Artist’s Portfolio: Its Quintessential Roles and Relevance

An artist’s portfolio is a collection of an artist’s creative works either in soft or hard copies. It is an edited collection of their best artwork intended to showcase an artist’s style or method of work. A portfolio is used by artists to show employers their versatility by showing different samples of current work.

Typically, the work reflects an artist’s best work or a depth in one specific area of work. When presenting a portfolio, not only the artists work is being judged, the artist is also being judged. Questions like; ‘Is this artist serious? Will he or she succeed in the art world? Are they worthy of being represented?’ are mostly asked when an artist’ portfolio is being evaluated.

Historically, Portfolios were printed out and placed into a book. With the increased use of the internet and email however, there are now websites that host portfolios uploaded online that are available to a wider audience.

There are basically two ways of producing portfolios for the creative works of an artist. These are soft copy portfolio and hard copy portfolio. To obtain soft copies of the portfolio, creative works are snapped or shot using cameras (such as a digital camera etc.). They are then written on a compact disc (CD), DVD (Digital Versatile Disk), EVD (Enhanced Versatile Disk), VCD (Video Compact Disk) as a soft copy of the artist portfolio. Usually, such soft copies of works include a short biography of the artist- his educational background as well as the media he employs for his works, the theme/subjects, techniques or styles that he uses in his works. The creative works shown in the soft copy may also have their relative sizes and prices indicated on them.

On the other hand, the hard copies of the portfolio refer to the actual works on large papers and boards. A fairly large folio or case made of a strong hard material such as a hard paper, fabric or leather is used for the safe keeping of the artist’s creative works. Hard copies of the works either real or pictures of them are preserved in Files, Envelopes, Folders, albums etc.

An artist’s portfolio has several benefits. It serves as a source of reference to the artist. It is a storehouse of the artist’s best works where he can reliably turn when making any reference to his style, technique etc. It can also assist him to critically know areas of his former works that needed to be corrected so as to avoid committing the same mistakes in his future executions.

Also, it is a requirement for employment, business promotion, bidding for contract or occupational training or apprenticeship. It can open several doors or opportunities for an artist. For instance, in seeking for an employment, the portfolio presents the technical expertise, craftsmanship and skills in an easier manner to the employer. It speaks for the artist.

Moreover, it helps in gaining contracts. In bidding for contracts for the artist, it is his portfolio that does all the conviction so as to win contracts. This is because the committee sees in practical terms the same models the artist has done before.

In addition, it assists the artist in getting promotion in his business and in an interview for further studies. It increases the chances of the artist in his quest to pursue further studies in his area of study.

Finally, it serves as an evidence of practical experience, skill, knowledge, creative ability, technical proficiency and academic achievement. It is a true witness of the artist’s makeup. It sums up the total personality of the artist, making his identity easy in familiarization with people especially tourists who usually tour the country.

Due to the great value of portfolios, young and experienced artists must endeavor to make it their prime aim of building their own portfolios that will serve as a visual proof of their entire makeup, skills, expertise and achievements.

Shading Techniques in Art

Shading is the technique of showing tones or values on an object through gradual gradations for it to look ‘solid’ and have a three dimensional effect. Shading techniques allow you to weave layer upon layer of pencil marks to add a convincing form to your line drawing. Shading adds a sense of substance to your subject and produces a convincing tonal relationship. Drawings take on a three dimensional form when shaded properly.

To render shades correctly on drawn objects, the artist must carefully observe the source of light that is striking various values of tones or shades on the drawn objects. After realizing the source of light, the artist must study closely the reflections of the light on areas of the objects to know the lightest and darkest sections. After establishing the endpoints or extremes thus the lightest valued areas as well as the darkest valued areas, the remaining area with a mid-half tone between the two extremes is the middle value.

