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How to Make an Art Portfolio After University

How to Make an Art Portfolio After University

Every student in the arts has to craft a portfolio before they apply for college. However, the need for this doesn’t stop the minute you open the mailbox and see an acceptance package. Any professional artist worth their salt has a collection of creations to represent them. To be effective, though, this collection has to have a format that truly showcases both talent and professionality.

Are There Instructions or Guidelines?

You’ve probably already heard that a resume and cover letter created for a job shouldn’t be cookie cutter. Instead, they should be designed to cater to the job at hand. An artist should follow those same rules. They need to offer pieces that represent that they are a good fit for the position they are trying to get into.

Some jobs or galleries may require additional information with a portfolio. This might include the aforementioned cover letter or a short bio about the artist. If you’re struggling, it’s well worth it to note that you’re not alone in creating these. Some of the same services that helped you find someone to write your essay during college can help. These services often include writing styles that will help students land jobs after university.

1. Demonstrate Range

When sharing artwork, showing the same style over and over can get monotonous and unimpressive to viewers. Most galleries and companies want to see that artists have more than one trick up their sleeve. To cater to this, creators should use varying pieces to demonstrate different skills and techniques.

A good approach to doing this is to craft more than the bare minimum. Most professors recommend including around 10 to 15 pieces and this still stands after graduation. So, you’ll want to create 20 to 30 options and choose the ones that best represent your style and versatility.

That being said, you also want to demonstrate what you do best. If you’re phenomenal at painting portraits, you aren’t going to want to display mediocre drawings of landscapes just to prove you can do it. Each unique piece has to be of high quality.

2. Stick to Recent Work

When showing off a range of work, the goal is to represent the artist you’ve grown into. As such, it’s not a good idea to use drawings that are old and don’t represent current skills. The last experience anyone wants is to be judged for mistakes they don’t make anymore.

3. A Note On Digital Collections and Photography

Anymore, everything is accessible online. There are advantages to this. For example, a sculptor is going to have an easier time keeping images of their work online.

Yet, there is something you’ll want to consider with digital showcases. Namely, photographing the work. If an artist isn’t careful, a poor photograph won’t do their creations justice. The Art League offers some great tips to get the best photos possible.

4. Update Continuously

As mentioned, there need to be several pieces included in your catalog. So, it’s not a good idea to try to throw something together out of nothing the night before an interview or showing. Instead, continuously update this ensemble as new pieces are made. It’ll give creators a larger library to choose from and eliminate rushing that could lead to less-than-stellar, hastily thrown together pieces.

5. Tell a Story

Finally, this collection of work needs to communicate a story. In the professional world, anyone evaluating art wants substance alongside beauty. They also want art that features a message or represents something.

This gives the art a deeper meaning that provokes a deeper response.


To an artist, a portfolio is among the most aspects to getting jobs as well as achieving gallery showcases. By using these tips, you can make sure that yours will stand out as a cut above the rest.

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