Spring ’24 – Syllabus

Life is too short to remain unnoticed.

— Salvador Dali

Artist’s Careers, Portfolios & Websites


If you’re taking this class, I assume you want an art career. I will do everything I can to help you prepare for that career. I hope you will do everything you can to build your career.


Planning your life and career can be stressful. Don’t be over-stressed! Let’s hop on Zoom anytime and talk. Stressful stuff talked through is almost always less stressful.

Welcome Video

Course Details

Long Beach State University, College of the Arts, School of Art
Art 490: Capstone Workshop: Artist’s Careers, Portfolios & Websites

  • Instructor: Glenn Zucman
  • email:
  • Teaching Assistant: Emma Lies
  • email:
  • Office Hours: anytime! Let’s talk by email or hop on Zoom if you have questions about the class, art, career, life, or anything else. We have 3 “official” 1-to-1 zoom meetups, but you don’t have to wait for those. If you have questions, let’s talk!
  • Semester: Spring 2024
  • Section 1: Class #5447
  • Section 4: Class #10509
  • Prerequisite: BA or BFA Senior in the School of Art, or MA or MFA Student
  • Units: 1
  • Work Estimate: 3 hours/week
  • Textbook: Artists’ Portfolios, Websites & Careers, $0.
  • Web Hosting & Domain Name: $48-96
  • Course: 22 January – 24 May 2024
  • Final Section 1: Friday 17 May 2024, 12:30-2:30 pm PT on Zoom.
  • Final Section 4: Wednesday 15 May 2024, 12:30 – 2:30 pm PT on Zoom.

Course Format

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

Zoom Etiquette


  • Mondays are informal
  • 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
  • If the camera on your laptop doesn’t work, please use your phone or an LBSU computer lab like the Horn Center or Spidel Center. It is difficult to have an in-depth conversation about your career while talking to a black rectangle.

Appropriate Online Behavior

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.


  • Week 2 – Elevator Pitch
  • Week 3 – Make New Work
  • Week 4 – Key People
  • Week 5 – Make New Work
  • Week 6 – Write about Yourself & Your Work
  • Week 7 – Make New Work
  • Week 8 – Photograph Yourself & Your Work
  • Week 9 – Make New Work
  • Week 10 – Choose a Web Platform & Custom Domain Name
  • Spring Break – 1-7 April
  • Week 11 – Make New Work
  • Week 12 – 1st Draft of Portfolio Website Due
  • Week 13 – Make New Work
  • Week 14 – Test & Critique Your Portfolio Website
  • Week 15 – Final Draft of Portfolio Website Due
  • Final – Critique of Websites with special guests (Zoom)

Special Days!

If your schedule permits, I would like to shift 4 of our Zoom meetups. Two times I’m asking the Wednesday class to join the Monday class, and two times I’m asking the Monday class to join the Wednesday class. No worries if you can’t do it. But if you’re able, I think you’ll find our visiting artists & speakers valuable and inspiring:

  1. The Final – we are lucky to have several great off-campus & on-campus guests joining us for our Final Critique! Stanley A. Meyer, Broadway stage designer, Sophie Cheung, art director, and Sean DuFrene, LBSU photographer, will join us to critique our portfolios and share their own career stories and advice. To facilitate this, if your schedule allows, I would like to have both the Monday & Wednesday sections of the class meet at the Monday Final time: Friday 17 May ’24, 12:30 – 2:30 pm PT.
  2. Melanie Lo, PhD, from Wix will join us on Wednesday 20 March from Noon-12:45 pm PT to give us a helpful tour of using Wix for portfolios. If your schedule permits, Monday students can join us at the Wednesday class this week.
  3. Rosa Trujillo, Assistant Director, LBSU Career Center, will join us on Wednesday 10 April from Noon-12:45 pm PT to talk about resources the center can offer you. As an LBSU graduate, you have access to the Career Center for 1 year after your graduation. If your schedule permits, Monday students can join us at the Wednesday class this week.
  4. Sarah Bang, Graphic Design Manager, JVS SoCal, will join us on Monday 29 April from Noon-12:45 pm PT to talk about her career and answer your questions. She graduated from the LBSU SOA in May 2018 with a BA in Graphic Design. Today she’s the Graphic Design Manager at JVS SoCal.

