Dear everyone with an online art portfolio...
I don't really have one (pretty much just an ArtStation that I occasionally put stuff on) but when I do set one up I'm definitely going to heed the advice of the guys at One Fantastic Week.
Here is an example critcast of theirs. I've watched a few and it seems like a lot of beginning artists make the same mistakes re: online portfolios.
Anyway, hope this info helps you like it did me!
@mattramsey Webs has a simple drag and drop for $15 a month, it might be $8. Either way it is a professional one without ads and super easy to maintain.
I still find everyone gives contrasting advice on some key things. Even my teachers at art school did not seem to have one opinion in relation to portfolios. And one of the best teacher I have had, who is an awesome artist and has worked on "The Hobbit", "Star Wars" and many other big franchises, only has an Art Station website. The things that I find most controversial are:
How many pieces should an online portfolio have
Should they all be consistent in style and tone or not.
I do believe that the discussion about the number of art pieces and the different styles is very much a beginners-geared advice (I count myself in that category). Many successful artists do not limit the number of pieces featured at all and feature different styles..., and really it does not make a lot of sense to set limits in the infinity of the Internet. But, they are all great pieces and they all support their style/brand. When you are starting out, it may be difficult to put together a body of work of high quality, and then it makes sense to restrain yourself to a few strong and consistent pieces as much as possible.
Even Giuseppe Castellano, when I took one of his portfolio review sessions, said he really like to see the whole breadth of work of an artist even if it is in different styles. He even encouraged me to include sketches! His main advice was to use the flexibility of online portfolios to structure the work in different categories, so as to make it easy for people to navigate within consistent sets.
Also, one has to keep in mind the pervasive presence of social media. Typically, artists (especially starting out) post WIPs and sketches, little drawings and not-so-successful pieces on social media. A portfolio must be curated, but when one looks for your name, it will find everything, the good, the bad and the ugly...does that imply that one has to curate the social media presence too? That is at least the conclusion I got to....
My conclusion about all this: do only great work, do lots of it, and then you can do whatever you want with your portfolio!
you can do whatever you want with your portfolio!
You can do whatever you want with your portfolio.
If you would like an art director (who has about 2.3 million other things to do that morning and who has about a dozen more portfolios to look at) to have the easiest time coming to the decision to hire you, there are some basic conventions that should be followed. Just one, brief, example: If you make them click on a text link that takes them to a separate page to look at every piece you have they will probably not click very far (unless your work is out of this world amazing--and even then, the portfolio is working AGAINST you, not for you. Which is the opposite of what you want).
That link I posted had some really great "basic" advice on layout and things to avoid that would be super easy to implement regardless of an artist style or number of pieces displayed. They hit pretty much the same things in the 4 episodes I've seen so far so there are some really common, avoidable, mistakes that artists are making.
10 pieces, 20 pieces, different styles, etc....yeah, I've heard several differing opinions. This link really isn't about that part.
@mattramsey Yes, that is absolutely right....principles of usability of websites hold true for portfolios as much as for any other websites, regardless of the quality of the work!