When an artist is looking for work, they put together a portfolio of samples of their work, intended to showcase their strengths, talents and experience. A portfolio can be as compact as a binder filled with examples of written work or as informal as a creatively arranged box of artwork. When the internet became widely available as a public resource, it wasn’t long before artists’ portfolios went electronic, taking the form of floppy discs (remember those?), CD-ROMs, files on flash drives and, of course, portfolio websites.

There is a lot to be said for keeping a portfolio in the form of a website. First of all, portfolio websites are incredibly efficient. They can be shared, at the touch of a button, with anyone who has an internet connection. Distance, time and conflicting schedules become much less of an issue. When a portfolio can be found on the internet, it is always available to those who want to peruse it.

Portfolio websites are also incredibly flexible, being able to showcase multiple forms of media in the same easy-access format. Artists can use their websites to show off writing, sculpture, dance routines, songs, digital art… just about any art form you can name, including those which would be impossible to fit into a binder, can be displayed to stunning effect on a website. More than that, portfolio websites can incorporate an overall design to the site, allowing the artist to infuse the whole collection with a unifying sense of personality.

Portfolios in any format are not meant to be static. They are an organic, ever-growing representation of an artist’s career. One of the things artists love about portfolio websites is the ease of keeping them up to date with all the twists and turns of an artist’s work. As the artist grows and gains experience, a website can be updated. As the market shifts and audiences change, an artist can easily adjust their website to reflect the climate of the world in which they create their art.

Even though portfolio websites are created specifically to share an artist’s work with anyone who wants to see it, they are in many ways a very personal endeavor, and the creation of a website dedicated to an artist’s talent is a work of art in and of itself. Many artists, when looking over their completed portfolio for the first time, are shocked to discover just how good their art looks when someone takes the time to really show it off! An online portfolio is more than just a form of self-promotion—it’s a chronicle of an artist’s journey and a source of inspiration and pride.

When an artist decides to take the step into a commercial career, putting their best foot forward online is one of the wisest moves they can make. Efficient, flexible and inspiring, portfolio websites are wonderful tools for artists of all stripes. An online portfolio, just like an artist’s career, is a labor of love. Make sure that your portfolio website is a work of heart and soul, and watch your career soar!