ArtWorksTO: Creative Portfolio Development Information

Working in your ArtWorksTO application, or just in need to create a portfolio of your own? Here you will find information about how to develop this important creative asset to help showcase your artistic work!

Every year in partnership with OCAD University ArtWorksTO offers free online Portfolio Development Workshops. These workshops aim to assist applicants to the ArtWorksTO program with developing their creative portfolios.  By borrowing information from those workshops, and including additional information of our own, we we hope you will find the information below useful as you prep your own creative portfolio.

Example of an ArtWorksTO Portfolio Submission 

Why Do a Portfolio? 

  • Showcases your range of artistic skills and experiences.
  • Highlights your creative ideas, passion, and commitment to your work.
  • Demonstrates your technical skills.
  • It tells a story of who you are as a media creative.
  • It is a growing archive of your creative practice.


  • If you are a multi-disciplinary artist feel free to mention that you have skills in a variety of artistic and/or media disciplines. However, please develop the portfolio focusing on one, or two, media disciplines that you feel you have the strongest skills in. 
  • If accepted into the program, participants will be asked to complete a media based project for a client (we call them 'Hosts.') Therefore, it is encouraged that you apply to the program under the media discipline that you feel most comfortable working in. 
  • Works can be presented in a series - we recommend limiting this to 3 to 5 images for a series.
  • Works can be presented in video links - we recommend a hightlight reel of 1 - 2 minutes, understanding that reviewers may skim through longer videos.
  • Please make sure that video links open, and check that any passwords also work.
  • Feel free to include links to your professional website and/or social media pages.
  • Please submit your entire portfolio as part of your online application as 1 PDF.
  • If your PDF is too large, please compress it, or edit the contents to fit our guidelines - remember that sometimes less is more!
  • Ask for help! please reach out to the ArtWorksTO Program Lead, Norma Garcia, at