Let me ask you a question. 

Who are you as an artist - and who do you want to be?  

Your portfolio is not only your business card and your brand. It's also a story of your skills, interest, and strengths organized into one super awesome package. 

The biggest mistake many commercial artists make is thinking your portfolio is just a collection of your best work.

Your portfolio really should be a clear, concise, attention-grabbing story of how your skills (and art work) fits into the big picture narrative of the art market you want to be a part of. You want to contribute to that industry. Show them you can. 


So how do put together an art portfolio into paying gigs that you WANT? Here are the first three steps. 

1. Pick one art market to target to start (for now). This is the hardest part for most artists and designers. It's also what submarines most creative careers. Think about not only your skills, but also what you're INTERESTED in. Pick one or two at the most to start. Don't know what art market you want to work in? Check this out to for help.  

2. Super target your portfolio to that market. The best artists target specific art directors with their best four to five pieces of work from one specific genre. For example, a comic book artist sends a comic book art director comic book samples of. If you do want to try for different markets, then have a different portfolio for each. This is very important. 

3. Find out the portfolio requirements for YOUR market. Here's how. Every market has pieces they want to see. For example, if you want to do comic books, you must have sequential art in your portfolio. To find out what your market needs you can 1) talk to a successful artist or art director in that industry or 2) check out submissions guidelines/research on Google and target your portfolio to that. 

All of this and you haven't even created a thing yet! Want to keep going?

Check out our portfolio course to get all the tools you need to #elevate your art portfolio so you can wow clients. 

But most importantly, don't get caught in the endless cycle of feeling that there portfolio isn't good enough. Step off the treadmill of constantly trying to produce MORE work hoping that next piece will be the missing link. You got this. Do it. Next thing you know, you'll be living the artist lifestyle you've always wanted.