The Importance of an Up-to-Date Portfolio

Thomas Boldt writes about the importance of an up-to-date portfolio.

If you’re like most creative people, you probably hate dealing with paperwork and administrative tasks. You got interested in art because it’s your passion, because it’s your reason for getting up in the morning, not because you have to do a bunch of management tasks to keep things running smoothly. Unfortunately for all of us, there’s one absolutely essential administrative task that we all have to deal with: keeping our portfolios current.

It’s an incredibly important job that a lot of us tend to ignore and let slide. After all, we’re here to make art, not to painstakingly prepare a portfolio! The creative impulse is what keeps us coming back to the studio, after all. But the more you stop and think about it, the more apparent its value becomes.

After all, your adoring public (customers, clients, galleries and agents) aren’t in the studio with you. They may never get the chance to see your studio or your creative process; all they will see is the finished pieces you create. Since most of us aren’t lucky enough to have a consistent gallery presence at all times, one of the best ways to show off your body of work is through your portfolio.

Your portfolio is your foot in the door in almost every creative endeavour, whether it’s connecting with a new gallery owner or showcasing your range of talents to prospective clients who may be interested in hiring for commissions. They’re also your best way of building up a fanbase of viewers who will help generate hype for you and launch your artistic career to the next level.

Even if you’re more interested in art for art’s sake, and you don’t really care about fame and fortune, then it’s still important to keep your portfolio current for one very good reason: it’s the best way to follow your personal development as an artist. Not only will you get a sense of where you’ve come from, creatively speaking, you’ll also be able to track how you’ve developed and find inspiration about where you’d like to go in the future.

If it seems like a fun and easy task to you, then you’re a member of a very select group! In fact, keeping portfolios current has become such a widely recognized issue in the creative community that a number of artists, designers and photographers around the world have started a movement called the “May 1 Reboot”. Essentially, this is a group effort designed to get creative people into the habit of ensuring that their portfolio is up-to-date in terms of content and style each year on May 1st, whether it means updating your website or your profile here at Kobo Art!

Often creative professionals work best when up against a due date, and having a world-wide date for everyone to finish their yearly updates will hopefully help us all to stay on task! But even if you’ve missed this year’s May 1 Reboot, it’s never too late to start updating your own portfolio.

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