Spring ’22 – Syllabus
Artist’s Portfolios, Websites & Careers
Long Beach State University
College of the Arts
School of Art
Art 490: Capstone Workshop: Artist’s Portfolios, Websites & Careers
Spring Semester 2022
Instructor: Glenn Zucman
Can You Really Have an Art Career?
- Lots of people get Art Degrees.
- Lots of people don’t have Art Careers.
Which will you be?
Honestly, it’s up to you.
“Great Artist” = Great Success?
It would be easy to think that the “great artists” succeed. And that those of us who are more ordinary don’t succeed and move on to business and other careers.
I don’t see that.
It might be part of it, but I mostly see that some people refuse to give up. They just keep pursuing their art career and it works out over time.
Will you show your work at Saatchi Gallery? Or MOMA? Or The Broad? Will you be an Animator at Pixar? Or a Designer at Pentagram? Will you Design the Sets or Costumes for a Broadway show? Will you win an Academy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Production Design? Or Visual Effects?
I don’t know. Not many achieve those things. But lots and lots of artists spend decades of their lives earning their living by doing art. If you want that and are willing to work for it, I believe that you can have it.
But let’s be clear…
There are a lot of people with art degrees. The world doesn’t need that many artists. But it seems to need an endless supply of businesspeople, middle managers, spreadsheet jockeys, and others.
If you’re willing to say an art career is too hard and it’s just easier to take that day job, the world is perfectly happy with that.
And that day job might be easier and pay better. An art career doesn’t equal a great income or a great life. All I’m saying is that if you want it enough, are willing to work for it, and are not willing to take “no” for an answer, then it can happen for you.
The Wisdom of the Village Idiot
Art 490 section 1 – Capstone Workshop in Artist’s Portfolios, Websites, and Careers – Spring 2022
This is a capstone course in preparing SOA students to complete their time at LBSU and move into art careers. We will focus on Your Career Plans, Realistic Expectations, Preparing a Persuasive Portfolio, and realizing that portfolio as a clear, concise, and compelling Website that presents your work to the Curators, HR Directors, Collectors, Art Directors, Clients, and others interested in your work.
- Semester: Spring 2022
- Section 1: Class #6748
- Prerequisite: None
- Units: 1
- Work Estimate: 3 hours/week
- Course: January 20 – May 6, 2022
- Final: No formal final. Your “final project” is your portfolio website.
- Online Course: Asynchronous
- Room: Zoom: https://csulb.zoom.us/my/glennz
- Password: soa
Lunch @ the Art Gallery
- aka ”group office hours” – bring your lunch, come and go anytime, hang out, chat about art, life, careers, stuff. Meet your classmates. Share your interests and concerns. Discover that we’ve all got the same fears and worries, and that you actually can have an art career!
- M Noon – 12:50 pm PDT
- or email Glenn to meetup any other time
- Instructor: Glenn Zucman
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- alt email: email@example.com – please use my university address above. But if the university ever locks you out of MyCSULB, you can use this address as a backup.
- Week 1 – 20-23 Jan – Write Career Statement & Career Goals
- Week 2 – 24-30 Jan – Write 5-year plan
- Week 3 – 31 Jan – 6 Feb – Research A: Key People for your career & Viewer Profile
- Week 4 – 7-13 Feb – Sketch Portfolio/Website Menu & Site Map
- Week 5 – 14-20 Feb – Research B: Find 5 Websites in your field
- Week 6 – 21-27 Feb – Write About Yourself & Your Work
- Week 7 – 28 Feb – 6 Mar – Photograph Yourself & Your Work
- Week 8 – 7-13 Mar – Choose a Platform & Domain Name
- Week 9 – 14-20 Mar – Build Website – 1st draft due by 11:59 pm Sunday 20 March
- Week 10 – 21-27 Mar – Developing Your Personal Style
- Spring Break – 28 Mar – 3 Apr
- Week 11 – 4-10 Apr – Welcome Video
- Week 12 – 11-17 Apr – Social Media Week
- Week 13 – 18-24 Apr – Nomads & Tools Week
- Week 14 – 25 Apr – 1 May – Website Classmate Critiques
- Week 15 – 2-6 May – Refine your portfolio. Final draft of website due by 11:59 pm Friday 6 May
1-to-1 Meetups with Glenn
- Meetup #1 – Weeks 3 & 4: 31 Jan – 13 Feb
- Meetup #2 – Weeks 7 & 8: 28 Feb – 13 Mar
- Meetup #3 – Weeks 11 & 12: 4-17 Apr
- Optional 4th Meetup – Week 15: 2 – 6 May
- Visit the Meetup Schedule Page to pick the Day & Time you’d like to meetup on Zoom.
- I’m available for all the meetups you’d like by email or zoom. These are just our 3 “official” meetups.
Turning in Your Work
I’ve made an “Etherpad” page for each of you. Etherpad is handy in that we can both edit it at the same time. You can use it to post your weekly activities before your website is up, and when we meetup on Zoom, we can both look at it and edit it to refine your ideas and your text. I might be able to help with things like your Artist’s Statement.
