One of the most important issues for designers and visual artists to address is where to showcase their portfolio. It’s an extremely competitive market and having your previous work, commercial or personal, available to view online can be a vital asset. It can also be useful, and often rewarding, to get other designers thoughts and critiques of your work, and positive application of such comments to your future work can really nurture and advance you as an artist. Also, in being part of an online community you can offer the same help and advice to other artists and build up important contacts and even collaborate on new projects with likeminded people.
The first step though is to get your work online, and below are a few sites that are particularly useful, whether they offer a vibrant community or simply a clever way of marketing your work, I’m sure you’ll find one that suits you.
Shown’d provides a free online portfolio service and the ability to apply themes to your page. It also comes with its own watermarking tool to apply a watermark to your images. Employers are also encouraged to setup an account here, and are sent the resumes of other members. So it can be a good place to market yourself and find clients.
Behance has a strong community and provides an array of mediums to view. Collaborative projects are also prevalent on Behance as members are encouraged to join groups, known as circles.
Carbon made has a fun style to the main site interface, and currently hosts over 400,000 portfolios. The portfolio pages are clean and simple, with more of an emphasis on showing off the imagery than the page itself.
Coroflot acts as a job advertisement board as well as a portfolio site, and offers a “genius” section which showcases some remarkable and inspiring artwork from its pool of members. A useful site for both employers and designers alike.
Dribble has been dubbed by some as the “Twitter for designers.” The site works on the basis of “shots”, which are small images, a maximum of 400 by 300 pixels, that allow members to quickly post a snapshot of what they’re currently working on.
KROP provides a strong employment service via their own private employment network, and is also a showcase for talented professionals. It’s heavily geared towards attracting employers making it an ideal place to expose your work.
Portfoliobox provides both a free and a premium service. The free service gets you a customisable page with social media integration within the main site and hosting of 50 images. Going premium buys you your own domain, an RSS feed and amongst other things, integration with Flickr galleries.
Viewbook offers three portfolio packages to its members, ranging from $4 to $19 per month, and provides unlimited galleries and albums to your online portfolio as well as a place in its iPad app. At the more expensive end of the spectrum you can also use your own domain name.
VoodooChilli is a free community for traditional and digital artists. It has a basic design and accepts artists of all talent and experience levels. It also hosts its own “Image of the Month” competition, where the winning image is placed in a prominent place on the site, generating maximum exposure for the artist.
Instagram is more of a social networking site as opposed to an online portfolio, but it’s a really handy way of quickly uploading snaps of your work and ideas for other users to comment on. You can easily upload a sketch, or rough concept of a design to get feedback on it before committing to the final piece.
Flickr is also aimed more at taking snaps throughout your day, but given that it’s a social networking site based around images it’s an ideal, and free way of getting your images and ideas online to receive feedback on them. There are multiple communities within Flickr and many designers/graphic artists make use of it to rate and appreciate each other’s work.
Ultimately, TUMBLR is a blogging site, but it has some really nice features for uploading creative images for display in your own, customisable page. It also comes with integration to Twitter, and allows you to tweet your new upload to your followers instantly.
Dropr is an exciting site to watch, it’s currently in beta but it looks and feels stunning. There is already some fantastic artwork to be seen here, and if it goes well it could be a big player in the market.
RedBubble provides an interesting take on helping you showcase your work. If you provide them with a graphic, they will sell your work through multiple mediums, including cards, t-shirts, framed prints, and handle the manufacturer and customer service for you. An interesting way to get your work out there.
Big Black Bag takes the hassle out of creating and managing your own personal portfolio, starting from $8.99 a month you can get a slick and attractive platform to showcase your creativity, and manage it with a few simple button clicks.
Deviant Art has a vibrant community and is a useful platform to showcase anything and everything in the visual arts spectrum. It’s a place to upload your work for discussion and to comment on the work of others..
Design:related provides a simple, minimalistic approach to promoting its members images. You become a member on an invitation basis, which you can request via the main design:related site, and once you join you will be in good company amongst a hoard of other talented creatives.
Take a dip into Portfolio’s Friend, and immerse yourself amongst the inspiring imagery found within, and then, submit your own.
Creattica currently has over 4000 designers on its members list, and once you’ve joined you can follow other artists who inspire you and keep up to date with their latest work.