I'm excited to announce a new segment here and on my YouTube channel, 'Ask an Artist' where I will be answering some of the most frequent questions I, and many others, get asked about portfolios, the art biz, and life as a working artist. This crazy contemporary art world can definitely be a handful to navigate so I thought this would be a fun way to learn together from each other's challenges.
And please feel free pop me a question here or in the YouTube comments for a chance to get it answered on my next 'Ask an Artist' vid! Yay!
How do I start an art portfolio?
Make sure to have 8–12 strong works that have a cohesive theme and make sense together as well as an artist statement about your collection of works. It’s really important that the artworks have a similar style/medium/subject/color scheme/something to tie them all together. If you’re still testing out all kinds of styles and mediums maybe give it a little time to form a complete idea.
If you need help writing a really exciting artist statement I have a step-by-step video with lots of examples and motivation to help get you going since most artists find this is the most difficult part of getting a portfolio: How to Write an Artist Statement: Motivational Step by Step
You’ll also need to make sure the photos of your art series are high quality and clear. I’ve got a video on how to take excellent art pics using natural light with no fancy equipment: How to Photograph Artwork Using Natural Light
And last but not least, if you’re applying to a gallery, grant program, or really anything else art related with your portfolio you’ll probably need an Artist CV too which is basically an art resume. I’ve got a video on how to make yours really shine, even for artists just starting out: How to Write an Artist CV
Hope those resources get you started in the right direction!
Why do so many fine artists prefer oil over acrylic paint?
Oils tend to have the richest pigment and take the longest to dry giving them the most time to be blended/ worked thus producing the smoothest transitions. They can also be used opaquely as well as translucently which helps captures the light in a myriad of ways.
Not to mention the quality and lightfastness that oils provide are essential for serious artists who want their work to last generations. Many artists start with acrylics but not many go back to them after attempting oils. Not to say that there aren’t amazing acrylic painters, but the luminosity and durability of oils can’t really be beat.
Where can I find affordable art?
Usually colleges and universities have 1–2 art sales per year that are a great way to support up-n-coming artists. Sometimes local farmers markets have artists showing too.
Also, make sure you are following your favorite artists on social media as well as subscribing to their newsletters if they have one to be kept abreast of any sales or specials they might be running.
Leave your questions in the comments for a chance to have them answered on the next ‘Ask an Artist’!