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How to make a portfolio and resume of the artist. The advice of an art critic.

Throughout the centuries of the professional art trade, aspiring artists have attributed their work to the owners of exhibition spaces and art shops in the hope that they will be accepted. In the 21st century, the situation has changed: modern technology and the availability of Internet access have greatly simplified this process for both parties.

Now you do not need to take pictures and go on a trip around the city, just spend a couple of hours on digitizing your work and writing a resume. The tradition has completely outlived itself: if you appear in the gallery without prior agreement, most likely they won’t even look at your paintings. Therefore, do not waste time – send a letter.

Portfolio of the artist. Tips & Tricks

In what format to prepare a portfolio?
There are two most common formats for a portfolio: pdf – a document or archive with images. The disadvantages of the document are obvious – it is impossible to immediately look around the image, which complicates the process of familiarization and selection. In addition, in each case, you will have to create a new file, because the composition of the proposed work will vary depending on where you send the portfolio.

We recommend creating a database of digitized works and replenishing it in the future. Organize folders by theme, technique, or other convenient feature. If necessary, you will quickly form a thematic portfolio from the general catalog. Remember that photographs must be of high quality and as close as possible to the actual look of your work! Be sure to number and sign the images (name, year of creation, material, technique, size), and also protect them with a watermark.

How to make an artist’s portfolio?
A creative resume differs from the usual one in that it does not need to indicate all the diverse work experience, achievements in the field of anything other than creativity, the strengths and weaknesses of you as an employee. You are not hired to work in the gallery, but offer equal cooperation. In fact, the gallery may be more interested in you than you are in it. Keep this in mind when starting your resume.

What parameters should be specified:

name, age, city, contacts
link to your personal site
creative union membership, awards
in which techniques and genres do you work
what kind of art education
in which exhibitions participated
in which directories were printed
which galleries have collaborated
participation in contests, art residences
creative scholarships and grants
critical publications about your work
experience as an artist
If possible, provide the letter with links to Internet resources confirming the validity of this information, as well as scans of documents, brochures from exhibitions and printed materials.

It will not be superfluous to attach a letter of recommendation from an art critic or critic, whose name is known to the gallery owner. It’s great if one of your friends is already exhibiting in this gallery – ask to recommend you or indicate in the letter who exactly informed you about the possibility of cooperation. In the art community, as well as everywhere, personal contacts and acquaintances play an important role.
When sending a portfolio and resume, do not forget about the cover letter. It can be written in free form. Briefly describe your work and indicate what attracted you to this gallery. Please note that a faceless or hastily composed text may raise doubts about your interest. Remember the phrase “Talented person is talented in everything”? Take a creative approach to creating a letter, just do not overdo it – let it be individual, but restrained, because this is a business proposal.

Mistakes in writing a resume

Portfolio and CV Mistakes
And finally, a few tips on what you should not do:

1. Send the entire database of their work. After all, you want to interest the gallery owner, and not spend a lot of his time downloading and viewing images. Select only the best and relevant work gallery concepts.

2. Attach a link to an online gallery to the letter instead of a portfolio – no one will look at several pages of images in search of works suitable for the gallery format.

3. To write an essay instead of a cover letter – a voluminous text, most likely, will not be read. Remember: brevity is the sister of talent;)

In general, not writing a cover letter is also a mistake, in which case your portfolio will not even be opened. The gallery owner needs to understand who you are and on what issue you are writing.

4. To state or duplicate paragraphs of a resume in a cover letter, as well as to insert images directly into the text, is neither readable nor convenient.

5. Make grammatical mistakes. A creative person is supposed to be literate no less than others!

Total
Summarize. The most difficult thing for a novice artist is to compile

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