Choosing the right portfolio can be a very personal experience like choosing the right pair of shoes. It is therefore important to get both the size and the style right; after all it will reflect your work.

It is also important not to overload a portfolio for an interview; choose your best work and stick to a theme. The objective of every portfolio is similar – to secure the best place on that perfect course or for that perfect job.

how to prepare a portfolio

Most Portfolios can be embossed with just a name but the best choice would be our Pina Zangaro Range. A Personalised Portfolio can show a potential client or employer that the artist made a real effort in displaying their work.

Portfolios can be personalised by etching, screen printing and can include company logos. For more information on this visit Portfolios Plus.

Important Tips for Portfolio Preparation

  • Different disciplines have different requirements with regards to the size of a portfolio; ensure you know what this is at the very start of the process.
  • Consider what journey you want to take the viewer on and plan your portfolio based on that.
  • Lay emphasis on the starting page and final page. Those are the moments that have the most impact on the viewer.
  • Practice opening your portfolio. While this may sound like a trivial comment you will need to ensure that even if a portfolio is opened incorrectly nothing falls out or makes the viewer confused.
  • When including actual artwork, consider using white or neutral coloured mats to complement your work appropriately.
  • A portfolio should showcase your development as an artist especially through your studies if you are a recent graduate.
  • Most importantly it is a reflection of your thinking and your interpretation of your work, spend some time planning and presenting your portfolio so that your thinking and interpretation is shown clearly.
  • Presentation is important, your work should be mounted on a clean card or in sleeves in your portfolio case.

Other considerations

  • Separating your best work from the really good work isn’t a crucial task for your portfolio, choose what works best with the narrative of your portfolio to make a decision on what to showcase. However, consider all your work and showcase the best work of this.
  • Make your portfolio unique, however, it is important to not try too hard.
  • No detail is too small or insignificant
  • Artwork should always be signed
  • Images may be artistically messy, however it is important they are displayed in a professional manner.
  • Scruffy pages can reflect poorly on you.
  • Take some sketchbooks with you.
  • Furthermore if you are sending your work in by post, ensure it’s not your original work but copies. Also using a portfolio bag if your portfolio is an expensive book would be a great way of protecting it when posting it out.

For unique bespoke portfolios you can pop into our Shoreditch shop for a consultation and to get help in designing your own portfolio. –

Some of the post portfolios are the Zangro Vista Portfolio & Techstyle Agency Portfolio. Pina Zangaro range is exclusive to us in the UK and available online at or in one of the Cowling and Wilcox Stores

If you have any questions regarding your portfolios or need advice on choosing your perfect portfolios then Tweet us via @cowlingwilcox or leave us a comment on our Facebook page. We’re here to help to make this incredibly important task stress-free for you.

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