Artist Portfolio Enhancing Strategies

A good artistic portfolio consists of planning & Inspired Research:

An artist portfolio is first created through preparation. Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. All great achievements and heights of excellence were mostly possible because of planning and research, likewise, an exceptional art portfolio attributes a great deal of research and other forms of learning to create masterpiece end products.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. Benjamin Franklin

Solid knowledge and grasp of current art news and trends go a long in enhancing a portfolio. Playing around with the fundamentals creates a desired balance. Inspired knowledge can come from other visual artists, both maestros, and mainstream. The good news is that inspiration is everywhere. Mundane activities of everyday life channel the perfect artwork. Current affairs, art history, methodologies, science, nature, culture, memes, politics, etc can all be great sources of interest of study.

Branding equates to value, and value is earning power. Thus, an enticing brand image means an artist has a strong artist portfolio. A strong brand image is an earned milestone that makes an artist well-known and thus preferred. Alternatively, taking up courses is also a good enhancement strategy. Accolades are earned through participating in art competitions, fellowships, art webinars, zoom discussions, and all other forms of learning; thus, a strong brand image is built as a consequence.  All of these are an integral part of planning. My advice to artists wishing to build a strong portfolio is to be relentless and intentional in their professional development. The idea is to show up!

Networking and exposure are forms of research. You learn a lot through exposure. More-so, exposure is a kind of research that creates a distinction of fine-tuning in this precise line of work. A refinement process is necessary for building a solid artistic portfolio. A refined artist is a tall glass of fine wine brewed through various waves of exposure. Attending exhibitions, fundraisers to support art-focused organizations helps the artist gain this exposure. Opportunities are ample out there.  A great artist is always seeking an opportunity to expand their knowledge because they understand that knowledge is critical to their artistic portfolio.

In areas of knowledge and understanding, a well-versed artist becomes attractive, timeless, valuable, and in every way has depth.

Not only does research stir a sense of direction but Creatives can pick up ideas and inspiration for their muse and have an artistic flow due to their research. Inspiration and wonder are everything in art. A strategic artist wants to create a flair of art that is different and daring and the best way to come up with such is to draw inspiration from a vast pool of research. In a way, research brings out an element of innovation.

It is noteworthy that research is important, however, an effective artistic portfolio is not necessarily about the bulk of the artwork, piling ideas, and clustering your work; it’s about quality than the quantified work.

Another form of enhancing knowledge is by subscribing to art news & blogs. For your artistic inspiration visit, (www.artifybotswana.com/blog)

Technical knowledge is also good fuel for growing an artist’s portfolio. Information on legal matters, issues of copyrights, and artistic integrity.  For maximized effectiveness, financial literacy is a key cornerstone to alleviate the starving artist connotation. You do not necessarily need to become a financial guru, but some form of study on investment, market rates on charge sheets to clients, hourly rates, subscription to artistic platforms, royalties payouts, terms of use for work in exhibitions, estimates on the quantity and costs of material all sum the need for basic understanding the critical business affairs of commercial visual artists.

As an artist, a solid portfolio means being knowledgeable. Knowledge is a great confidence booster because creative power is harnessed. The experience gives an artist a grounded footing. Through research, an artist’s work is able to amplify raw talent and brings out an artist’s dynamics.  

Create a unique niche for your artist portfolio:

In a way, an artwork is a subliminal reflection of the artist. With that in mind, artists should create work that has a sentimental meaning to them. Aligning personal interests and ideas reflects meaningfulness in an artist’s work.  Art has to have a soul. For artists, that soul should come alive in their artist portfolio. A personal touch that is easily identifiable as an artist’s own unique craft creates depth and soul.

The idea is to create that artist ‘x-factor’ or rather a brand differential factor that sets you apart from the rest. An artistic portfolio with that sort of branding is simply a rare market puller. Basic artists might fade away with the masses in this new digital shift. Bland will not cut it in the journey to great artist ability & recognition thus unique will ultimately win. A unique niche improves search ranks and helps boosts an artist’s portfolio so they stand out.

A unique artistic portfolio is eye-catching.  To beat the competition, an artist’s portfolio should be memorable; forever ingrained their audience’s memorabilia.  Besides, ordinary art is boring and widely rampant, people really crave for different! Awe-striking and unique is what mankind is secretly searching for. Art with a personality is more attractive. For instance, a perfectly drawn portrait may be artistic but a caricature is even more interesting & engaging. Sarcasm on matters of affairs is the pulling factor here. Unique is rare, to say the least, and will definitely do wonders for an artist’s wallet; albeit, it is the law of supply & demand.

I’ve witnessed artworks with unique settings, weird plot-twist on story-telling; others add a dash of sci-fi themes, surrealism, etc. These are exceptional ‘outside-the-box’ approaches to artistic skill.  It makes one concur that art has to have an unlimited possibility element which endorses as a unique artistic niche is what I am trying to communicate.

Personally, I crave for a revolutionary movement on art that prides itself primarily on our heredity and our African roots, nothing with a connotation on superstition or ‘barbarism’ and a third world issues as proposed by western media but about Africans taking center stage in development, Pan-Africanism theme-based art, African excellence, melanin-power, African pop-culture, African wealth, Ingenuity & African innovation and folklore animations, African superheroes & villain comics with a global reach, etc. Imagine bizarre but alluring art with that ‘Wakanda-Forever’ texture. Basically, a world of possibility and a sense of the best side of African identity as seen through visual artwork.

The take-home for visual artists:

Create an artist portfolio. Do a lot of art experimental and find your niche, never be too adamant about playing it safe, typical, and quite frankly boring. Find your sweet spot, your forte and create your own method and trademark it. Thus, keep striving, do the jab-jab until you find your own ‘Muhammed Ali’sRope-A-Dope-technique’.

Here’s a fun fact: An art curator once forgot a banana peel on the floor of an art gallery, people mistook it for a masterpiece, or perhaps was it?  Later, the news of the peel went sky-rocket, and it was valued at a stellar price. It’s open for interpretation…

To view our local artists profiles and portfolios, visit our Facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/artifybotswana

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