With the internet, sharing has become really easy and convenient. Unlike olden times when artists had to physically put together their printed pieces of art and create a portfolio, it is now rather easy and can be all done digitally. Anybody who has a device and an internet connection can access your creatives at a few clicks. Hence, having said that, since accessibility has now broken the roof, it becomes really important for you, as a creator, to ensure that your portfolio and your work stands out amongst the rest on the internet.
For a creative artist, maintaining and creating a portfolio should be of high importance. A good portfolio not only acts as an instant example of how good you are with examples of your real work, but it also helps attract the attention of other professionals in the field and have your recognized. A portfolio is essentially a lifetime of your work in one place and hence, it becomes only imperative for you to put your best foot forward while crafting the portfolio.
Why is a portfolio that important after all?
An artist’s creativity is intangible and it cannot be measured by words. Visuals are important as they work as an example. Hence, look at your portfolio as your visual calling card. It helps the clients understand your work, understand you, and assess you by what you have done in the past. It allows others to assess your creativity and your style of creatives. Apart from just the online display of portfolios, portfolios are also of great importance when it comes to the printing of custom portfolios for specific client pitches or trade shows.
While there is not a huge difference between how portfolios are created in print and how they are on the web; there is a huge difference in the trend of portfolios as against what portfolios looked like in the past. The best portfolios are always evolving and you really need a critical eye and some above par editing skills for your online portfolio. Combine all of this, identify the niche that would take interest in your work, and find yourself flooded with clients eager to work with you!
Here are some quick tips to get you started on creating the best portfolio that there could be-
1. Be picky of what you include in your portfolio
This is important. Do not rush when it comes to narrowing down on what needs to go and what needs to be omitted from your portfolio. You might be a great artist but ensure that you do not add everything that you have ever created to your portfolio. The idea here is to be able to attract your clients with your work. Try and make a portfolio that tells a story of your work; perhaps by chronologically organizing your work in the order of where you started and where you have come today.
For example, if you are a wedding photographer, try and include pictures that you have taken for weddings in the past. Start with your initial weddings and come down to the latest weddings. This also gives your client the opportunity to see how you have grown in your job and gets you brownie points for evolving. However, ensure that you do not indulge too much in the past either. Potential clients will want to see more of what is the latest and hence, keep updating your portfolio as you move forward and aim to strike a fine balance between your work from the past and work today.
2. Do not shy from your versatility
In your portfolio, you need to make sure that you do not include pictures of the same kind. Aim at creating a versatile portfolio that displays your capabilities to the best. You might also want to create some non-professional or personal experiments that you might have done and are very proud of. This is also of importance because if you do not display versatility, your clients might look at you as a rather redundant artist with only limited creativity. Try and incorporate different kinds of projects and varied aesthetics that help you put your best foot forward.
3. Start with the end in mind
While it is important to create a portfolio that impresses your potential clients, it is also necessary to make a portfolio that not only is focused on the client. Think about the bigger picture and make a portfolio that works for you as your brand identity. Make a portfolio that represents you as an artist and shows the best of your creativity. With every piece of art you include in your portfolio, double-check if that piece really represents you as an artist. It is also important, at this point, to decide how many pieces you want to have in your portfolio. Try to keep a number that does not make you compromise and pick between bests of works but also keep a number that does not make your portfolio too long and boring.
4. Use high-definition, high-resolution images
This is your portfolio, your work, your art, your baby in question. Do not compromise on the visual quality of it. There can actually be nothing more turning off than a portfolio that has pictures in grainy, noisy, and low-quality. Any portfolio is a culmination of hard work and hence, it needs to be put forward in the most appealing manner possible. In order to present pictures that grab all the attention, you need to make sure that you only take pictures from a professional camera and not on your phone. In case your camera happens to break down on a day, it is still not okay to use your phone and the aim should be to either rent or borrow a camera. You could also include some close-up shots to make sure that the minute details of your art do not go unnoticed on a computer screen.
5. Welcome feedback
Creativity is like your own baby, you cannot pick one piece of art over the other. What one creates is almost always what one tends to fall in love with. There happens to be an emotional connection of artists with their art and hence, creativity is also highly personal and subjective. You, as an artist, might not see anything wrong with the pieces you include in your portfolio, however, it would only be wise to solicit opinions and ask for feedback. Look for people who will tell you what is, as is, and will not fabricate the truth. Family, mentors, and colleagues from the same industry could be the right people to help you through this. External opinions and a third eye might also be able to see flaws that you might have otherwise not identified. Be sure to not take feedback in a sore manner, but also be sure to listen to your heart at the end of the day.
Now that your ultimate portfolio is ready, uploading it on your website is an obvious choice. A lot of blogging platforms like WordPress are also made essentially for the purpose of displaying a portfolio. Do not feel shy to share your portfolio with the world and share it on as many social media platforms as you can- a portfolio is your baby. It is your sweat flesh and blood- you gotta be proud of it! In today’s world, you never know who is watching and from where- make it worth all of their time- show off your portfolio!