National Portfolio Day is an event held specifically for aspiring designers and visual artists who wish to pursue a professional career in the arts. They will have an opportunity to showcase their sample works to professionals from colleges ascribed by the National Association of Schools of Arts and Design (NASAD). The event is a chance for the artists and designers for develop their skills by asking for valuable advice and feedback that could increase their chances of getting in to their school of choice.
People with the dream of getting paid for showing off their passion for the arts is high recommended attend to a National Portfolio Day before applying to a college art school. Below are things that you, as aspiring artists, must consider before going to one of these events.
Look for accredited colleges for the dates
Colleges in the USA and Canada hold the National Portfolio Day on different days. This allows you to prepare your portfolio just in time for the actual event. Look for the closest college in your area that is holding the event. Click here to view all accredited colleges for upcoming schedules.
Bring your best work
Compile your strongest artworks for your portfolio. Be as comprehensive as possible – cover the different styles of art in your portfolio (digital, freehand, etc.) and get opinion from the experts as to what you can do to improve your work on all forms of art.
If you need help on how to build a good art portfolio for college admission, read two of our best posts about the best practices of compiling your artworks and presenting them to different colleges.
- Applying to an Arts Program in College? Here’s What to Include in Your Portfolio
- What Makes a Good College Art Portfolio?
Regarding building a winning art portfolio for college, here’s Karen Kesteloot of PortPrep teaching her students on the kinds of work to include in their portfolios.
Bring your own laptop
In case you’re bringing a work from your portfolio in CD or DVD format, it is best to bring your laptop, just in case some of the college representatives did not bring theirs.
Check out other colleges, even if they’re not among your choices
Coming in to a National Portfolio Day, you will have a list of colleges you plan to apply for. However, this should not stop you from lining up to the other colleges in the event. The representatives could still offer valuable advice regarding your portfolio and could possibly persuade you to apply for their program.
Prepare to be asked about your influences
When talking to a college representative, an informal dialogue almost always occurs. Be ready to know how you came up with your work, what inspired you with your possible career choice, and why you think a career in the arts is the best for you.
Don’t take their advice emotionally
Understand that all representatives are judging your portfolio and not who you are. Therefore, be prepared to encounter college representatives that will go hard on your portfolio. They could criticize every aspect of your work, from concept to execution.
You must take everything in stride. Their criticisms must be used as a way to improve your portfolio and make yourself better as an artist or designer and you could receive the tips you need to create the improved portfolio that gets you excepted into your dream college.
Get your guardians to speed things up for you
If you are attending a National Portfolio Day with your parents or guardians, then do the following: line up at colleges with shorter lines and have your parents line up on longer lines. That way, once you are done with the college you first lined up for, you can switch places with your parents who lined up for the longer line.
Extra Tip: Get to the event as early as possible!
Since National Portfolio Day is free and professors will be giving out advice to improve your art portfolio, anticipate a lot of students from across the state to flock the event. Even coming there on time would put get behind a line that would take hours to finish – just for that one school. Therefore, we advice you to get to the event at least an hour before the scheduled start of the event. This way, you can guarantee your portfolio to be assessed early.
Here’s a video created by PortPrep to some more quick tips on how you should prepare for the National Portfolio Day.
Although National Portfolio Day only happens in November, you don’t have to wait for the event to get professional help with your portfolios. Karen Kesteloot at Portprep.com can provide you with useful advice on how to improve your portfolio for the colleges you want to apply for. Best of all, you don’t have to wait for November to get all the help you want!