Portfolio Planning for College

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In addition to meeting academic requirements, students are often required to produce an art portfolio and are sometimes asked to attend portfolio assessment days.  If a portfolio is required, treat this as the most important component of the application.  Here are a few tips to help you prepare!

Look at recently accepted art portfolios

Referring to real examples of student portfolios is one of the best ways to understand the standard you’re aiming for. Many program websites have links to successful portfolios, and some schools keep physical copies for prospective students to view.

If you feel intimidated looking at other portfolios, it is worth noting that usually, only the best candidates exhibit their work. Let these examples to inspire you! It’s also worth mentioning that a student with a strong academic background, innovative ideas and a passion for the subject, is often favored over students who have technical skill but are lacking in personal drive and creativity.

Attend open days

Portfolio preparation workshops present a great opportunity to see if a school is the right ‘fit’ for you while giving you more information about the admissions process and application expectations.

Demonstrate a range of creative ideas

“Exactly what should I include in my portfolio?” When narrowing down your portfolio pieces, ask yourself what pieces convey your experiences, commitment, passion, creativity, and originality. This will make for a unique portfolio give the reviewing committee an idea of who you are.

Use a range of mediums

Select pieces that use styles and mediums that highlight your strengths and interests. Avoid including weaker work for the sake of covering a greater range of mediums, and avoid limiting your portfolio to styles and mediums you think the school might prefer.

As you organize your portfolio, try to establish a sense of harmony (perhaps through color or movement).

Experiment with techniques and tools

A well-rounded portfolio has variety. Including a combination of animations, web design, three-dimensional work, photography, paintings, and drawings, for example, shows that you are open to learning new techniques.

 

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