How to Create an Artist Portfolio Website

These days it is easier than ever to build an artist portfolio website.  I admit, this virtual version might not entirely cancel out having an old-school hard copy when you need to show your best work, but the two together make perfect harmony.  The hard copy portfolio can be used at freelance meetings where you are pitching a job, during interviews, at craft shows where you are featuring more affordable versions of your “best work” and at art openings where you want to showcase a greater variety of your work beyond the limitations of the show.  These days, an artist portfolio website will work in beautiful unison with your hard copy more than ever before.  

How will my artist portfolio website work best with a hard copy?

In the day of the blog, there are more and more opportunities arising for creatives to help other creatives.  As blogs grow and become more popular, bloggers are needing to outsource content and visuals to other creatives to keep their sites exciting and fresh.  Let’s face it, page views and clicks are King in the world of blogging.  The more people that come, the more advertisers come and then the product sponsors come and the beautiful cycle of sharing and growing continues on and on.  Content is fresh, people are getting paid and the "world of being a creative" just got a little more exciting and encouraging. 

Getting blogging gigs with an artist portfolio website

Use your blog as a writer portfolio

How do you prepare yourself for such opportunities?  Get your artist portfolio website together pronto, and email it to those potentially paying gigs.  Are you a writer?  Writing is an art, and you can showcase your work using your Indiemade Blog as an online writing portfolio. Be creative in how you design your site.  Think about your end goals while you're setting up all of your pages.  To seal in some of those writing opportunities using your artist portfolio website, I suggest emailing samples of your writing directly from your blog (via links); along with a well-written resume and cover letter to apply for freelance work. 

Artists online galleries

Are you an artist or designer?  Use the gallery pages in your Indiemade site to create a visual board that you can easily share with potential clients.  For artists, online galleries are one of the most effective ways to become more visible to potential clients. Some artist portfolio websites consist primarily of rich images of the artist's best work, allowing the craft to speak for itself. On my Vintage Renewal site I have renamed my gallery pages to “sold” items. 

Galleries are an excellent artist portfolio online

I have created this “sold” page to showcase all of my past work to potential clients, magazine scouts, retail shops and anyone else who might be interested in seeing the variety of my past creations.  On the World Wide Web, you just never know who is going to find you.  The best advice I can give you is be prepared!   Act like you are going to be contacted by Elle Décor, and by golly you just might!  I promise that when you put exciting content into the world, it will be found.  The keys are working hard and doing your darnedest to showcase your work in the most professional light possible, and creating an artist portfolio website provides limitless opportunities to be discovered.   

Multiple versions of a portfolio online

To me, this means having multiple versions of your online portfolio.  Perhaps you have a photobucket account?  You can take those images and create a slideshow portfolio online like I have done here:

http://www.vintagerenewal.com/content/portfolio

In this type of online portfolio, the end user doesn’t have to click anything, they can just sit back and enjoy!  Indiemade makes it super easy to copy and paste source code from other sites right into your Indiemade web pages.  The more you delve into that handy dandy Indiemade handbook, the more ways you'll discover to showcase your personality and your work on your artist portfolio website. Trust me, it’s worth the time!  I have never loved my website more than now.  There are so many different ways that I am essentially creating portfolios on my site to allow people to hire me.  They can find my content through key word searches or I can take the initiative to share my own web links (along with the appropriate resume and cover letter for whatever I might be applying for). 

Creating press pages

Have you already had some momentum in the press?  Well, you need to make the world aware of those little triumphs!  Create a press portfolio page to show off your recognition on your artist portfolio website.  Again, Indiemade makes it super brainless to use gallery pages to create a beautiful press page, and this one tactic lends social proof and credibility to your work.  Here is an example of what I did at Vintage Renewal using the news feature on Indiemade:

Indiemade press page enhances an artist portfolio online

Use special pages as mini online portfolios to highlight your unique talents 

Any of your web pages can essentially serve as an online portfolio for the different types of work you do.  Take the time to create these different pages and show the world what you're made of.  You will not be disappointed!  Each page can become its own portfolio online, each showcasing examples of your work surrounding a different theme, along with content on each of those unique “specialties”. 

For example, at Vintage Renewal, we are excited about teaching the world how to create bohemian style through the reuse of vintage and recycled materials. So what did we do?  We created a page showcasing exactly what that means and giving great visual inspiration to get people excited: 

Use each web page as an artist portfolio online

There are other services offered on our site.  Each of those have pages too!  Take advantage of the store feature on Indiemade, where you can sell handmade wares or some of your unique services online as well.  This is how your artist portfolio website can make you some green!   

Create on online store.  Once people are on your new artist portfolio website, don't you want them to buy something?

The bottom line is that the brick-and-mortar shop is becoming the way of the past.  If you aren’t hopping on the virtual train, then you are going to be stuck with yesterday’s marketing plan.  Take advantage of all those great features that can be worked directly into your website.  Present yourself in the most professional light possible.  Take the time to use your “About” page to serve as an artist profile.  Having a well-balanced artist portfolio website with both visuals and reasons customers should buy from you or work with you is the key!  Remember, you are writing the book of your life, so make it a good one and create a beautiful online portfolio as unique as you are!

Until the next time…

Xoxoxo

Jeanne Connolly

For more information on how I designed my Indiemade website, click here:

http://www.indiemade.com/resource/create-business-website-integrating-web-applications-your-design-business

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