Note: recording Zoom classes is considered an invasion of student privacy. Therefore, the above presentations cannot be recorded. They will be Live on Zoom only.

1-to-1 Meetups with Glenn

  1. Meetup #1 – Weeks 5 & 6
  2. Meetup #2 – Weeks 10 & 11
  3. Meetup #3 – Weeks 15 & F
  • 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.

Off-Campus Networking

Developing career plans and building a portfolio is our major focus this semester. It is also essential to start networking so you can get that portfolio in front of eyes that can help advance your career. This means stepping off the LBSU campus and into the world where your career will develop and grow.

Going to an art event or exhibit every week is highly recommended. The official requirement is to go twice: once by Week 7, and another by Week 14.

About Art 490

  • Online. Synchronous & Asynchronous.


  • BA or BFA Senior in the School of Art, or MA or MFA Student


This class has 3 key objectives to help you transition from the School of Art to your Professional Art Career:

  1. Pick one clear career goal. Pick 3 sub-categories within your goal.
  2. Make new work to fill in your 3 portfolio categories.
  3. Assemble your work into a compelling portfolio & website.

Learning Outcomes

On completing the class you will be able to:

  1. Give a Confident, Clear, Concise & Compelling (the “4 C’s”) 2 sentence “Elevator Pitch” describing your Art Career
  2. Make the portfolio pieces you need to advance your career without having an instructor assign them
  3. Build a persuasive Portfolio Website
  4. Use Portfolio software like Squarespace, Wix, WordPress, and others
  5. Easily & Quickly Update the content of your Portfolio
  6. Change the aesthetics of your Portfolio
  7. Prepare Images & Videos for your Portfolio
  8. Create an online CV or Resume
  9. Create an online Artist’s Statement
  10. Exchange links with other artists

The 4 C’s

The 4 C’s (Confident, Clear, Concise & Compelling) are an essential aspect of everything you do. From your elevator pitch to your full portfolio, everything should embrace The 4 C’s as you build urgency around yourself and your work. More info on the 4 C’s is here:



Required Materials

Your own Domain Name (URL) like:, Not

You can buy your Domain Name and Hosting from a Web Hosting Company. Here are a few choices:

Other Tools

  1. Computer – laptop or desktop. Or computers in the Horn Center or Spidel Center
  2. Camera – Phone, Mirrorless, DSLR, or Film
  3. Cloud Storage – Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, OneDrive, etc (free version)

Total Course Cost

  • $48-96


Technical Competence Required

  • use phone & laptop
  • view websites & navigate to different locations
  • download & 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. Any modern web browser
  2. Support software like Adobe Creative Cloud


The safety section of a syllabus normally lists things like safety issues with shop tools you will be using in class this semester. As this class is focused on your graduation from the School of Art and beginning your career, here are a few life-long safety tips:

Close Focusing

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.

Sitting is The New Smoking

Stress, Alcohol & Women

During the pandemic my viewing of films & television went up. I was shocked by how much characters drink. And by how much gun use is depicted. Many people think of Hollywood as Left-leaning. To me, Hollywood is the marketing arm of both the NRA and the alcohol industry.

Life is filled with stress. Conditions in America like the lack of universal health care add to stress. And trying to start an art career, or any career, adds even more stress. Here’s an article by Olga Khazan in The Atlantic about Women, Stress, Alcohol, and Drugs.

Points & Grades

New Work

“New Work” must be work that fits 1 of your 3 career categories. For example: if your career goal is Animation and your 3 categories are Storyboards, Backgrounds & Character Design, then you may not submit jewelry you made in your metals class. “New Work” must be work for Your Portfolio to make it possible to start your career.