Etherpad is a text-only platform. For photos you can post images wherever you like and then paste links to the images on Etherpad. If you use a public-by-default platform like Flickr, you can just post. If you use a private-by-default platform like Google Docs, be sure to either set your images to Public or to add Glenn as an allowed viewer.
A few of the many places you can post images:
- Google Docs
As with images, you’ll post your videos on another platform and paste a URL on your Etherpad. The most common places to post your video are:
Format of the Course
- Online. Asynchronous.
The purpose of this course is to design & implement your Portfolio Website. To learn skills and methods that will allow the artist to maintain a current, and contemporary presence online.
Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Build a 5-year career plan that includes career goals and financial income and outgo
- Create a clear, concise, and compelling Artist’s Portfolio that focuses on specific career goals
- Build a persuasive Website that presents your portfolio to your audience
- Easily & Quickly Update the content of your Portfolio
- Change the aesthetics of your Portfolio
- Discuss the aesthetics of many different Artist’s Portfolios
- Prepare Images & Videos for your Portfolio
- Create an online CV (curriculum vitae) or Resume
- Create an online Artist’s Statement
- Exchange links with other artists
- Great News – the textbook is free!
- Actually, you’re reading it now. This website, glenn.zucman.com/websites, contains info for each week’s activity.
- Do everything detailed in the weekly activity briefs and you’ll end up with a 5-Year Career Plan and a Portfolio Website clearly targeted at the people who can help advance your career.
- The activities are spread out over 15 weeks, but feel free to work faster! After all, these aren’t hoops to be jumped through, they’re tools to help you have the Art Career you want.
- Computer – laptop or desktop. Or computers in the Horn Center or Spidel Center
- Camera – Phone, DSLR, Mirrorless, or Film
- Cloud Storage – Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, OneDrive, etc (free version)
- Web Platform – Wix, Squarespace, WordPress, HTML, or anything else you prefer
In addition to whatever Hosting and Cloud Storage platforms you choose, this class will use these online resources:
- Course website – glenn.zucman.com/websites
- Live Websites – we will view each other’s websites, many other artists’ websites, and various other resources online.
Technical Competence Required
The ability to:
- use a phone and a laptop
- view websites & navigate to different locations
- download and install software
Minimum Hardware Requirements
Any smartphone and laptop made in the last few years. Or computers in the Spidell Center or the Horn Center.
Minimum Software Requirements
- A modern web browser like Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, etcetera
- Support software, like Photoshop or Adobe Creative Cloud, and perhaps a text editor like Brackets, Notepad++, or Sublime Text.
If you’ve been staring at a screen for 20 minutes, it’s a good idea to look at something further away for a moment. If you’ve been working for 2 hours, it’s nice to take a walk around the block before continuing.
Attendance & Grades
for the last 16+ years of your educational career we’ve sold you a lie: that points and grades mean anything at all. They don’t. This class could not be less about points or grades, and letting that be the focus of your work this semester is a complete waste of your time. This class is about you building a career and achieving your goals. You’ll have your true “final grade” in 10 years when we can see what sort of career you’ve developed.
- It’s an asynchronous class! There is no attendance! There is only creating an awesome Portfolio, Website, and Career Roadmap for yourself. And a few meetups with Glenn to discuss your Portfolio, Career & Goals.
- 15 Weekly Activities @ 1 point = 15 points
- Meetups: 3 meetups @ 2 point = 6 points
- Website 1st Draft: 3
- Website Final Draft: 6
Total points possible = 30
- 27 points = A
- 24 points = B
- 21 points = C
- 18 points = D
- 17 & below = F
The thing about being late is, the more you let preparing for your career slide, the more frustrating and confusing it’s all going to seem. At some point, you might say “an art career is too hard, I’ll just take this business job that’s available.”
If the business job is what you want, great! I’m happy! You’re happy! It’s all good!
But if you actually want an art career, it’s going to take work to make it happen. That is the purpose, the only purpose, of this class.
Instead of asking what’s the last, last, last possible day you can turn your stuff in, why not do everything for the whole semester in the first month and then ask,
How can I make my portfolio better? What more can I do to advance my art career?
The School of Art grants “incompletes” rarely and only for the most extreme conditions.
CSULB will make reasonable accommodations for any student who has different needs. It is the student’s responsibility to notify me in advance of the need for special accommodations.
Faculty at CSULB strive to create an environment that supports meaningful dialogue grounded in research, academic inquiry, and mutually respectful relations. We also strive to remain conscious of and attentive to the damage that anti-Blackness does to the lives of our students, faculty, staff, administrators, and their related communities.
If you are having trouble affording enough food to eat, do not have a safe and reliable place to sleep, and/or experiencing an emergency or crisis, then the Basic Needs Program is here to help. The Basic Needs Program provides emergency services and resources for students. To learn more about the program, visit https://www.csulb.edu/student-affairs/basic-needs/basic-needs-services.
Undocumented students are welcome in this class. If your status presents obstacles to engaging in specific activities or fulfilling specific criteria, you may request confidential accommodations. You may consult with the Office of Equity and Diversity or the Dream Success Center for examples of possible accommodations. Such arrangements will not jeopardize your student status, your financial aid, or any other part of your residence. Please advise me if and when you feel comfortable during the semester so that I may make appropriate alterations as needed.