Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How to Make an Artist Portfolio By kongluirong, eHow Member

For an artist, a portfolio is how you get jobs. There are many ways to put a portfolio together, but I am going to explain a simple yet professional portfolio.


  1. Get all of your pieces together. From all of those, choose you best ten. If you have trouble picking out your best, go to someone else to get their opinion. Preferably someone who knows a little about art.
  2. Step 2
    The next step is to photograph or scan your pieces. You need a fairly good camera for this, I suggest a digital camera of higher quality than the point and shoots. If the camera gives you the option, shoot in RAW format, High Quality jpg if there is no RAW option. If your pieces are small enough, you should be able to scan them. Scan at a dpi (dots per inch) of 300. This will ensure quality prints. These will also work if you plan on putting your artwork online.
  3. This is the fun part of the process. Picking out your portfolio. There are a lot of places you can find portfolios. Some are going to be more expensive than others, some are going to be more high quality, some are going to be more complex. The main thing about picking out your portfolio is that it has to fit with your work and who you are. It should not take away from your work (in a good or bad way).
  4. Step 5
    When you have the portfolio that you like, take note of the pages that it comes with. What size are they? A lot come in the standard letter size of 8.5" by 11". Whatever size the pages come with are the size that you will need to print your pieces at.
  5. Step 6
    Take the photographs and scans on your computer(or have someone else do this for you) and size them for prints. Take into account the margins of printers. Most have .5" on the side. So you want to have the same border on all of your pieces. You can do this in Adobe Photoshop(or like program), but I prefer In Design(or similar program) because there is less chance of accidentally resizing the photo wrong and not being able to go back.
  6. Step 7
    What happens if all of your pieces are not horizontal or vertical? It is important that your prospective client does not have continually switch the orientation of your portfolio. If you have mostly vertical pieces, put the horizontal pieces vertically on the paper. This will make the piece smaller, but it is a better presentation.
  7. Step 8
    Once all of your pieces are sized correctly, it is time to print them off. Resizing your digital files to the exact size of the page with the correct borders, instead of saying "fit to page" when printing will ensure your portfolio looks professional. You can print at Kinko's, Office Max, Staples, or a variety of other stores. Their regular paper is good enough to put in your portfolio. Print two of everything in case you mess up and need an extra print.
  8. Step 9
    You will also need to print out labels for your pieces. I recommend using a full sheet of nice paper and printing them out at home. The easiest format is to put it at the top left of the page, that way it is always in the same place. On the label you need to have the name of the piece(untitled is perfectly acceptable), the medium, and the size.
  9. Step 10
    You should also have an artist statement(if you're a fine artist or illustrator, if not, you can skip that part) printed out to put in the beginning of your portfolio.
  10. Step 11
    With your pieces all printed off, now you need to mount them to the pages that came with the portfolio. The easiest way is to get double-side stick tape for scrap-booking or photos. There is also the spray mount, but it is messy and easy to mess up. On the backs, put the label for the next piece. For the first piece, you will put the label on the back of the artist statement.
  11. Step 12
    Now you need to figure out the order in which you want your portfolio to go in. A good way to go is with one of your best pieces in the beginning, middle and end. You can also sort it by date, name of piece, color, size and a lot of other things. However, the artist statement always goes first.
  12. Step 13
    The next step is to put everything into the portfolio in the order. After everything is in there, make sure that everything is presentable. That means no finger prints, left over glue or tape showing. You are ready to show your portfolio to your clients!