What makes a good Portfolio?

As I have been slowly compiling a PDF Format Portfolio for future prospects, but also for myself personally for future endeavours. I have been speaking to various tutors for feedback, on specific points at the creation of my portfolio, to then further my curation of the portfolio. Some comments are what I followed below, and thus strengthening my portfolio, considerably!

• You might want to put a tiny footer on each page with your name, email/website … not big or visually distracting, just so that if anyone copies/prints a page from your portfolio, it always has your basic contact details attached. 

 • Don’t put a gradient on the text on the front cover—looks a bit cheap. Establish your name as the first hierarchy, the ‘artists portfolio’ second. (Do this in a visual way…size? Italics? Caps? Typeface change? Bold? … you choose, but keep it simple).

• Put your strongest projects first. Give each project a title (you can make it up, but make sure it describes the project). The blurb should describe (as briefly as possible) what you were asked to do, what your response/angle was, and what the final outcome became. Keep each project to roughly 2–3 spreads.

* Start each project with an image of the final piece, (place it on a page on it’s own if necessary) Then show the progress sketches, development photos  …so that someone can clearly make a distinction between the final piece and the development work.  Select your very best prep pencil drawings .. they demonstrate thinking/process better than polished final pieces alone.

• Got production photos of you making them? Drawings? Would like to see a little development stuff. Add a little more line spacing to the desciprtion text.

* Don’t place groups of drawings without a brief description .. you could group series of drawings into catagories … e.g. “Exploring reflective print patterns” or a sentence about what you were interested in within those set of drawings. Gives some structure and a clear thought process to what your doing. Pages of drawings, one after the other without a clear intention can look a bit random/confusing in a portfolio.

* Generally speaking, better to have fewer projects (say around 5) of the best quality & presentation. Really edit things and show only your VERY best work. They will have SO little time to look at everyone’s portfolio,….may be only a minute each in total … so fewer ‘brilliant’ projects is much better than lots of ‘good’ ones.

Following these, and some personal comments on my work, I have come up with what I think is a strong portfolio of my practice, work related to my specialism and to help my become more employable.
See the portfolio below…

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