As an architect, a designer, a photographer, a model, an illustrator, basically someone involved in a creative hustle (Yes there are many of us that are hustlers), the need to have a portfolio cannot be overemphasized.  Creative work is unique and people need to see what you are able to do or what you have done. So, having a great portfolio can help you land clients and build your network and brand. However, it can be quite challenging creating a portfolio.

Also, in today’s digital world, hard-copy collections or portfolios no longer suffice; creative people need online portfolios too that showcase their best work for them to get discovered. When using a creative sharing platform like 54artistry.com, how can you create a portfolio that stands out and gets you noticed?

1. Put your best foot forward:

Share your very best work and showcase your skills. One advice is to always showcase the type of work you want to be doing in the future.It is also great to show versatility and a variety of work, but make sure it is polished and displays unique ideas. Show projects that you are really proud of, that look the best, and that use the best materials.”Choose projects that demonstrate the breadth of your work, and be selective. Remember, it’s always better to have a portfolio of a few projects that are stunning than dozens of projects where some of them are just OK. The quality of your portfolio is only as good as your weakest or not-so-good project. Look at it as an opportunity to show off what you are capable of producing. 


2. Curate your portfolio with an editing eye:

You need to invest your time to create an amazing portfolio. Each piece should reinforce a well thought out message that you want to communicate to whoever sees it about yourself and your work. Use eye-catching images and photos that are well taken, preferably use clear, high resolution images. This not only brings out the beauty of your work but also gives your portfolio a desired outlook. Also people usually like to know the story behind a particular work. Think about how best to present each project.

First, contextualize your project with a short paragraph. Add a title that makes sense and gives a hint of what this project is about. A person only needs to be able to glance at the title of your project and have an understanding or an idea what it’s about. The title, a short paragraph, and first image should be as engaging as possible to make people want to look at the entire project.”


3. Craft a compelling bio that expresses your unique process and/or point of view.

Make sure to include a bio and a profile picture. This tells people about you. Bios are short summaries about oneself. Make it catchy, make it interesting. Sometimes, you could ask yourself: if I was someone else reading this, would I be interested in me”? Don’t just list your past, tell a story about yourself. Your person. You are definitely more than your works. As a creative, you have your own unique perspective on your industry and the creative world. Frame your bio with your own creative focus or mission statement.


4. Share your work in other places as well:

Almost everyone has accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest or Twitter. Share work from your portfolio with these online networks. 54artistry also has these capabilities built in and make it easy to share more among other social media platforms.


5. Respond to inquiries and comments to create engagement:

Whether people are just emailing to ask you about a technique or inquiring with a job opportunity, networking is an important part of portfolio management. Other members, as well as the general public can comment, like, rate your work and leave appreciations. Who wouldn’t like to see that people have left really lovely comments for them? Feedback like this can be great for refining work and learning new tips.

6. Follow and observe other creatives’ work.

The best way to begin building a network is by following the creatives you admire and exploring work in a given field. This will also help you recognize emerging trends by seeing the latest creative work from within your network. This will also keep you inspired and up to date.

7. Include Your Personal Work

In creating your portfolio, it is advised that portfolios should also contain personal, unpublished works that really aren’t for any client. This will help gauge a designer’s true unadulterated thought process. In other words, personal work is the only thing that will truly distinguish you as someone who can think well on your own, rather than just for money.

We agree with this because with personal work, it is all about you and you don’t have any client telling you: ‘I don’t like this’ or ‘please change that’. You have only yourself to please! So start something fun and interesting on the side. Your creative juices will thank you and this will help you nurture your natural creativity.

Similarly, you will surprise yourself with your own creativity if you foster it and allow it to strengthen. You’ve probably heard it said that creativity is a muscle. If you’re not devoting time each day to being creative on your own, your creativity will gradually wane. If you get into the habit of being creative on your own every day, that’s something your brain will remember, and it will come back to you that much easier. If you are having a hard time tapping into your creative self, you can see 23 ways to boost your creativity here.

8. Always update your portfolio. Keep it F-R-E-S-H!

Finally, Portfolios, whether digital or hard copy maintained over time can also be a great way to observe your own personal growth. It is key to never stop reviewing your own work and discovering your areas for improvement and growth. That is the only way you as a creative person can get better.Your portfolio should be an evolving marketing tool. The combined power of a great portfolio and sharing platforms like 54artistry can enhance your opportunity as you go along your chosen career.

Of course, we welcome you to come explore 54artistry and create an online portfolio today ( if you haven't)!

Thanks for reading. 

References: www.99u.com, www.justcreative.com.