Tuesday 1 May 2012

Tips to name your online portfolio's folders and artworks.

Written for learners creating or maintaining online portfolios*, and their educators.

Following on from my profile page tips, here are ideas for making the best folder name choices and labeling your artwork well. By following these tips, you can ensure that your portfolio reads like a professional's, since it will provide an appropriate framework and descriptions to your creative works' viewers.

Choosing the best design and naming approach for your artwork projects' folders.
Your homepage can feature up to five folders. Depending on your educator's instructions, you may choose folder titles that match his or her syllabus (for example; "Exploration in Colour", "Extra Mural Artwork", "Inspiration", "Sketchbook/Sourcebook work" and "Structure, Form, Light and Shade") or be given the latitude to mix or replace these folders' titles with your own.

In choosing titles, you must consider how these relate to the page's overall design: you can choose whether to name your folders separately using text. Alternatively, you may place labels within the artworks you chose for your folders. You can even decide not to use folder names if the artwork imagery works better blank!

1. Titling folders with text

Separate text example of Nicole Duennebier's homepage, 1 May, 2012.
The most common approach, in which the folder's titles are specified within Carbonmade and use text below or within the folder.

2. Adding text within the artwork folders' imagery
Text in artwork project folders example from Josh Powers, 1 May, 2012.
This option allows you to showcase your design skills by combining text and image in the artwork project folder artwork you select.

3. No text
No text example of Zoe Kovac's Carbonmade portfolio's homepage, 1 May, 2012. 
Where the imagery is self-explanatory, it may be best not to use titles at all...

Project folder names.... darling, names!
If the folder names are up to you, you must ensure that they match the artworks you have (or will shortly) upload and resonate with your profile; particularly your description and choices under "Areas of Expertise" and "Skills".

In choosing a naming convention that is coherent between folders, choose an overarching concept that links them, such as: "subject", "medium" or "theme". Below is an example for each category:

i. Subject
If you would like to upload illustrations of Cape Town's natural beauty done in different media, you may choose to title your folder; "Cape Town landscapes".

ii. Medium
If you enjoy using a particular medium, for example doing sketches in pencil and ink, you could create the folder; "Sketches in ink and pencil".

iii. Theme
You may have created artworks with different media and subject matter, but can be placed under the same theme, for example: "Beauty".

Titling your artworks
After labeling your artwork project folders and uploading the relevant artwork to them, you should add empirical data below each. You can follow this convention which approximates that used in most serious art history books for stating empirical data; <Artist name>, <artwork title>, <date created>. <media>. <Size in cm>. <Location>. Example: Rembrandt, The Prodigal Son, 1669. Oil on canvas. 265.4 x 208.5 cm. State Hermitage, Lennigrad. For your titles, you obviously leave out the name of the artist and the location. For example: Drawing of a pair of shoes from the: ‘Bags, Baskets and Baggage Project’, 2011. Graphite pencil on paper. 420 x 295 mm.

Using other artist's artworks
As a learner you may want to show your viewers examples of other artists' works that have interested you. If you do, you must avoid the danger of misrepresenting other people's artworks as your own by placing their artwork in separate folders and attributing the work to them in the artwork's title.

A learner's attribution example for a Lisa Brice artwork. 1 May, 2012.
If your online portfolio work is going to be assessed and it displays any other artist's works without suitable attribution, it is plagiarism and your marks are likely to be heavily penalized for this. So, create an "Inspiration" folder to feature artworks that inspire you, and label them well!

Highlight your extra-mural interests
If you create works in visual culture that fall outside the ones you do in school, you may want to create an "extra mural" folder to reflect your out-of-class activities (for example: fashion design patterns; stencil or logo designs; celebrity drawings or hobby photography).

Adding a description, project web address, client and/or project category
Carbonmade also affords multiple options to add further background about your artwork. You may consider adding a description to the folder; providing further background on its "subject", "medium" or "theme", for example. You may also add information about the project category. While you are unlikely to have a client or project web address while a learner, it is useful to know these options exist to take full advantage when you do :) !

I hope these tips helped you to think through the options for titling your folder and labeling your art (or artworks of others). Please suggest any other tips in the comments box, below?

N.B. The original version of these guidelines were created by a Visual Arts educator for independent school learners, whose choices I am currently studying. I have supplemented, restructured and rewritten his guidelines for a broad online audience of Visual Arts (and Design) learners and educators.

* Although these are shown using Carbonmade examples, they also apply to similar software.

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