pieces that cannot fit in your art portfolio should be included in a photo. Must be taken at a professional-like level with proper lighting.
The first time you put your art portfolio together, it does not have to be perfect. This is so important to remember because striving for perfection could keep you from starting it altogether. Art portfolios are meant to be adjusted as you go. You’ll be adding new work as you improve and taking old work out. Really, the more you’re changing up your art portfolio, the better. This means you’re growing as an artist. So take a good look at all of your artwork and just start piecing it together. Have fun with it and review these 12 quick tips for creating an artist portfolio so you know you’re on the right track.
Tell us, do you have an art portfolio that’s up to date??