Focus Point Shape

International Online Art Gallery – juried online art competititons

Building an Artist Portfolio

Building an Artist’s Portfolio… for your career.

This is not the place to charge full speed ahead or skimp. A great artist portfolio should say, “I am a ‘pro’ artist that YOU want to work with!”

Some artists present their artwork, stuffed in old cardboard folders or scrapbooks holding snapshots to custom leather bound books with stenciled stationery and custom-printed oversize photographs.

Most of these portfolios are amateur looking … or worse… uselessly over done. The easiest container for both you and your viewers is a “dressed” view binder with your promotional identity in the plastic sleeves and spine.

Each artist portfolio you create is obtained from your Master File (Electronic, print and CD) of all your updated material.

NOTE: Today… you can keep your Master Portfolio on your computer… ready to update at a moments notice.

Once you have a Master Portfolio, all you have to do is add to it whenever you have an event, award or new body of work.

The contents of a professional artist portfolio typically include:

• Cover letter
• One- or two-page resume
• Artist’s statement
• Articles and press
• Labeled color photocopies of images
• Inventory list for all images with retail prices
• Sample rack cards, brochures, postcards, business cards
• CD of contents
• Self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) in back pocket

Who do you show your artist portfolio to?
Gallery dealers, museum curators, arts writers and collectors.

These are the very people we are in contact with… so start building your Master Portfolio… today.

Each viewer looks at a portfolio for their own reasons: a gallery dealer is interested in the visuals, your prices, and your resume, a museum curator looks at your artist’s statement and experience, the arts writer is interested in newsworthy accomplishments and collectors want to see if there is anything to buy.

As the days of ‘snail mail’ are dwindling and with the explosion of internet contacts… I would suggest… putting your portfolio into a PDF format. That way you can e-mail it off… on a moments notice.

You never know…with your participation in our online gallery competitions… when such a request for your portfolio… will arrive… from us.

Good luck… Elizabeth Merchant Curator at
Focus Point Shape International Online Art Gallery.