How to make an art portfolio

Course description

Your portfolio will often have only one chance to attract the viewer's interest and leave a lasting impression. So, what makes a portfolio successful? To deepen our understanding of this question, we have spoken with jury members, gallerists, curators, artists, graphic designers and photographers. Based on our findings from these discussions, we developed this course. It is organized as a step-by-step-guide, which will give you a comprehensive understanding of all the different components needed to build a strong portfolio.

What you will learn

  • How to make the cover page of your portfolio stand out
  • The most important layout features for your portfolio
  • How to select the right works for your portfolio
  • How a great portfolio looks like
  • How the jury-review process works
  • How to properly export your portfolio as a pdf file
  • Important aspects to consider when printing your portfolio
  • How to take high-quality photographs of your works
  • The most important aspects of editing documentation photos
  • How to structure your artist resume clearly


  • 40-minutes video course in 13 chapters
  • Audio in English
  • Subtitles in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese
  • Unlimited access to your online course
  • For artists of all levels

Course plan (scroll down)

13 Chapters - 40 min

1. What is a portfolio? What should it contain?

2. Understanding the jury review process

3. Selection of works and number of pages

4. Taking high-quality documentation photographs

4.1. Setting the scene

4.2. Light

4.3. Camera settings

4.4. Editing

5. Digital and printed portfolios

6. Layout

6.1. Layout program

6.2. Layout aspects

7. Artist resume and curriculum vitae

7.1. Different meanings in the United States and in Europe

7.2. Content and structure

8. Cover page

9. Corrections

10. Exporting

11. Printing

12. Feedback

13. Final notes

About your tutor

Jordie Oetken is a multidisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles. Her work employs scale, lighting, and strategies of containment to maintain a continuous tension, asking the viewer to oscillate between their desire for clarification and the ambiguous narrative power of the image.

Oetken’s work has recently been exhibited at No Moon LA, Praz-Delavallade, and Tiger Strikes Astroid Los Angeles. She has instructed at the UCLA Summer Art Institute, the CalArts CSSA program, and assisted in the instruction of various advanced photography and theory courses at UCLA. Oetken has held residencies at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, MacDowell, Lighthouse Works, Vermont Studio Center, and the Yale/Norfolk School of Art.

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Bundle of Four Online Courses:

  • How to apply for art residencies
  • How to write an artist statement
  • How to apply for art project grants
  • How to make an art portfolio