If you are looking for a job in the art or design industry, chances are that you will be required to provide a portfolio of your past work. While physical portfolios are still quite easy to find, online applications often prefer a digital portfolio in the form of a website. This way, employers can see all your work at a glance without an in-person interview.
So, how do you make an online portfolio? Even though this process can seem intimidating at first, you can rest assured that there are tons of fellow artists in the very same spot as you. With around 900,000 domains registered every week, people all over the world are building their online portfolios quickly and easily. In this blog post, we will take a look at 7 simple steps to building an outstanding online artist portfolio.
1. Compile Your Best Work
The process of choosing which work you want to display is by far the longest step of the portfolio-building process. You will want to take into account the mediums of each piece and what projects you feel reflect your skills the best. While it’s fine to include pieces you are personally proud of, you may also want to include pieces where you stepped a bit outside of your comfort zone. It can be easy to want to include everything you’ve ever made, but look to around 10-20 pieces to be your main portfolio.
Invest in high-quality scans or photos of your artwork to use on your website. Gather all of your files into one folder and be sure to name them to keep them organized. Once you have a folder on your computer full of artwork, then it’s time to move on to your site-building.
2. Develop a Color Palette or Aesthetic
Next, use your site builder of choice to begin building. If your work often features a certain color palette, then you can incorporate this into your site’s branding. If not, then many artists use a clean black and white aesthetic. This gallery-inspired look will help your work’s color stand out. Play around with aesthetics and find what you think represents your artistic feel the best. Sometimes it can be easiest to pick out a template and work off of that, so feel free to experiment for a while in your site builder.
3. Incorporate Your Artist’s Statement or Intro Page
In the world of fine art, you are going to want to make an artist statement to relay the meaning of your work. There are several sample artist statements available online, so take your time to create one just for you. This statement can either be at the top of your gallery home page or included in a sidebar. Your artist statement is a very important element in presenting your work, so be sure to have it front and center when someone visits your site.
4. Experiment with Gallery Layouts
Next, jump into adding your work to your site. Most site builders have several gallery styles to choose from, ranging from simple squares to cobblestone patterns. Once you choose the one that accentuates your work, play around with the order of your images. Which pieces look best next to each other? How does the gallery balance itself on each side? Spend as much time as you need moving, switching, and reorganizing your images until you’re happy with your mini digital gallery.
5. Add Captions to Your Work
While you may think your work speaks for itself, oftentimes viewers want to hear about the process and meaning behind your pieces. While there is no need for each piece to have an immediate subheading, make sure to add a click-through info box for each image. This way, visitors can click a particular piece they are interested in to learn more. As a general rule of thumb, include the piece’s name, size, date of creation, mediums, and a small bio on your inspiration for it in each info box.
6. Create Your Contact Info Page
Whether you want feedback on your work or are looking for a job in the arts, it is crucial that you include your contact information for visitors to reach out to you. Include this info in the header, footer, or navigation bar. If you run an art Instagram or Twitter page, be sure to link those as well.
7. Publish, Test, and Share
Now that your site is just how you want it, it’s time to publish! Hit the publish button and bring your site to life. Check it out on your phone or incognito tab to see how it looks to a visitor, and make any necessary changes. Test loading speeds to make sure it is accessible, and share it on your LinkedIn, Instagram, or wherever you want people to see your work.
Now that you have a dedicated site for your work, you can replace those long-winded job application portfolio sections with a single link. Additionally, you can easily upload your newest work and keep your portfolio fresh as you move throughout your art career. Congratulations artist, you now have an official online portfolio!