Who Needs A College Art Portfolio
Art portfolios are often needed to apply to art school or to an art program at a traditional college. There are a number of programs that may require applicants to submit a portfolio, some of which include:
- Apparel Design
Not all students applying to these programs will need to submit a portfolio. If you apply to an art school, you will most likely be required to submit a portfolio, but traditional colleges sometimes do not require applicants to submit portfolios, depending on the program they apply to. Check the requirements of schools you may be interested in attending, and if one or more of them requires submitting a portfolio of your work, read on to learn how to create a strong portfolio.
Learn More About Quality Artifacts
As educators and students progress through their ePortfolio learning journeys, you might come up with some tips or standards of what makes a quality post in a blogfolio. Your own standards will be personalized based on your style of portfolio, platform, and age of your students amongst other things.
Below is an example list of guidelines from a post on The Edublogger about quality student blog posts.
You might even put these sorts of ideas into an assessment rubric which well discuss in the next chapter.
Teaching Students To Focus On Life With Intention
Not all students aspire to life in the Ivy League- and thatâs okay! Parents should align themselves with their kidâs aspirations rather than micromanaging them towards goals theyâre not interested in, according to college admissions experts Jenn Curtis and Cindy Muchnick. Curtis and Muchnick are co-authors of The Parent Compass: Navigating Your Teen’s Wellness and Academic Journey in Today’s Competitive World.
Listen to Curtis and Muchnick discuss their goal setting methods for teens on the SmartSocial.com Podcast:
Curtis and Muchnick felt like they were “punched in the gut” when they first heard about the 2019 college admissions cheating scandal.
âWe want to encourage parents to accept and love the child they have, not the child they want to inauthentically create,â explained Curtis.
They believe that if you teach students to live life with their own intentions, you can help them better achieve success.
âI think itâs the pushing kids that comes from parents that really creates this dissonance and this noise that is so hard for students to get passed because theyâre so fragile and worried about pleasing their parents,â Muchnick explained.
Instead, they urge parents to focus on building the âwhole childâ by teaching resilience, grit, and how to bounce back from mistakes.
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Quality And Presentation Matters
Treat your college art portfolio with the same level of professionalism you would approach a job interview. You wouldnt show up to a job interview in shorts and a T-shirt right? Likewise, take control over the impression your portfolio makes of you.
- If it makes sense for that particular piece, include both full-scale photos and close-ups.
- Some schools will ask you to include pages from your sketchbook. The purpose for that is to give the viewers insight into your brainstorming process. Include only 1-2 of those.
- Other than sketches, every other piece should be finished. I dont mean finished in the sense that the bell rang so you stopped, but rather in the sense that no fingerprints are visible and there arent any torn or folded edges. More importantly, the drawing is carried out to the edge of the paper .
Building A Portfolio Is A Process
Don’t be frustrated if your portfolio isn’t fantastic when you’re just starting out. That’s ok. You’re new! You’re not going to have dozens of fantastic photos.
Here’s the good news: as you gain experience and get more jobs, you’ll have more and more photos to use. You’ll actually have your pick of photos, and you’ll have so many fantastic images that you’ll be forced to leave some out. Putting together a fantastic portfolio is difficult when you start out, but it gets much, much easier as you go along.
Hang in there, keep working, and before long you will have a portfolio that reflects your skills!
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Pros Of Public Digital Portfolios
- Students may be interested in using their work to attract potential employers or college admission officers. This is more difficult if a students portfolio is private, however, as a compromise, students can provide login credentials to particular individuals. The downside to this is not having the students name show up in an organic Google search.
Will Richardson and Bruce Dixon sum up the benefits neatly in their whitepaper 10 Principles For Schools Of Modern Learning,
Increasingly, there is an expectation from employers and others that students have built an online portfolio of work that shows creativity, curiosity, collaboration, and persistence.
Edtech leader Wesley Fryer stresses the importance of making it as easy as possible for families and other visitors to read and comment on blogfolios,
Ive found that the more barriers we put up for online student content, the FEWER parents will visit and comment. Its VERY hard to get parents to not only look at student digital work online amidst our busy lives today, its even harder to get them to comment. If you make your classroom blog private, youll likely rob your students of the opportunity to receive feedback from outside your classroom walls. Feedback is what makes interactive writing powerful and even feel magical at times.
Have you ever thought about the transformative effect simply writing down your thoughts has on clarifying your thinking?
How To Create An Art Portfolio For College Admissions
Many students underestimate the impact of an art portfolio when they begin the process of applying to an art school. While many schools, such as Hussian College, do not require an art portfolio as part of the application process, if the option is available it can be a good idea to take advantage of the opportunity and forward along your pieces. Not only will doing so help you stand out as an applicant, but if you received poor grades in high school or less-than-impressive SAT scores, an art portfolio can serve as a reiteration of your dedication as a student.
While building an art portfolio can be intimidating if youve never created one before, its not as challenging as you may think! To the benefit of many students, there is no right or wrong when it comes to putting your pieces together, but there are some guidelines that can help ensure the success of your portfolio. Heres a closer look
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Educator Benefits Of Eportfolios
We all seem to be busier than ever. The planning, assessing, and reporting cycle is never ending, amongst all the other responsibilities. A well established ePortfolio program can help with this and make life easier for faculty and administrators.
