Print or Digital?

If you call yourself an artist, no matter what kind of art you do, no matter whether you sell your work or not, you probably have occasions when you need to present it to others. There are lots of ways to accomplish that goal, and they basically fall into two categories, digital and print. Not every artist needs a print portfolio, but we can all benefit from a digital one.

There are lots of options for digital portfolios. Your target audience, artwork, style, skills and budget will determine which digital presentation is most appropriate for you. A simple PDF may be perfect for the job. Easily customized to the audience, fast and cheap to produce, easily readable, more presentations are done with PDFs than any other kind of portfolio. Websites and blogs are also great ways to do a digital portfolio. Open 24/7 with a global reach, your door has never been open wider. CDs, DVDs and thumb drives are also practical ways to get your work in front of the people you want to see it. Cheap to produce and simple to use, this kind of portfolio works great for lots and lots of creatives. Lastly, showing your work on a portable device, be it your smart phone, iPad or laptop can be effective.

The bottom line is this: You're showing your work because you're seeking a positive outcome from the presentation. Determining which kind of presentation is most appropriate for your audience is really important. If you're not sure, ask them how they'd prefer to view your work.

There are only two real mistakes you can make. You either don't make a portfolio so nobody gets to see your work, or you make your portfolio so complicated and fussy that it annoys your audience. Avoid those two traps and you're on the right track.

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