Career Advice

The Eye of the Beholder: Unlikely Mediums to Fill an Artist’s Portfolio

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Excelling within the field of creatives can be challenging. The art industry is often overlooked when it comes to discussions about choosing a particular career path. A significant majority of people would rather go for more corporate jobs, like finance or technology.

In the art world, a professional has to hone their craft for years before reaping the benefits of their work. Yet, the same holds true for any other career. An individual is expected to put in extensive amounts of labor for years before being getting a promotion or receiving a pay raise.

Being a professional artist should be a more common career choice for people, especially if that’s where their true passions lie. The biggest challenge for various professional artists, however, is creating an extensive and prominent portfolio. This will be their primary tool for gaining recognition which will lead to profit.

Leave a Mark

The sudden outbreak of the global pandemic has allowed people to hone in on their creative inclinations. After sheltering-in-place for almost an entire year, people were allowed the opportunity to create wonderful pieces of art. Now, more and more aspiring professionals artists are beginning to pop up.

For professional artists, it can be extremely challenging to excel within their industry. One of the best ways to guarantee their rise to prominence is to create an extensive portfolio that's a cut above the rest.Click To Tweet

Often, the thought of creating a portfolio that’s worthy of recognition can be a daunting task for an aspiring professional artist. That particular portfolio is the lifeline of their career. In most cases, these professionals will hit a brick wall that disrupts their creative process.

It makes it difficult for them to come up with something genuinely original if such a notion truly exists. However, this is also where the beauty of art radiates the most. There are endless possibilities for works of art to be born out of.

For struggling artists who are experiencing a creative block, consider these unusual mediums and instruments. These could fuel an individual’s artistry and serve as inspirations for creating a portfolio that’s distinguishable.

On Point

Sculptures are usually regarded as art on such a large scale. These installations would take up a significant amount of space in parks or museums. Yet, there’s one particular artist, Salavat Fidai, who creates miniature sculptures that require the use of a microscope to be seen.

The most interesting part is that these microscopic sculptures of famous landmarks are done on the tips of pencils and graphite rods. Graphite is already an extremely fragile material as it is. Yet, the level of intricacy that’s being achieved on these sculptures is something truly innovative.


Aside from being used for accurate measurements or aesthetic lights, lasers can also be used to create art. Certain companies provide the best laser engraving machines for small businesses. These are used for marking their brand logos on products or other operations.

In this sense, these same machines can also be used to create extraordinary pieces of art. Wood is usually the most common medium for these types of projects because of how it reacts once it’s hit by the laser. Regardless, the use of industrial machines for art definitely exhibits innovation.

A Bit Fuzzy

Fashion, in itself, is already a particular form of art. Creating notable pieces out of clothing, whether to be worn or otherwise, is nothing spectacular. Yet, sometimes the best art supplies can literally come from dirty laundry.

One particular artist, Heidi Hooper, has gone through great lengths to works of art out of dryer lint. Hence, lint art was born. Depending on the piece of apparel, lint can come in all sorts of colors. These are then gathered and put together to create various forms, like portraits, that give off a painting-like quality.

Buttered Up

Busts are usually made out of clay or rocks, like marble, since these materials can withstand the test of time. However, these sculptures can also be made using an ingredient that can always be found on the breakfast table: butter.

Linda Christensen is a sculptor who has been using 90-pound blocks of butter to create life-like busts for pageant winners of the Minnesota State Fair. Butter, if chilled correctly, can be extremely workable to create some amazing sculptures.


Sustainability can be a driving force for many professional artists to create a particular piece. In light of the global pandemic, more and more waste from unused medical supplies is being generated. A nurse and artist teamed up to address this situation.

Tilda Shalof collected colorful plastic pieces like IV tubing and caps for needles for years. All of these pieces never touched a patient making them clean and safe. Vanessa Herman-Landau, who possessed a background in mosaic, put the pieces together to create a piece dedicated to nurses.

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Unique Vision

There are plenty of other artists who use unlikely mediums and tools to create their works of art. Some might come off as more bizarre than others. In the end, creativity is all about an individual’s capacity to think outside-the-box. Professional artists who wish to excel within their industry simply have to look at everyday materials through a different lens.

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