How to develop a professional portfolio

Having a strong and artistic portfolio can help you get your work and yourself noticed and help you move, you and your artistic career forward.

Marketing yourself and your art-work is important, whether it be for gallery representation, a place in an art school or university, an art related job or an exhibition.  A professional and easy to use portfolio is essencial and can not only make a big difference in sucess or failure, but also tell the viewer something about yourself. Your portfolio, tells people what kind of artist you are and also shows off your work. A good portfolio is often the best way to impress clients, investors and gallery owners  and should be put together with care and much forethought. Two of the most important criteria are format and content.

In the digital world which we live in, there are basically two options to choose from, a physical portfolio or a digital one. Often both are a must. The physical sort often shows off original work or photograhs of original work. The quality of the photography of your work is very important.  If the lighting is poor or the images are out of focus or fuzzy, this won’t improve your art-work and may make you look un-professional. It maybe worth your while investing in a professional photographer to make the photographs for you. An online portfolio in the form of a stick or hard disk are easily carried around and are very convinent. A personal artist’s website or inclusion on a webplatform are also essential. Whichever you choose, the most important part is to make sure your art-work is properly and well photographed. Make sure that everything is clean, tidy and well organised.

Apart from good, infocus and well lit photographs you also need plenty of information about yourself and your work. Your inspiration, material used, quantity of work, sizes etc. are all very important. A short covering letter or Artist’s Statement to introduce yourself and your work to prospective clients is also a good idea. If you have had other exhibitions or won awards, or have been published, this information can also be included. Each piece should be named and have your contact information on it.

Every institution has their own particular rules and regulations about presenting portfolios, so make sure you adhere to these before submitting your work. Keep your portfolio updated. Whenever you have another show, win a prize or receive an award, include this in your portfolio. Be creative and make a portfolio that the viewer won’t forget.

Here are some portfolio suggestions for you. Click on the images to see more information about the products.

Nicpro Art Portfolio Bag 24 x 36 Inches Waterproof Nylon Artist Carrying Bag Soft Sided with Strap,Storage for Artwork Sketch Drawing Canvas Photography Poster

Prestige, Carry-All Soft-Sided Art Portfolio, Water-resistant and Adjustable Strap – 24 x 36

Prestige, All-in-One, Soft Sided Art Portfolio, Water Resistand and Adjustable Strap – 24 x 36 Inches

Art Portfolio Case Artist Carrying Case Artist Portfolios Case with Shoulder Strap Black Waterproof for Students Professional Artists, Graphic Designers Sketching Projects (A3 18x14x1.5 Inch)

X-Port Professional Expandable Art Portfolio Case (32″ x 42″) Oversized for Art, Foam Boards, Marketing Displays, Trial Exhibits, Advertising Signage, Product Samples, or Flat Screen TV’s/Monitors

Complete Art Easel & Portfolio Set by Artist’s Loft

X-Port Professional Expandable Art Portfolio Case (23″x31″x6” expanded) for Artwork, Advertising, Photography, Foam Boards, Flat Screen Monitors & Presentation Displays – Top Loading with Rigid Sides

1 x A2 Artist Portfolio Art Work Carry Storage Case Blue

A3 Portfolio Case 10colors/Artist,Architect,Designer,Interior Designer,Musician/Carrying Bag with Storage for Presentation Materials ,Drawings,Client Artwork,Sketches,Sheet Music/THOTH/orange

A3 Portfolio Case 10colors/Artist,Architect,Designer,Interior Designer,Musician/Carrying Bag with Storage for Presentation Materials ,Drawings,Client Artwork,Sketches,Sheet Music/THOTH/clear green

If you want to be creative an make your own portfolio design, or perhaps you are on a budget, then this video shows you how to make your own portfolio using cardboard and elasticbands. Video and desing by Studio Jocelyn.