let your portfolio do the talking (and the looking good too!)

by Jessika Hepburn, O Happy Day Handmade

The art and design world is highly competitive and completely based on looks, not how you look, but how you present your work. Having a memorable, unique and personalized portfolio can be an excellent way of getting noticed and getting the clients, contracts and sales that you want. If you are looking to break into illustrating children’s books, getting higher profile design jobs or you simply want to showcase your talents then you need a portfolio that is as brilliant as you are.

I have put together some great options for creating a portfolio that outshines the rest, but these printing ideas can also be used as promotional business materials. Hand them out at craft fairs and trade shows, or as additions to promo and media kits, stick them in as a “little something” with large orders or strategically place at related stores, galleries and cafes. For a little investment a stunning portfolio can generate a lot of sales and commissions.


Moo Mini Cards and StickerBooks are a creative way to showcase your work and turn images into an unconventional portfolio. Since you can upload a different image for every card, you can design packages of the cards and then simply staple them together as shown, or design an inventive or handmade wrapper to complete the package. For a really upscale portfolio you could send both a mini portfolio and a coordinating StickerBook in a matching wee box!


Artist and illustrator Jade Nellans created the beautiful and professional portfolio pictured on the top of this image and the mock children’s book on the bottom using Lulu an online self-publishing program/company that offers a wide range of services and packages for writers, designers, and artists, including marketing and design services.


These matchbook style portfolios from ShineBoxPrint come in a couple of sizes and are a classy way to showcase your images to a potential client or publisher. They also make business card booklets which would be ideal for dropping off to retail spaces or including in promotional packages or handing out at networking events….really the possibilities are endless.

I hope this post has inspired you to showcase your work in an exciting way-I would love to see pictures of your unique portfolio designs!


  1. ThisOldPMQ says:

    While I’m not an artist (though I play on one TV), I sure do love the design on these!
    If I were looking for an illustrator or someone to do design for my business/products, this kind of presentation would impress me. Plus, the “ooh, sticky!” would get bonus points for sounding exactly like the voice in my head.

  2. Robin says:

    I have been thinking about proper business cards (I used to handmake them and they were very nice, but I wanted something better)- so this is a very timely things for me.
    And I LOVE the sticker idea. Fantastic. The only thing is narrowing down which images I want to use on them. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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