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How to Create an Artist Portfolio

An artist portfolio can become a portable gallery if constructed properly – find out how.


  • Step 1: Establish a goal and vision Establish a goal and a vision for your portfolio by understanding who your audience is, what you want to show them, and what type of response you’d like.
  • Step 2: Select your best work Select your best work to include in the portfolio. Use only finished prints that are matted, signed, dated, and titled.
  • Step 3: Be sure prints are free of fingerprints Be sure your prints are free of fingerprints, and that mats are well cut with straight lines.
  • Step 4: Find a critic Get a friend or colleague to critique your work to ensure it is well edited. A second pair of eyes always helps.
  • TIP: Know what the viewers of your portfolio want to see, and tailor it as needed. Keep several selections of work for specific audiences.
  • Step 5: Create a digital portfolio Create a digital portfolio with scanned documents and digital photographs. House these on your computer in a folder titled "Portfolio."
  • FACT: Did you know? About 63 percent of artists work as self-employed professionals.

You Will Need

  • Vision
  • Artwork
  • Critic
  • Document scanner
  • Digital camera

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