The tones are adjusted as many times to make it look realistic. It is advised that artists step back periodically to look at the drawing and the subject in a distance to view and adjust the tones accordingly. This would make the values depicted on the drawn objects more realistic. In the rendition of cast shadow, the artist must take note of the light source and the striking or reflection of the light on the objects. If the light is far above, the shorter the shadow is (try checking out your shadow at noon – 12:00PM) whereas the lower the light, the longer the cast shadow will become. The rule is that the darker the shadow, the brighter the light source. As the shadow is drawn further from the object, the lighter it becomes. The shadow takes on the shape of the item it comes from. Notice that to make the shadow, all you have to do is create a triangular shape from the top of the object to the ground and back to the base of the object. According to the light source, make your shadow fit accordingly.

There are various ways of rendering shades on a drawn object. Some of these are:

1. Hatching: This is a shading technique that employs one set of line either vertical, curved or horizontal lines in rendering shades on a drawn object. These lines are drawn beside one another to give the illusion of a value. Depending on the hatching shading effect one want to achieve, the artist may decide to make the individual lines in hatching sets far apart or close together.

2. Cross-hatching: This is a shading technique made by the use of lines that crosses each other at an angle in rendering shades on an object. In cross-hatching, one set of line crosses over (overlaps) another set of line to create a shade on a drawn object.

3. Stippling/Dottilism/Pointillism: This is a shading technique that employs dots or series of points in rendering the shades on an object.

4. Circularism/Squirkling/Scribbling: This is the use of circles, squirkles and scribbles in rendering a shade on an object. When squirkle sets have noticeable spaces between the lines, they work beautifully for shading various textures, such as fuzzy fabrics and curly hair. Squirkles can look like a solid tone when the lines are drawn closely together, and are great for shading lots of different aspects of people, including skin tones.

5. Tonal gradation/smudging: This is the rendering of soft tones on a drawn object and blending the tones together with the thumb, a piece of paper or a soft cloth.

Rendering shades on objects using any marking or drawing tool is an interesting practical exercise in art. However, to achieve successes, artists must learn the rudiments in shading so as to render shade on drawn objects based on the accepted rubrics of art.

Geri Jewell

Perhaps the name Geri Jewell doesn’t immediately ring a bell with you. Maybe if you saw a picture it’d take you back to the time that you first saw her on television. Maybe if you’re part of the LGBTQ community you have heard of her for a whole other reason. Whatever the case may be, Geri Jewell wears a lot of hats, as she is a motivational speaker, an actress and an author, and oh yes, she has Cerebral Palsy too.

Geraldine Ann Jewell was born on September 13, 1956 in Buffalo, New York. Just because she was afflicted with Cerebral Palsy, though, didn’t mean that she wouldn’t chase her dreams of being an actress. In fact, when she debuted on The Facts of Life in 1980, she was the first person with a disability to have a role in a prime time series. She played Geri Tyler– cousin Geri is how we knew her and she had that role for four years.

Cousin Geri may have been the first time many people saw someone with a disability interact with others as the story lines played out. For many the Facts of Life was a touchstone show where you could relate to the characters and see your own problems played out by the characters. If you didn’t have a friend or family member with a disability, Geri may have been the first person that you saw fully functioning and playing her part in the story. There was nothing to be scared, embarrassed or ashamed about; she was simply a differently abled member of the group. Her being part of the cast brought those with disabilities hope because if she could do it, why couldn’t they?

Cousin Geri left The Facts of Life in 1984 but Geri Jewell the actress went on to play parts in The New Lassie, 21 Jumpstreet, Young and the Restless, Strong Medicine, Alcatraz, Sesame Street, Glee and many others. She also found time to write two books and is a motivational speaker for both those with disabilities and those who are in the LGBTQ community. She has worked with different branches of government and many organizations, lending her voice for advocacy and change.

Geri Jewell won the 1992 Founders Award and was the recipient of the 2005 Independent Living Legacy Award and today you can still catch her acting and speaking around the country. Disability? What disability? Geri Jewell shows us that if you set your mind to it, you can achieve it!

