Even though it’s only halfway through the first semester in the Art program at Marywood University, portfolio reviews are just around the corner for seniors and in the near future for all other art majors. I took the time over break to go through my art in preparation for my senior review and the creation of my professional portfolio. Here are some tips and tricks that I wish someone had told me throughout the years:
1. It’s important to keep your work neat and organized. Make sure you finish your pieces by spraying work with a fixative when necessary because you do not want charcoal drawings to smudge or fade over the years.
2. Keep your work in a safe and dry place. It would be awful if any of your art got ruined from water damage in a flood, or if your basement just happens to be damp. I know it’s difficult to find space for all of that work and your basement or garage is an easy fix, but it’s important to store your work in a place that it will not get ruined.
3. Make lists. I’m always a sucker for lists and it helps me stay organized. Write down the pieces you made in each class, size, medium, a description of the process, and when it was created can be helpful in the future. It makes it easier when you need to make tags for shows or for explaining your art to anyone.
4. Sign and date every piece as you make it! I had an awful habit of not signing my pieces, I felt the date was irrelevant as I was only going to get better from my foundations year. Let me just say that the date is important!
5. If you’re traveling with work, buy bubble wrap and pack neatly. This is pretty self explanatory, you should want to take care of your work. (Helpful hint: they sell bubble wrap at the Dollar store, and it’s just as effective as more expensive brands.)
6. Ask for help! Don’t be afraid to ask a friend or family member (or even an art faculty member in advance of the portfolio review date) to help you pick out your best pieces. Lay it all out and have them pick out what they like. It helps if they have a background in art, but it isn’t necessary.
7. Photograph all your work as you make it! And during the creative process! It’s awesome to see where you’ve been and how far you’ve come in individual pieces and as an artist.