Do you know how to create a fine art portfolio online?
To make money as a fine artist, you need to put your work in front of gallery owners, professional curators, and art collectors.
Creating an online portfolio seems like an obvious way to start, but with
at least 100 platforms, apps, and websites that promise to help promote your art, it can be hard to know where to spend your time.
We’ve put together a guide to 5 of the most popular and effective online portfolio tools* specifically for fine artists.
*No social media tools are covered in this article as they are something different altogether. If you’d like to know more about using social media to gain popularity and market your art, then jump to our article about marketing art with zero budget.
Web & App Portfolio: Behance (FREE)
At a glance: Behance gets 60+ million page views every month so the opportunity for discovery is high. But with 10 million members and counting, your portfolio might struggle to stand out.
Millions of creatives, from designers to fine artists host their works on Behance. The portfolio site was bought by Adobe and ties in nicely with Creative Cloud apps (if you use them).
Behance is free to use and you can throw a portfolio together really quickly. Here’s an example:
If you gain followers, likes, and views from the Behance community, your art will be featured on the front page. That means you have a high chance of getting discovered by curators and collectors.
Behance also has an app for IOS and Android that allows you to access your portfolio on your device and offline. On the downside, your portfolio layout will look just like everyone else’s and your image thumbnails will always be displayed in the same way.
Web Portfolio: Small Victories (FREE*)
At a glance: Put all of your images in a dropbox folder, connect it to Small Victories, select a template, and get a gallery-style website. Fast, easy, and basic.
If you don’t want to spend lots of time creating an online portfolio this is perfect. The free tool is the passion project of two coders and is really easy to use — even if you’re not good with technology.
Drop all your art into a Dropbox folder, log onto smallvictori.es, connect Dropbox, and choose a site template. For an art portfolio site, we suggest using the Slideshow or Feed theme. Remember to resize your images so they load quickly.
On the downside, this tool is pretty basic. If you want anything fancy you’ll need to do the HTML code yourself. And if you want to customize your domain name, you’ll need to buy the Pro version (only $36 a year).
We think this is perfect if you want to create multiple portfolios for different uses, but is a little too limited to be your only online portfolio. Plus you can’t access it offline.
*Pro version available for just $36 a year.
Web & App Portfolio: DeviantArt (FREE*)
At a glance: This is the place to go if you want a community of artists (even if most of them are digital creators).
If you want to know where the artists hang out online — it’s here. DeviantArt is the most popular site for artists on the internet. As with the other options on this list, you can upload your art and make a portfolio with ease, but the biggest advantage to DeviantArt is community.
You can write journals, comment on artwork (and get comments in return) and participate in highly active forums. It’s a great way to build connections with artists around the world.
If you want to sell digital prints of your artwork, DeviantArt makes the whole process simple with their online store. Upload your work, choose the option to make it a ‘print’ and let people buy prints on paper or canvas.
On the other hand, the majority of art on Deviantart is digital, so as a fine artist you might need to work a little harder to find like-minded artists.
App Portfolio: D Emptyspace (FREE)
At a glance: If you want your portfolio to stand out, a virtual gallery space ought to do the trick! This is a new app, but it’s easy to use and not oversaturated with millions of creatives.
Our app is a great way to set up a unique online portfolio. Unlike other options on this list, you’re able to create a full virtual gallery with walls and everything. You can upload your art, scale it to whatever size you like, and make multiple galleries in different colors.
It’s a great option if you need to show a potential curator a specific theme or series of work. And yes, you can share your galleries with people who don’t have the app.
To be fair, D Emptyspace is still new and developing. You can only get it on IOS — we’re still working on the Android and Web versions. But we’re a small team dedicated to building a diverse community of artists around the world. Bonus: It’s early days, so the chances of getting noticed and followed by others is high!
Web Portfolio: Fabrik ($11 Monthly)
In a nutshell: If you want a no-nonsense customizable website AND portfolio, this is how you do it.
Fabrik is your ultimate hack to create a beautiful website with an art portfolio. The system is pretty intelligent and handles the complicated stuff like image resizing and embedding. In their own words, “let us spend our time thinking about things like load-balancing, geo-locational efficiency, site-caching and scaling infrastructure. We have people here that enjoy that sort of thing, you just get on with making great work”.
You can choose from 8 themes and customize the layout even further. Added features include blog scheduling and email support. All this doesn’t come for free though. You’ll still need to buy a domain name (if you’d like it customized) and pay $11 a month or $110 a year.
Tips & Trick to Build Your Online Portfolio Fast
Before you launch into signing up and making a portfolio, prepare yourself with these items. They’ll help you work much faster and save time when creating portfolios over multiple platforms.
- A folder of hi-res photographs of all the art you want to upload (here’s a guide)
- A pre-written artist’s bio in a word document that you can copy and paste (here’s some good advice)
- Artwork names (and descriptions if you need them)
- A sense of how your artwork fits together to tell a story
Download D Emptyspace for iOS: https://apple.co/2MhsxCs
Android version coming soon!
Follow D Emptyspace for more company updates and art-curated content!