Spring ’23 – Syllabus

Life is too short to remain unnoticed.

— Salvador Dali

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 2023
Instructor: Glenn Zucman


We’ve got a lot of work to do this semester! Every week you will:

  1. Do an activity that helps organize and build your career plans and portfolio
  2. Make new work. Make the work you choose, for the portfolio need, to build the career you desire.

Planning your life and career, thinking about professional networks, money, and all things Art-Business can be stressful. Don’t be over-stressed! Let’s hop on Zoom anytime and talk through things. Stressful stuff talked through, and thought through, is almost always better and less stressful.

Can You Really Have an Art Career?


Let me be as brutally honest as I can be:

  1. I honestly believe that 100% of Art 490 students can have an art career.
  2. My guess is that about 10% of Art 490 students will have art careers.

By “Art Career” I don’t necessarily mean Retrospective @MOMA, Partner @Pentagram, Lead Animator @Pixar, or Academy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Production Design.

By “Art Career” I do mean earning a living doing art. Paying rent and putting food on the table with your art.

Honestly, I’m nothing special. Yet I’ve done exactly that for decades. I can barely remember the last time I had a non-Art job. If I can do it, I believe that you can do it.

Don’t make me cry!

Why do I teach this class? In part it’s because of how depressed I get when I visit LinkedIn. It seems like every time I go I see another artist who has abandoned their dreams to pursue a business career. Friends and former students who gave up. The fantastic film composer, the sensational photographer of live events. And on LI I learn that they’re now a business management consultant. This isn’t necessarily bad. A business career might be easier than an art career. Might pay better. Might be a good life.

If you want a business career, that’s great! I’ll be happy to help! I just don’t want to see you give up on an art career dream because you don’t know how to connect to your field, or have “imposter complex” and feel unworthy, and so on. I will help if you want to do the work to make your art career happen.

Your Career Goals

In my experience, most Art 490 students fall into a few different categories:

  1. I already know I don’t want an art career – about 5% of students
  2. I might want an art career someday, but the stress of life, the pandemic, and other things mean that I just don’t have the bandwidth to deal with a career right now – about 5% of students
  3. I want an art career, and I know exactly what it is – about 20% of students
  4. I want an art career, but I’m not sure what it should be, or which of several paths I should choose – about 70% of students

All of these scenarios are fine.

Let’s build the portfolio that’s most relevant for the future you want.

Most students do want an art career. If that’s you, let’s do everything we can to make your transition from the LBSU School of Art to the next chapter of your career as successful as possible.

The Wisdom of the Village Idiot

Course Details

Art 490 section 1 – Capstone Workshop in Artist’s Portfolios, Websites, and Careers

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.

  • Instructor: Glenn Zucman
  • email:
  • Semester: Spring 2023
  • Section 1: Class #5932
  • Prerequisite: None
  • Units: 1
  • Work Estimate: 3 hours/week
  • Textbook: Artists’ Portfolios, Websites & Careers, $0.
  • Course: 19 January – 13 May, 2023
  • Final: Friday 12 May 2023, 12:30-2:30 pm PDT.

Course Format

  • Online
  • Synchronous + Asynchronous
  • Mondays on Zoom, Noon-12:45 pm
  • Plus 1-to-1 Zoom meetups with Glenn

Monday Zoom Schedule

  • Noon-12:15 pm – Arrivals: meet classmates, pick accountability partners, share stories, ask questions, eat lunch
  • 12:15-12:30 pm – This week’s activities – going over what we’re working on this week, everyone on the same page
  • 12:30-12:45 pm – Departures: questions about this week’s activities, interacting with classmates

Mondays won’t be a “teaching” session and we’ll never have Portfolio Critiques on Mondays. These brief meetings will be to organize our week’s work, make sure we’re all on the same page, answer questions, and meet classmates.

Zoom Room

Zoom Etiquette


  • Mondays are informal.
  • If you need to walk across campus and Zoom in by phone, that’s fine.
  • Camera on if at all possible

1-to-1 Meetups with Glenn

  • A more official, in-depth conversation about your career and portfolio
  • Camera On
  • Decent Light
  • Microphone On
  • Not too noisy environment
  • Best Internet connection possible

Appropriate Online Behavior

The early days of the World Wide Web (circa 1991-2001) were a garden. A wonderful sandbox of possibilities. The beautiful garden is still there. But today trolls, bullies and other destructive behavior is also there. I don’t see the Web as worse than the rest of humankind. But, just as we do in the physical world, we bring the best and worst of our humanity to online spaces. I’m not sure what the web equivalent of “Road Rage” is, but we all know it’s easy to get there.

