As an author/author/illustrator couple or in other words I write (author) and my wife (Marie) writes and illustrates (author/illustrator), one of us needed an illustrator portfolio page: wasn’t me, only thing I can draw is a bath :-)

We are currently submitting literary agent queries and if an agent is interested in representing our careers they will want to see Marie’s art work, examples of her illustrations.

In WordPress it’s relatively easy to create a portfolio type page using the gallery feature. For authors and illustrators thinking about building a blog as part of their author platform, WordPress is by far the best content management system (CMS) you can find AND it’s free. I’ve been using WordPress for over a decade, have even built a WordPress SEO theme (we use it on this site).

Creating an Illustrator Portfolio Page

Going to assume you’ve already uploaded some illustrations (images) to your WordPress site and want to use them as part of an illustrator portfolio. If not you’ll need to upload images before or as you create the WordPress gallery, don’t worry it’s easy to add images to WordPress: there’s an “Add Media” button for that :-)

I recommend using a WordPress Page (not a WordPress Post: posts are for blog like posts like this one, they have dates) for your illustrator portfolio page, to create the page login to your WordPress Dashboard and on the left menu click:

“Pages” > “Add New”

WordPress Add Page

WordPress Add New Page

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In the title form add a relevant title for the new page, I went with “Art by Marie Law”, but could have gone with “Portfolio”, “Example Illustrations” (whatever works for your website style).

WordPress Page Title

WordPress Page Title

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You can add some information on the page or jump straight to building a gallery (no text, just images). I added a little information because as you can see at Art by Marie Law I broke the portfolio down into five sections (each section had it’s own WordPress gallery). Below is one of the sections exactly as you see on the page above.

Rough Picture Book Illustrations for That Greedy Goat Just Cannot Stay!

Rough illustrations created in GIMP using a graphics tablet for the picture book manuscripts we’ve created. These typically take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days.

To create the gallery part (the illustrations) click the

“Add Media” button (it’s just below where you added the title: see earlier screenshot).

On the next page on the left click “Create Gallery”.

WordPress Create Gallery

WordPress Create Gallery

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You will have the option to upload new images (via the “Upload Files” tab) or select images you uploaded earlier via the “Media Library” tab.

Select as many images as you want in your gallery. When you’ve selected the images you want click the “Create a new gallery” button near the bottom right.

On the next screen you can reorder the images or keep them as is and you can set various options on the right.

I would suggest using these settings:

Link to: Media File
Columns: 3 or 4
Random order: up to you
Size: Medium (medium is a reasonable size thumbnail size)

Click “Insert Gallery” and you’ll find a gallery added to the page you are working on.

WordPress Insert Gallery

WordPress Insert Gallery

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If you want a second gallery added with different images repeat the process. You can add as many galleries this way as you like (I added 5 for Marie’s page), though it’s generally not a good idea to have hundreds of images on one webpage, so don’t go over the top.

When you click the “Publish Page” button your new Illustrator Portfolio Page will be published, but might not be linked to yet (depends on how you created your menus).

Made a quick gallery below with the four images I added on this post, set to link to none, columns 4, random ticked and size thumbnail.

If the link isn’t added to your menu (see our top menu, you can see the Art by Marie Law link) go to “Appearance” > “Menus” and add the link to one of your menus.

Creating WordPress galleries can be an easy way to add sets of images to WordPress Posts as well. On the 30 Days Wild Illustrations post we have a gallery of all the quick illustrations Marie created for 30 Days wild.

David Law