10 Key Elements for a Professional Art Portfolio

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By Daniel J. Keys, Courtesy of Fine Art Views.com

 As recently requested by some of FAV’s devoted readers, I’ve decided to share my experience of putting together a competent and effective artist’s portfolio intended to be presented to an art gallery. 

Setting a standard for ourselves...

 First, it’s imperative to understand that everything we do in our line of business must be completely professional, tasteful, and tactful whenever possible. There are just no excuses for unprofessionalism; the existence of so many business relationships, and whether or not they’ll remain advantageous to us, can at times depend entirely on what kind of impression is first made upon the recipient of our humble offerings (i.e. our business cards, brochures, portfolio, or photographic images of our artworks themselves).  

Remember that your portfolio denotes not only your work, but also in particular what kind of person you are; and a sloppy portfolio can ruin your chances to be represented by a gallery. 


Putting it all together...

1. Use a simple but professional looking binder

This helps to keep all of the portfolio’s contents neat and tidy, and make it easy for the gallery’s representatives to keep track of the materials enclosed at all times. 

2. A good cover letter

A portfolio is our opportunity (and sometimes only chance) to make a lasting impression on a gallery’s selection committee. I’ve heard of galleries that have returned artist’s portfolios without ever looking through its pages because of how poorly written the cover letter was. 

This letter needn’t be long, but rather state what’s enclosed in the package that this letter came in, who you are, and why you’re contacting this particular gallery. Be brief and to the point . . . view more at FineArtViews.com



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