Blog Article / / Writing: Journalism

To online portfolio or not?

Everything’s online these days, including that ol’ artistic portfolio you used to keep lying around for that special day when someone thought your creativity was worth a dime. Well, this online portfolio revolution is only a good thing: now, instead of gathering dust in a drawer of ‘important things’ in your attic or storage space, your portfolio can be available for potential bosses to see, potentially giving everyone a chance to kick-start their creative career… or is it?

There’s the rub, of course: the moment you develop a content management system that allows creatives to upload their portfolios online for free, you throw the doors wide open to everyone who ever though they might have a shot at artistic genius. So, what do you end up with? Reams upon reams of online portfolios, mostly looking quite similar (it’s free, so don’t expect too much!), advertising similar abilities and services: the problem of getting creative work hasn’t been solved, it’s just gotten a little harder to sift through all the dross. And do you really want to be part of the new wave of dross washing across our screens?

Of course you do! Let’s face it, it doesn’t matter how you get out there, what matters is that you are a known entity in your creative field. Find some way, in your spare time, to creative an online identity for yourself, and splash it all over the pages of your new online portfolio! You see, it isn’t a problem that everyone has access to free online portfolios: take a little extra time, and yours may just be the one that stands out. Take some time to write the little blurbs under pictures. Pick the really good snaps of your or your work. Take a little time making them and the portfolio look exactly the way you want it to. With a little effort, you can end up with a nice looking page, hopefully with your name somewhere in the URL, and what more can you ask for?

The other important thing about online portfolios is, of course, linking it to places. So many people have them these days, but do they bother to let people know that they exist? Sure, a link on their Facebook page, a Tweet here or there, surely that’ll be enough to let interested parties find you… if they even know who you are. And yeah, they could Google you personally, and possibly it’ll be one of the pages that comes up, but why take that risk? Link it everywhere! Attach it to the bottom of emails! Tell everyone about it! If you want this to be your portfolio, the sum of your artistic existence online, shouldn’t everyone need to know? Otherwise you’ll end up with one of the hundreds of thousands of portfolios now floating around the web, with no one reading them except the one clever clogs who made it.

So, make yourself an online portfolio, and link it everywhere: it’s a great new way of letting everyone know who you are and what you do. There are plenty of great sites to do this on: sites like Ideastap are specifically set up to allow people to collaborate and communicate through their portfolios, but it works just as well as a place to stash all your pictures and text, and everything is free with no size limit. On the other hand, sites like Carbonmade look lovely, and although your limited in how much you can upload, you will end up with a very nice looking site. It’s a matter of choice really; I have (at least) one of each!

And please, please, please don’t forget to link your portfolio: an online portfolio without links is the new putting-it-in-the-drawer-and-forgetting-about-it. So, in that vein, I end this praising of the online portfolio with links to all of mine! Any feedback greatly appreciated.


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