How to create a great online portfolio in 10 easy steps!

STEP 1: Research, Research, Research!

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Look at other artist’s and designer’s websites for inspiration and tips. Think especially about artists that you admire or that are in the same field as you are. While you don’t want to flat out copy others, your research can help you to formulate more clearly what kind of look you want. The Foliovilla community is a great place to start, as it gives you an idea of the various possibilities of the Foliovilla platform!

STEP 2: Content is Key

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Your online portfolio is image-based, so it is important that your images reflect the quality of your work. Putting high resolution images on your website also makes it easier for others to later download those images.
Make sure that you have enough images on your Foliovilla website. It’s a bit like walking in a supermarket: shelves that are nicely filled look better than shelves that are almost empty, don’t they? The same goes for your website!

STEP 3: Structuring your Webpage

Make sketches and plans beforehand so that you know how to structure your page when you get down to it. How will your table of contents look? How many tabs do you want? Make sure that all important information (or really just all information) is close at hand: if your visitors have to click more than twice to find what they’re looking for, they might not put in the effort.

STEP 4: About page

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Make sure you have an about page, which should be concise but informative. Include an image that describes you/your brand in the blink of an eye, as well as a short descriptive text and/or artist bio. If you’re promoting a brand, you could include your mission and vision statements. If you’re an artist, you should mention your background, education, and previous shows or accomplishments.

STEP 5: Contact

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On your contact page you can choose whether to include your personal contact info, such as your email, or whether to use a contact form by which people can contact you. If you send out a newsletter via a mailing program, this is the place to include the subscription form. Through the Foliovilla format, people may also choose to contact you via messages. Try to check these regularly and to reply as soon as possible. This will give a good impression.

STEP 6: Blog

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The blog page is is where you put all your recent news and upcoming events. Just made an awesome new artwork? Got an exhibition or event soon and you want to make people aware? Or maybe you just want to share some of your ideas and impressions? Put it on your blog! Keeping your blog updated makes your site feel vibrant and buzzing.

STEP 7: Experimenting with the look

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Under “styling”, the Foliovilla format offers many different looks: from a classic square arrangement to a banner style succession of images to a waterfall of various shapes and sizes. Choose the style that fits best with your images, the structure of your webpage, and the story you are trying to tell.

STEP 8: Social media and sharing

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Sharing is caring! Try to get plenty of social media buttons on your pages, without overdoing it. Again, the rule applies that if your visitors have to make too big an effort to actually find the buttons, they won’t bother. Make sure they are visible and placed in noticeable places. If you want to really promote your webpage, it is also a good idea to create a linked facebook page, instagram, pinterest, twitter etc. By posting images on various platforms and linking these images to your website you can increase your visitor number.

STEP 9: Updating regularly

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: make sure your content is up-to-date. Luckily, the Foliovilla format makes adding and adjusting content as easy as uploading images and typing in text!

STEP 10: Done!

With these 10 easy steps, you can create an online portfolio that is beautiful, engaging, easy to use and up-to-date. The best thing about Foliovilla is that the starter pack is completely free. And if you like our platform and would like additional functionalities, consider going premium!

South African painter Kurt Pio brings a piece of Cape Town to Antwerp

Kurt Pio’s background story reads like it might be made into a broadway musical. It’s certainly an integral part of his work. About twelve years ago, Kurt graduated as an interior designer. He worked in this field for about six months, found that it did not make him happy, and quit. Moved back with his mother, started painting from her garage. When asked by a journalist, Kurt says he would recommend this to anyone who feels miserable in what they do. If, that is, they have a plan, a focus, something they believe in and want to work for. American – or, in this case, South-African – dream stories have grown out of a lesser determination. “You could be a motivational speaker on TED,” the journalist half-jokingly replied. And though I haven’t quite yet printed out his quotes and pasted them on my mirror, it’s hard not to get affected by his powerful, sincere ideas.

The body of work that springs from this determination is wide-ranging and eclectic, unified on the one hand by Pio’s love of travel, on the other by the unique perspective that his travels offer him on his homeland and especially his beloved Cape Town. Right now, Lifeisart Gallery and Graanmarkt 13 are exhibiting three series from Pio’s more-than-decade long career in Antwerp.


(c) Kurt Pio
(c) Kurt Pio

These elegant botanical studies made Pio’s name in South-Africa. Originally painted at a time when, as the artist himself says, people were ready to fall in love with their country again, the aloe vera was the prime example of the indigenous plants that all South Africans grew up with. As such the aloe transcends the differences and disputes that mark human relations in South Africa. It was, and remains, a hopeful symbol of a more egalitarian future.


In these paintings the plants are plucked from their natural surroundings, floating in a peacefully white no man’s land. The figure begins in a dense, clustered fashion, becoming less controlled as the stem of the plant peters out into freehanded wisps of paint. At first sight, the grey-greenish leaves seem almost desaturated of color, but a closer look reveals a wealth of blues, browns, greens and reds that make up these intricately detailed yet consciously unfinished works.


(c) Kurt Pio
(c) Kurt Pio

Likely the most personal of the three series, this 18-piece portrait series was painted at a time when Pio, having created a name for himself in the art world and struggling to balance his own needs and wants with those of the clients that commissioned his work, tried to embrace the romantic ideal of the poor artist stuck in his attic, unheard by the world. Six months of that lifestyle were plenty to sober him up, but they also seem to have provided him with newfound confidence. And they resulted in these beautiful portraits.

(c) Kurt Pio
(c) Kurt Pio

All eighteen boys have touched the artist’s life in some important way, but none of them were told that they had been painted. Instead, Pio painted from pictures found on facebook. All have a name, a story, and a piercing gaze. The black paint masking part of their face is therefore a way to safeguard their anonymity, yet it’s also a way to relegate them to the past, to put a shade over their faces.


(c) Kurt Pio
(c) Kurt Pio

These “sparkly” beauties are the original link between Kurt Pio and Antwerp. Intensely realistic and at the same time strangely abstract, Pio’s “Diamonds” sure pack a punch with their unusual shapes and vibrant colors. Antwerp is the world center of diamonds, and the journey that these diamonds have made from Cape Town to Antwerp perfectly symbolizes the journey that so many actual diamonds make every day. Though Kurt Pio obviously is too experienced an artist to ever be called a diamond in the rough but an experienced artist, we’re curious to see where his journeys might take him.

(c) Kurt Pio
(c) Kurt Pio


The exhibition is on until 10 oktober, simultaneously in Lifeisart Gallery (Sint-Jorispoort 20) and Graanmarkt 13 (Graanmarkt 13).

Follow Kurt Pio on instagram!

2015 Venice Biennale: Shiharu Shiota + Dansaekhwa/Lee Ufan

The Venice biennale gathers the best and worst of the art world. Within each individual’s subjective experience, many of the pavilions, exhibitions and collateral events are a hit-or-miss affair. It is worthwhile, when reminiscing, to consider which exhibitions remain most vividly in your mind. Did you take any pictures? If not, why?

I will discuss a number of Asian artists who exhibited at the 2015 Biennale and who each managed to create a space that can be inhabited endlessly. Together, they represent some of the strongest work I saw this year.

(c) Shiharu Shiota

Continue reading 2015 Venice Biennale: Shiharu Shiota + Dansaekhwa/Lee Ufan