A Step-by-Step Guide to Portfolio Layout and follow-up

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by Becky Hubble, courtesy of Emerging Artist Guide.


General Aspects of Good Portfolios


1. Your portfolio should be comprised of both textual and visual documentation of your career as an artist. This includes a CV, artist’s statement, and biography, as well as prints and digital images of your work. If possible, you should also include a “supporting documents” section that is comprised of third-party reviews or articles published about you as an artist.


2. Although you may wish to convey your creativity through the design of your portfolio, it is important to strike a balance between eye-catching design, and design that takes attention away from the work itself. It is extremely important that your portfolio should never be designed at the expense of complying with the requirements outlined by the recipient.


3. Your portfolio should be free of spelling and grammatical errors, be easy to navigate, and well-written. It should be professional. This includes being free of damage, looking neat and well-organized, and fulfilling all the requirements the recipient has asked for.


4. Your portfolio should include your best work. It is better to include fewer stronger pieces, than a plethora of weaker pieces.


5. Even a good portfolio can benefit from the critique of a knowledgeable person. Regardless of your level of experience, a second (or even third) opinion is an invaluable portfolio-proofing tool.



Choosing and Organizing Visuals and Text


Displaying an understanding of who you are submitting your portfolio to, and for what purpose, is one of the most important things you can do to make your portfolio stand out. Your portfolio should reflect you as an artist, but it is equally important that it reflect the recipient through content and organization. It is important to understand the business perspective of the portfolio recipient. This knowledge will provide some much needed guidance when choosing the visual and textual components of your portfolio. For example, if you are hoping to establish a long term relationship with a gallery, a portfolio conveying a sense of consistency and gradual thematic progression would enable a gallery to more confidently take a chance on you, knowing the kind of work they will be investing in over the long-term, than a portfolio comprised of radically disjointed work . . . view online or download full pdf below.

Artist Resource Center: 
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Houston, TX 77266-6494


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