Are you making these mistakes in your portfolio?
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Part of being a successful artist, apart from creating beautiful artwork and showing it to the world, is keeping your portfolio up to date. How much has your portfolio changed over the last couple of months, or even years? Although you want your portfolio to reflect your overall work and stress the fact that you’ve had a lot of experience over the years, this doesn’t mean that you can’t take old work out and add some fresh content to it once in a while.
Are you keeping focus?
As a professional artist, you probably have a clear focus and a good sense of what you would love to achieve in the future. If not, it’s probably a good idea to determine your focus first, and then make your portfolio reflect accordingly. What clients would you like to attract? Put previous work for similar clients in your portfolio and make them stand out. What pieces of work would you like to sell? Make sure the majority of your portfolio contains that what you’d ideally market to potential buyers. If you haven’t done any work in the area you’re aiming for, put some time in creating pieces especially for this purpose. If you’re building towards a different approach and perhaps even a different style or profession, don’t be afraid to kill some darlings along the way and remove old work that doesn’t reflect your ambitions anymore.
Don’t put too much in there
Another common mistake is to put too much material in the portfolio. Clients, gallery owners and even buyers only have so much time to look at your portfolio. Save them some time by keeping your portfolio simple, and by putting your best work up front. Make sure to ‘wow’ them with your best piece on the very first page to leave a great impression that invites them to keep on browsing your work.
Take a good look at your portfolio and see what fits your current focus and what doesn’t. After you’ve freshened things up, show your portfolio to someone you know and ask them what they think your focus is. How would they describe your work? What clients do they think would hire you, or what buyers would your work attract?