Artist Tips: How Many Portfolios Should I Create and What Industries Can I Find Work?

by | Dec 8, 2022 | Professional Artist Tips: Portfolio & Freelancing

Artist Tip 1: Create multiple portfolios for different industries

Creating multiple portfolios for different industries is a great way to test out which market responds better to your work. For graphic designers and illustrators: you probably should create a professional industry portfolio and continue developing another portfolio just dedicated to illustration work. I would highly recommend this!w

Because most of the time companies will only want to see samples of work related to the specific job you are applying for. If you are trying to get work in the advertising/digital marketing space, make sure you have work to reflect that industry and vice versa. Or for a game artist or concept artist– make sure you are showing portfolio pieces that are specific to that industry.

Even if you want to highlight and include certain work in your portfolio, it may not be relevant to what companies want to see. So consider that thought. You should also try to keep your portfolio focused, even if it is only a few pieces of good work. Quality of work is always better than the quantity of work.

Artist Tip 2: Building Experience

It can be a confusing time being a young artist or finding a career path that’s suited for you and something that you can see yourself doing for the next year, or maybe 3-5 years down the road. Or maybe you are switching career paths? I always say that having experience working for a company is never wasted. It could be a great learning opportunity while you figure out what you want to do. Figuring out what you are truly passionate about may take some time and evolution as an artist. Whatever path you walk in, walk with intention. Set some goals for the next year or two and build a career strategy that you can evolve into. Be realistic as to what kind of experience can help build your career.

Most companies will look for experience in your resume for the position you are applying for. Its hard to break out in an industry that you don’t have any experience in, but there are places to find short term projects and experiences that you can build along the way. Having at least 1-2 years of experience doing projects or entry level work is a good place to start, or even finding an internship for a few months or working with a startup with a smaller budget.

Artist Tip 3: Do some research in market trends and look at the industry you want to get work in and ask:

  • Who are the top companies out there?
  • What work do these companies want to see in a candidate’s portfolio?
  • What are some things I can ask industry experts for advice?
  • Who are the top candidates in this industry and what can you learn from their work that you can apply to your own discipline?
  • What are some of the things I like to do? What are some of my hobbies? How can I merge my passion into a career path that I like? Are there any companies that reflect that lifestyle?

Another pro tip:

  1. Look at job descriptions of companies, and observe the skills you need to master and gain experience from.
  2. Find people who work in the companies you like on LinkedIn and look up their portfolios to see what you can learn from their work.

More on how to reach out to professionals and start conversations on LinkedIn in another post and video.

Artist Tip 4: Where to start looking for projects:

When I first started as a graphic designer trying to find work with companies, I created a portfolio specifically for the industry that I wanted to work in. And then I kept a personal art blog while I was studying for my Master’s degree in Visual Development. More on that here

Artists Tips: How Many Portfolios should I create and in what industries can I find work?

Check out my Vlog on YouTube! 

Places to find work online:

www.creativecircle.com

https://workingnotworking.com/

https://www.freelanced.com/

https://www.coroflot.com/

https://www.krop.com/

https://www.linkedin.com

UpWork

Online communities to post your work:

www.behance.net

www.dribbble.com

www.artstation.com

Come find me over at Dribbble! 

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Related Post: How to find work as a Freelance Designer

This image found on Unsplash here