Please be courteous, thoughtful, and respectful in interacting with your classmates. Respectful does not mean always praising. When you interact with classmates, endless generic praise is not helpful. Try to be encouraging but also critical. What’s working? What could be stronger? Polite, well-intentioned, thoughtful critique is a gift you can give each other.

Be kind & be professional!


  • Friday 12 May 2023, 12:30-2:30 pm PDT
  • Zoom
  • Group critique of portfolios with guests


1-to-1 Meetups with Glenn

  1. Meetup #1 – Weeks 4 & 5
  2. Meetup #2 – Weeks 9 & 10
  3. Meetup #3 – Weeks 14 & 15
  • 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

Text (Etherpad)

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:

  • Flickr
  • Gyazo
  • Google Docs
  • OneDrive
  • iCloud
  • Tumblr
  • SmugMug
  • ImageShack
  • PhotoBucket
  • etc

In all cases, a free account is sufficient.


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:

  • YouTube
  • Vimeo

About Art 490

  • Online. Synchronous & Asynchronous.


  • None


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. To develop a realistic career plan and begin the steps of your professional career journey.

Learning Outcomes

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



Course Website

  • This website:, is $0.
  • 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 Art of Non-Conformity

  • Optional Text: The Art of Non-Conformity: set your own rules; live the life you want; and change the world, by Chris Guillebeau. This book is a fantastic tool to help you think outside the career box. Boxes can be good – they help us advance toward goals. But default boxes often lead to default goals, default careers, and default lives. The Art of Non-Conformity will help you see a wider set of career options. Help you “shop for the best box” to live the life you want.

Required Materials

  1. Computer – laptop or desktop. Or computers in the Horn Center or Spidel Center
  2. Camera – Phone, DSLR, Mirrorless, or Film
  3. Cloud Storage – Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, OneDrive, etc (free version)
  4. Web Platform – Wix, Squarespace, WordPress, HTML, or anything else you prefer

Online Resources

  1. Course
  2. Course Padlet
  3. Our Zoom, password: soa
  4. Your Etherpad – Launches in Week 1
  5. Your Website – Launches in Week 9

We won’t use BeachBoard or Canvas. We’ll do everything with the above tools. If you have questions, just leave your question as a comment on any of Glenn‘s posts on Padlet. Or send an email.


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

  1. A modern web browser like Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, etcetera
  2. Support software, like Photoshop or Adobe Creative Cloud, and perhaps a text editor like Brackets, Notepad++, or Sublime Text.


We know that long periods of time Close Focusing or Sitting are dangerous to your health. You might not do a lot of damage to your health in one 15-week class, but if using Tablets & Phones or Sitting are part of your long-term career plans, it’s a good idea now to develop habits and tools to promote a long and healthy life.

Close Focusing

Excessive close focusing to read books, phones, and tablets can cause myopia, a condition where your close viewing is sharp but your distance viewing is not.

If you close focus:

Sitting is The New Smoking

Sitting will shorten your life. If your career involves long periods of sitting, I recommend a treadmill desk. Some people get standing desks. I love standing! I like standing while I work better than sitting or walking. However, standing is fatiguing! By contrast, walking is not!

Some people prefer treadmill desks for the physical health benefits. Others like treadmills for the mental health benefits. They believe that they think more clearly and perceptively while walking.

A slow 2 mph treadmill is easy to work on. You can wear business clothes and not sweat. You can talk on the phone and not be out of breath. I find it easy to walk and type at the same time. I’m not sure on tablet use. You may want to experiment. You could try standing while drawing with a tablet, and walking while typing or reading.

Some treadmill desks can be very expensive. You might like one of those some day. But there are also inexpensive options.

  • Buy an inexpensive treadmill and slide it under a desk or drafting table. Put your laptop or desktop monitor on the table
  • Strap your laptop to a treadmill with an inexpensive accessory like a “Surf Shelf”
  • Do a YouTube search for lots of info on building or buying a treadmill desk

Attendance & Grades


Art is anything you can get away with.

— Andy Warhol


Don’t think about making art, just get it done.

— Andy Warhol


I’m working to change this course from Letter Grade to CR/NC. Since that hasn’t gone through yet, let’s make this semester simple: Everyone gets an A. Seriously.