4 Things to Consider to Be a Fashion Model

The Haute Couture of modeling is a specific kind modeling that requires a great deal of commitment and passion
Looks matter

Unlike commercial or advertisement modeling which accepts almost all kinds of models based on their relevance to the marketplace, fashion modeling is almost like an art form that has its own unique standard to meet. Usually a height of above 170cm, waist measurement of 35″-36″ and angular jaw, cheek and collar bones are expected. It is very rare for shorter models to be in fashion modeling, in which case only a very exceptional skin or look will be able to pass through. The sad truth is that either you’re born with it or you are not. There are many options in the modeling world, and not everyone is suited for everything.

Know the Best Modeling Market for You

Your look and style should also consider the market you want to be in. To fit in the demand in the types of high fashion you will be involved will mostly cater to an Asian or West market. The styles are not fixed to solely Asian, but incorporate many types of high fashion including Western trends. For markets like South Asia, modeling is mostly indigenous in nature and will have to adopt the market’s style, in which case it should suit your looks. Because of a rapidly globalizing world, one has to conduct thorough research to be able to identify which market is best for their particular look and style.

Find a good agency

Finding a good agency can never be understated in its importance. Not all agencies cater to fashion modeling and some only provide specific styles. You should seek out for agencies that will be able to provide for a variety of styles. A good agency will also take the time and effort to create a good portfolio for you and market your brand and look well. You should do some research on the top model agencies and the previous models they have helped to develop before you make a finalized decision.

Establish networks and exposure

As you get exposed to various clients throughout your career, aim to establish good contacts through networking and who knows what kind of opportunities may pass by your way. Also make sure to keep constant contact with your bookers or model agents for opportunities in the market. Gain as diverse a range of exposure as possible. Fashion model’ contracts are hard to get, so if you want it you have to be patient and be willing to cooperate with the Booker.

Fashion modeling is a competitive industry that doesn’t suit everyone. It requires much commitment in terms of time and energy and only accepts certain ideal bodies.

5 Things Every Model Must Know About Modeling Jobs

We list several important things a model should know about modeling jobs, which can prove to be useful for any aspiring Model.

Shoots are never as grand as photos

Modeling jobs can occur with complete irrelevance to the day’s weather (E.g. Thick coat in the Sun) as part of the client or photographer’s fashion design. Moreover, a model may have actually, may have to go through numerous outfit changes and must be willing to persevere through the process. Also, certain positions may be very uncomfortable and models may be required to hold the position for a significant amount of time. All these factors don’t make modeling a ride in the park, or a work for just a pretty face. A strong personality and attitude are fundamental attributes.


As a model, especially on an outdoor shoot, you would encounter more than one photographer. People from the public can be using their smartphone to take pictures of you. This becomes a problem when an unglamorous photo is taken and spread around. So make sure even after your photo shoot, you still carry yourself well in public.

Listen and cooperate

It is necessary to be slightly thick-skinned and confident of your body but never argue with your photographer unless there’s an absolute tragedy taking place. This is because they usually have more experience in the field and serve as your mirror during the photo shoots. They are the ones who are able to see the whole picture, as they see you with your background, and there may be good reasons for putting you in an uncomfortable difficult position. Photographers have an immensely difficult job of meeting up to client’s expectation, so always be kind to them, listen to their advice and cooperate.

Bookings are hard

One of the toughest jobs in a modeling agency is that of the Bookers. They have to match models that clients want and are willing to use. As such some models may find it hard to get good job bookings at the start. They may even have to work in exchange for portfolio photographs, experience clocking, and free clothes or sometimes none at all. A sacrifice of time and effort is often necessary to kick start a modeling career. But even if it is a free job treat it like you are being paid. If nothing at all it becomes a good learning experience and a platform for you to develop your skill as a model. So there’s never anything to lose.

Time and energy investment

As mentioned, time and energy are required for modeling jobs. It is definitely possible to juggle modeling with work or studies, but a model should not be arranging many plans on days where there is a photo shoot. If your eyes are droopy or you can’t hold a pose for too long, the photos are definitely not going to be of professional quality. Hence, bear in mind the vibrancy and energy required for modeling.