My Little Portfolio Arrived!…a Blurb review

Portfolio created on BlurbI’ve needed to put together a portfolio for some time now and I keep putting it off.  Probably because I had in my mind only the typical portfolio book with lined pages full of photographs and paper based CV, Bio and Artist Statement.  It just seemed like putting together a scrapbook – really uninspiring for me.  I have purposely avoided scrap-booking.  Too many expensive supplies, and well, the whole thing makes me feel terribly inadequate with regards to how I display my photographs.  Anyway, I digress.  I stumbled upon a deal with Blurb and was intrigued.  I heard about them before, but didn’t make the connection to creating a portfolio.  This time I explored the idea a bit more and decided it would be great to try.  So, I used their 7″x7″ format, chose a high quality gloss paper and soft cover, and decided to try their downloadable software to create the book.  BookSmart turned out to be really easy to use.  There were lots of pre-loaded text and image templates to start with and lots of flexibility in manipulating those templates.  So, it made the layout and design process really quick.  I had considered creating my own dePortfolio - inside pagessign with Adobe Indesign which would have given me complete control and flexibility, however it would also have taken me a ton more time.

In the end I was happy with what I created with BookSmart.  I ordered a few copies to have available whenever I need to show my work to anyone interested in seeing what I’m up to.  I’m really happy with the result and the quality of the end product is fantastic. It’s a really professional looking little portfolio.

The one thing I would have liked to be able to do is create a pdf version to have available electronically.  Adobe Indesign would have given me the ability to save it in pdf format.  BookSmart, however, only saves a pdf version with a non-removable watermark through all the pages.  What Blurb has done recently though is to add the option of an ebook purchase on their site.  So, you can purchase the epub file, readable on iBooks or other epub readers for 1.99 – a great price.  The conversion is still not perfect though.  Some of my fonts were substituted, which isn’t a huge deal for me, but the images I had saved as png files (in order to have a transparent background) printed all funny.  I’ve sent a note to the folks at Blurb, but have yet to hear back.  Not sure how much control they have over that issue.

So, all in all, I’m really happy with the paper copies of my portfolio and those that have seen it have been quite impressed.  I think it’s a great option for an artist’s portfolio, and it sure is easier to carry around with you than the standard full size black binder-style portfolio.  You can see a few more of the inside pages here on the Blurb website.

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4 Responses

  1. Annie

    It’s beautiful Cheryl, thanks for sharing all the ins and outs of this process. I love what you have come up with. It’s super shareable!

    I love getting your regular updates and seeing how your BC life is growing on you.

    much love,

  2. Cheryl Bakke Martin

    Hey, Annie….so nice to hear from you here. Glad you dropped by. I’ve been thinking about you and hoping that at some point soon we can connect again since we live much closer. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. I hope you and your family are well. Let me know when you are on Vancouver island and can maybe head a wee bit south….and I’ll head north to meet you.

  3. Carol Anne Shaw

    Your blog is just great, Cheryl! How is it that I wasn’t following you???

  4. Cheryl Bakke Martin

    Thanks, CA! Well, if you are following now, I best get writing and…work hard to be as witty as you. ;o)

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