Because this class is too important to waste any of your time thinking about Points & Grades. This is not a class in jumping through hoops or making Glenn happy. Our bar is much higher than that. This is a class in building your future. Stop checking your phone and get to work.

For 16 years now, education has seduced you into forgetting about your Intrinsic Motivation to build an art career, and to instead focus on the (meaningless) Extrinsic Motivation of points and grades. Forget about points and grades! Focus on building the art career you want!

Your Real Grade

It’s impossible to give you a real grade this semester anyway. You can give yourself a real grade 5 years from now. Are you a practicing artist? Are you satisfied with your career trajectory? Are you living the life you want? Are you happy? If yes, then you’ve earned an “A”.

Accountability Partners

You, and your class Accountability Partners, should keep each other motivated and progressing.

Late Work

Do or do not.

There is no try.

— Yoda

About YOUR Education

I believe that you should be as in charge of your own Art School and Art Career Road Map as you’re willing and able to be. Take responsibility. Live the life you want to live.

I put my thoughts on this in a TEDxCSULB talk:

Other Details


The School of Art grants “incompletes” rarely and only for the most extreme conditions.

Withdrawal Deadlines


LBSU 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.

Basic Needs

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

Beach Wellness

Beach Help is available on the Beach Wellness Website if you are experiencing challenges with food/housing, academic accommodations, mental or physical health or other unique circumstances impacting your education.

Student Health Services

LBSU SHS has many services for students: 

Undocumented Students

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.

Eliminating Anti-Blackness

Faculty at LBSU 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.

Freedom of Expression 

The College of the Arts (COTA) at Long Beach State University (LBSU) embraces freedom of expression in the arts and encourages students’ creation of work that thoughtfully engages with all facets of the human experience. COTA recognizes that respect, openness, inclusiveness, and access are essential to creating a productive and constructive place for our students, faculty, and staff to teach, learn, study, create, and expand their fields. LBSU supports creative, thoughtful, and respectful discourses in which conflicting perspectives are vigorously debated and thoroughly discussed. LBSU is dedicated to affording all members of the LBSU community freedom of speech, expression, right to assemble, religion, and press, and protections for all identities under the U.S. and California constitutions, as well as under all applicable federal and state laws, in accordance with the University’s purpose and function except insofar as limitations on those freedoms are necessary to LBSU’s functioning. 

For more information about the First Amendment, freedom of expression, and hate speech, see:

For more on COTA’s support of inclusivity and diversity, see:

COVID-19 Health & Safety Requirements

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, LBSU has implemented health and safety protocols
(see LBSU COVID-19 website) that follow the guidance of local, state, and national public health
authorities. As a member of our campus community, you are expected to follow all campus
policies, including COVID-19-related requirements. These apply to anyone who is physically
present on University grounds or participating in any LBSU-related activity.

As an Online class, Art 490 students & faculty are not physically present on University grounds. If you wish to use campus facilities such as computer labs, then you must follow current LBSU COVID-19 protocols.

Campus Confidential Advocates, Not Alone @ the Beach

Title IX prohibits gender discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. If you have experienced sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape, dating/domestic violence, or stalking, the Campus Confidential Advocate is available to help.

Jaqueline Urtez and Rocio Telumbre, email:, phone: 562-985-2668, can provide free and confidential support, accommodations, and referrals for victims without having to report the assault to campus authorities. While students are welcome to discuss assaults with faculty or disclose such experiences in class discussions or assignments, both faculty and teaching assistants are responsible employees who are required to report all known incidents of sexual harassment/misconduct to the Office of Equity & Diversity/Title IX Office for follow-up. Reporting this information will result in the student being contacted by the Office of Equity & Diversity/Title IX Office with information on accommodations and reporting options for possible investigation. Students do not need to respond to the Office of Equity & Diversity/Title IX Office, but students who do wish to report the assault for possible investigation are encouraged to contact the Campus Confidential Advocate, who can help them through the reporting process, or they can report the assault directly to the Office of Equity & Diversity/Title IX Office by completing an online reporting form at or contacting the Office of Equity & Diversity at

For more information about confidential advocacy services and violence prevention education at LBSU, please contact our campus project Not Alone @ the Beach

Somewhere on the road between Los Angeles, CA and Kanab, UT, August, 2021.
Hiking Temescal Canyon, CA, January 2023. Photo by Niku.

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