  • Projects Weeks 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 14 x 1 point = 6 points
  • New Work Weeks 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 x 1 point = 6 points
  • 1-to-1 Meetups (Zoom) with Glenn x 1 point = 3 points
  • Off-Campus Networking due by Wk 7 & 14, 2 x 1 point = 2 points
  • 1st draft of Portfolio Website w Custom URL = 1 point
  • Final draft of revised Portfolio Website = 1 point
  • Final Critique on Zoom = 1 point
  • Total Course Points Possible: 20


  • 18 points = A
  • 16 points = B
  • 14 points = C
  • 12 points = D
  • 11 points & below = F

No Late Work

I wouldn’t want to work here the day that happened.

Digital Domain manager responding to an LBSU student who asked “What happens when you’re late?”

Be Professional – there is no late work.

  • If you’re late for an interview, you won’t get hired.
  • If you’re late delivering work you won’t get rehired (and may get sued)
  • Take this course, and your career, seriously.
  • Meet your deadlines.

Each week your work is due on Canvas:

  • Due Date is Thursday @ 11:59 pm PT
  • Deadline is Sunday @ 11:59 pm PT

If you plan to have your work completed and submitted by the weekly “Due Date” of Thursday, then you give yourself cushion for anything that might come up: technical issues, personal things, and so on.

Work submitted by the Sunday Deadline receives full credit. Work submitted after the deadline receives no credit.

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. Sometimes your needs might be apparent to me. Often, they might not be apparent. It’s up to you to LMK of any accommodations or other help you might need. Don’t be embarrassed to ask. The only purpose of this course is to build your art career. LMK how I can help!


This syllabus, and all other Art 490 materials, have been designed to be accessible to all students. The type should be legible, have good contrast, and be friendly for screen readers. The only things underlined are web links. Underline means link. If you find elements of this syllabus or the class that are difficult to use or could be better, please let me know so I can make our content accessible for all students. The LBSU Accessibility Statement is here.

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 diversity & inclusion see:

AI & Your Portfolio

This workshop is not a traditional academic course. You are not writing essays to demonstrate mastery or research on a given topic. Instead, you are writing things like Artist’s Statements to advance your career. If AI can help, then great. Nonetheless, there are some things to consider:

  • Machine learning language models like ChatGPT can be problematic. They use stolen ideas for their predictions. They replicate the racism and sexism of this source material. Machine learning models can warp our worldviews and harm society.
  • You are welcome to use generative AI tools like ChatGPT, Dall-e, and others in this class. You are responsible for the generated text you use in your portfolio. Check that it does not violate intellectual property laws, contain misinformation, or unethical content.
  • If English is not your first language, it is possible that Generative AI can help you write sentences with better English grammar. Of course, so can going over your Artist’s Statement and other text with Glenn or an advisor at the LBSU Writing Center.
  • While the use of Generative AI is permitted in Art 490 as taught by Glenn, it might not be permitted in other courses you take at LBSU. Be sure you know the AI policies for each course you take before using AI tools. Permission for this course does not imply permission for any other course.

Some Portfolio Writing areas where Generative AI might be helpful include:

  • Brainstorming and refining your ideas
  • Fine tuning your Artist’s Statement and other text
  • Finding information on the skills and terminology typical in your career area
  • Drafting an outline
  • Checking grammar and style

In my brief experience with ChatGPT I’ve found that it writes competent but perhaps verbose text. The best tool I’ve found for writing Confident, Clear, Concise & Compelling (the “4 C’s”) statements is “Hemingway App”.

COVID-19 Health & Safety Requirements

For the latest LBSU health & safety protocols see the LBSU COVID-19 website.

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 at

Portrait of Mandy El-Sayegh by Abtin Eshraghi, 2023. Courtesy of Mandy El-Sayegh and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.