Photo by Ariel Body

For a significant portion of my childhood, I took gymnastic lessons. If you’re familiar with me and my current level of clumsiness, you’ll be surprised to know that I was actually most excellent on the balance beam; cartwheels and rolls and dismounts from a four inch beam were my forte.

I remember my coach always told me to keep my eye on the end of the beam. I thought this was silly, considering my feet were under me, not at the end. But I quickly learned that by keeping my head up and looking at the end, I had better balance because I had a clearer view of my destination.

It’s kind of a similar concept within my creative practice. The more I look at other people or business whom I admire, the more I feel like I have a clear idea of where I want to go.

I would say that definitely having a list of people whom you admire significantly – whether it’s because their work is inspiring or their values within their business are beautiful – and looking at those stories of success can be greatly advantageous to growing your vision.

I’m going to start posting examples of these creatives, companies, or just people whom I find inspiring, so, join me over the next few days for some blogs on inspiring folk that do things I love!

(Also, who inspires you?)

I know, I know – there are a million and one posts about the ‘best portfolio sites’ or ‘slickest website designs for artists’ – but I come to you with my contribution on the topic: Not merely a list of Excellent Portfolio Sites (based on content or design), but also Associated Lessons You Can Learn From Them! Are you excited now?


1. Jesh de Rox –

(I know it’s flash but give it a chance!) This is quite possibly one of the most beautiful portfolio sites I’ve seen in a while, that I think quite exceptionally tells the story of Rox’s work (which is very much based on experiental photography and loving life).

Lesson: Design for your client – know who they are and what will appeal to them. Rox’s site is beautiful and exceptional because it does this (but it probably wouldn’t be as effective if he specialized in sports photography).

2. Erik Ryan Anderson –

Definite props for the simplicity here, I think, but also the variety of work and how it’s portrayed (the order of the scrolling images tell a story of their own). He’s also got a blog that’s worth checking out.

Lesson: Include personal work! What you spend your own time working on is a good reflection of what you’re passionate about. If people see this work, you’ll be more likely to get hired to what you love!


3. John Keatley –

I think one of my favourite things about this site is that the photos speak for themselves, but for each photo there is also a link to ‘Read more on the blog’. It’s not forcing people to read, but gives them the option to feel more involved and respond. It seems actually rather friendly.

Lesson: Keep it simple but show your visual style. Think about how the design and can best complement your images – sometimes it’s okay not to use words, let the work speak for itself!

That’s all for now, folks – stay tuned for (a possible) part II in the near future!

Deprecated: Directive 'allow_url_include' is deprecated in Unknown on line 0