While visiting with family in Park City recently, we happened upon a decorative glass shop on the city’s main street. We all appreciate well-made and creative art, so we strolled through the long, narrow store examining the wares.

One of the things I noticed was there were a select few exceptional pieces, several very good pieces, and gobs of merely adequate pieces. So while they showed some clear talent, those hidden exceptional pieces were diminished by the presence of the lesser pieces, keeping them from fully standing out on their own.

As you think about what you present to your clients via your portfolio, consider two things: What is your very best work, and within that set, what exemplifies that work you’d like to do in the future? Those are only the portfolio pieces you should be showing. If your work fails to stand out, you’ll either diminish the best of it in the eyes of potential clients, or worse, you’ll end up creating work you dislike.


A statue in Audubon Park, New Orleans.