How to build a portfolio career

Channeling your inner Renaissance Man to pursue a portfolio career could be the answer to being gainfully employed in the arts while doing everything you love.
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A portfolio worker: the new Renaissance Man. Image: Hipster In Stone by photographer Léo Caillard

‘Men can do all things if they will,’ said polymath Leon Battista Alberti, perhaps the textbook example of the Rennaissance Man. But in the half-millenium since Alberti, the growing body of scientific and technological knowledge has seen a commensurate trend towards specialisation. Wearing multiple hats is often seen as a fashion that belongs in the Renaissance.

But in the 21st Century, the fluid job market and fast pace of change mean there is a resurgence in the polymath as the portfolio worker becomes the ‘career du jour’. Juggling multiple job titles such as graphic designer/producer/musician/festival assistant is proving to be a successful way to remain gainfully employed while doing things you actually enjoy.

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Madeleine Dore
About the Author
Madeleine Dore is a freelance writer and founder of Extraordinary Routines, an interview project exploring the intersection between creativity and imperfection. She is the previous Deputy Editor at ArtsHub. Follow her on Twitter at @RoutineCurator