How to Make a Portfolio for Your Art in 24 Hours

Sarah Peterson / August 27, 2019

, ,

You have beautiful designs, paintings, and illustrations. You want to share them with the world, right? The only problem is that you don’t know how to get started — but that’s about to change.

Creating an art portfolio online is easier than you think. We made one from scratch in less than 24 hours — and, it was completely free with WordPress.com.

Let’s take a look at everything that we did to make a portfolio that reflects our work and puts it on display for potential clients to see.

1. Pick a platform

We used WordPress.com to create our art portfolio, because it’s easy-to-use, offers free domain names and templates to help us get started quickly, and comes with extra features and plugins should our needs change.

2. Choose a name and logo

If you haven’t picked a name for your brand, consider using your first and last name. Choose carefully, as the name you settle on will appear in your portfolio’s URL.

For example, we chose “My Awesome Art Portfolio.” Our URL is: myawesomeartportfolio.wordpress.com. Yours might look like this: firstnamelastname.wordpress.com.

For our logo, we saved time by using one that we created in an existing tutorial.

3. Choose a theme

From the WordPress.com dashboard, you can find themes under Personalize > Customize > Themes.

We sorted through themes by Subject > Art to find portfolio-optimized themes.

An art portfolio should highlight your work, so an image-heavy, responsive theme is the way to go. We went with the Cubic theme.

In Cubic, the default homepage is a grid of square images, making it the perfect choice for displaying artwork. The text on top of every image allows for brief descriptions of each project.

Click “Activate this design” to install your chosen theme.

4. Upload your art

First, set up your logo by going to Personalize > Customize > Site Identity > Logo.

Once your logo is uploaded, you can move on to artwork. In the Cubic theme, the thumbnail images on the homepage are pulled from individual posts, so we put each project into a separate post. Go to Manage > Blog posts > Add.

Next, fill in the title of your project, set a featured image, include more images within each post, and write a short description.

Then, customize your preferences. The focus should remain entirely on your art, so we unchecked the sharing buttons, likes, and comments. We also categorized all the posts as “featured.” You can do this in the right-hand menu.

Here’s how it looks so far:

Our test homepage only shows images and the title.

Some artists choose to display images without descriptions; ultimately, the look of your homepage is up to you.

5. Create a gallery

You can also choose to display your art in a beautiful, organized manner with a photo gallery plugin; plugins are available to WordPress.com Business users.

One option is the NextGEN Gallery plugin, which lets you arrange your artwork in a number of different styles (like a thumbnail, masonry, or mosaic gallery). Below is an example of a masonry gallery:

WordPress gallery plugin

This allows your visitors to see your artwork on the front page of your website.

6. Additional pages

Finally, let’s set up some other essential pages:

  • Your “About Me” page should let visitors know who you are, what you specialize in, and what they can expect from your work.

  • Your “Contact” page, which can either be a separate page or a section of your “About Me” page, should let visitors communicate with you. It should also be a way for you to extract relevant information from them (such as the timeframe and type of project they’re looking for).

  • You can also add a “Shop” page if you have prints or other products for sale.

Ready to get started?

Here are a few things to remember as you get started building your art portfolio website:

  • Use a theme with an image-focused homepage.

  • A white background will make your images pop — avoid using textures or dark colors.

  • Include beautiful shots and short descriptions of each piece (but use text sparingly).

  • Simple, bold, readable fonts are ideal.

  • Keep your most recent work on the homepage. Don’t make it hard to find your projects!

Ready to make a portfolio? Your potential clients are waiting — get started today.

Create your new blog or website for free

Get Started