A portfolio to me always meant something to present my work to a gallery or art show coordinators to see if I could be accepted.
However after reading Alain Briot's article on portfolio and seeing that Michael R sells them ocassionally in his online store, I'm wondering if this is a good option for newbies to selling their work?
For example, make one or more portfolios and sell them at gift shops in a tourist area?
To make a portfolio and then try to sell it in a gift shop seems, to me at least, somewhat contradictory. In my mind, gift shop and thrift shop are more than assonant. The price of a portfolio might well be way beyond what the casual shopper is interested in shelling out. To me, the ideal marketing space for those things (portfolios) is a personal website or a friendly gallery.
Unless you are going to charge well for your portfolio I suggest you forget all about it; there is little point in doing a lot of hard, expensive work unless the financial return makes it very worth while. A stroked ego doesn´t lodge in the bank!
Ciao - Rob C