It’s crucial for any artist to have a portfolio that potential employers and clients can view and peruse at their leisure to figure out if you’re a right fit for them. For many, this portfolio basically acts like a visual resume, which can make or break your career as an artist. It’s where you put all your best art and showcase all your skill and talent, all in one place.
If you’re a digital artist or an artist who operates primarily online, having a portfolio that’s complete and easily accessible is incredibly important. Here are five tips to help you build your portfolio and make sure that you’re highlighting all the best skills and assets.
Select the Most Suitable Theme
By this point, you must have bought a domain name and found a reliable web hosting service to host your online portfolio website. Now, it’s time to design it. Picking a design for your portfolio should be all about finding one that complements your artistic style and sensibilities and puts your artwork center stage. You don’t want your site design to overwhelm a viewer’s senses or remove the artwork that it’s meant to display.
Trusted digital marketing agencies like ZipZipe can help you build a website with a responsive design that complements your art and goes well with the kind of theme you envision in your work. More than just a design, however, you also want your site to be easily navigable and searchable. You need to take accessibility features into account and any customization options that visitors can use to enhance their experience.
Remember that your site’s landing page is the first thing visitors see when they open your portfolio. First impressions matter, so make sure that your design leaves a good one.
Add a Biography
It’s all well and good to have a place where you can put in all your best work, but it wouldn’t do well to have that site and not leave any information at all about the artist. Make sure to have a page where you can write a short artist’s biography and link all your social media and contact information for potential employers and clients. You don’t have to write your entire life story, just the essentials: what you do, where you operate, and what sort of work you accept (commissions, projects, events, etc.)
Brevity helps your audience retain all the correct information, so keep only the essentials and keep it straightforward and clear. Your clients will thank you for it.
Showcase Your Best Works
Of course, the reason you’re creating this portfolio in the first place is to have a place where you can put all your best works on display for everyone to see. Go through your gallery and find the works that you’re proudest of. Depending on how long you’ve been doing this, you might have a lot or a little. Whatever the case, make sure that they’re all in the correct format and optimized in the proper dimensions and quality to be displayed on your site. You might have to edit some for it to fit into your site, but it’s all a matter of finding the right arrangement and design.
When displaying your work, make sure that the viewer won’t get overwhelmed and, as much as possible, offer a unique viewing experience that works for your overall artistic theme and vision.
Pick Some Works Which You Think Are a Bit Rough
Have you found your best works? That’s great. Now take a look at the works that you completely glossed over or threw in the trash, and put those up, too. If you’re wondering why, there’s a good reason for it.
The range is an important skill set that you need to show as a professional artist. Chances are, if you have one or more specialties, that’s where all your best work is. Thus, if you only put up your best work, that’s regarded as the only thing you’re good at. Even if you think that they’re all that good, putting up some of your rougher sketches or your more blurry and ineffective shots can actually help show your range and skill set and even a side of vulnerability that’s often sought after in artists.
Who knows, you might even be able to find clients who are interested in that style, even if you yourself don’t see any value in it. It can show how much you’ve improved, as well as what you’re willing to work on to grow.
Update Your Portfolio Regularly
If you’ve improved a lot since you uploaded your works, make sure to update your portfolio periodically to show your growth and your new skills and talents. You also want to update it with new information in case you switch business emails, move to a new address, or are no longer available to take commissions and client requests. Whatever the case, be sure to keep your portfolio up to date whenever something significant happens, such as a change in style or medium or improvement in a field.
The Bottom Line
An artist is only as good as their portfolio, some say, and if you haven’t already, you should definitely get started building your own. Keep these five tips in mind, and you’ll be one step closer to landing your dream job and that big project you’ve always envisioned.