It can be challenging to organize and track students work while assessing their progress over time. As we mentioned earlier, students themselves may not even be able to gauge their own development without a system for monitoring their academic growth. A digital portfolio enables both the student and their instructors to measure progress over time both academically and in other ways.
Just as important, digital portfolios give instructors insight into students educational journeys so they can deliver targeted feedback seamlessly.
Educators work hard sometimes much harder than outsiders realize. Digital portfolios can help make the efforts of both educators and students more visible to everyone. In a culture of transparency, everyone can thrive.
Benefits Of ePortfolios For Families And Parents
For portfolio programs in K-12 environments, one of the many benefits of having an ePortfolio program is the strengthening of home-school relationships. An ePortfolio program is a convenient and effective way to encourage ongoing family involvement in schooling.
Parents can even add artifacts or leave comments on student portfolios, making the portfolio a two-way means of communication.
Keep It Brief And Update It Regularly
Anshul Kapoor, COO at MBA Rendezvous
Students can follow the 3 Bs while creating their portfolio to include their personal, academic, and extra-curricular details:
- Build â Focus on creating a profile that highlights your pluses
- Brief â Keep it concise and engaging
- Broadcast â Remain active and keep updating your profile periodically
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Designs Models And Finished Products
Employers and clients want to know that they’re hiring an architect who has the skills and knowledge to design a structure that suits their needs. As a result, the bulk of your portfolio should contain copies of designs you’ve created, as well as photos of models and finished structures you’ve designed, if possible. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology recommends that architectural portfolios be 20 to 40 pages in length. Include a few conceptual sketches you’ve done, as well as detailed blueprints and designs. Only include designs that reflect your most recent skills and abilities, and try to include a variety of designs to show off your versatility as an architect. If your portfolio is in print format, include either the original designs or high-resolution copies. If your portfolio is in digital format, make sure all scans or photographs are high-resolution. If your portfolio contains photographs, make sure they are high quality and in focus.
Have An Amazing First Image
Here’s the first rule on how to make a makeup artist portfolio: your first image should be STELLAR. It should capture the viewer’s attention immediately. You have literally one instant to capture the viewer’s respect, so that first image should make the person want to flip that page and see more. It may be the best work you’ve done, a famous model or photographer, or a well-known event.
Whatever it is, you want to capture the viewer’s attention, and make them curious to see what else you’ve done.
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How To Create/build An Art Portfolio
In the end, you want your portfolio to tell a story. That story could be about how youve grown as a person or artist, ideas or events that have inspired you, or even how you make common artist styles all your own.
The Earlier You Start Building Your Art Portfolio, the Better
Perhaps youve always dreamed of attending art school. Or, maybe this is a new adventure. Either way, try to give yourself as much time as possible to create portfolio pieces, especially if youre starting from scratch. An art portfolio is not something that should be rushed pressure stifles creativity!
Know the Portfolio Requirements of the School Youre Applying to
Map out all deadlines, as well as any unique requirements. While some schools may be more relaxed in their requirements, others may require a certain number of pieces or may only accept digital files. Avoid immediate rejection by ensuring you follow any necessary guidelines.
Dont Focus on What You Think They Want to See
This is different from making sure you meet all the requirements. This is more about speculating about what styles, mediums, or techniques the admissions team members may prefer, out of some belief that catering to them will provide a benefit or edge. Most artists appreciate different interpretations and styles. They are more interested in how you apply yourself.
Show Them Why They Want You
What Every Portfolio Needs
One of the top mistakes artists make when it comes to their online art portfolios is not taking care of the basics.
The truth of the matter is that if you want to make a living with your art and you don’t cover the bases of your digital portfolio, you could end up looking like an amateureven if you have a whole stockpile of masterpieces.
Why work extra hard to convince buyers that youre a credible, professional artist when you could just make a few tweaks to your portfolio and showcase your strengths from the start?
To make sure your portfolio is not holding you back from any future business, check these items off the list:
Artist embedded her Artwork Archive portfolio onto her Squarespace website.
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Allowing Students To Make Choices About Privacy
Its important for students to realize that there are times when our work should be private. Maybe we dont want to share every inner most thought,failed attempt, or evidence of messy learning. While there are benefits to documenting the process of learning, weighing this up with the goal of constructing a positive digital footprint is crucial.
George Couros put it well in his post on invisible portfolios when he said,
The learner should have the option of what they want the world to see, not the teacher. The conversations that can come from this are so crucial. Asking the learner why they chose the piece of work that they did to share with the world, is a critical conversation that we are not having enough with our students, because frankly, we arent giving them this opportunity enough.
If youre hosting your site with CampusPress, you can easily apply passwords to student portfolios in a variety of ways. A few quick setting adjustments will enable you to require registration, restrict visibility to administration, or password protect sites within your network.
Here are some practical ways you can offer choice and flexibility with privacy:
An ePortfolio program that uses WordPress offers you a great deal of choice about privacy. Its worth considering the best way to set up your blogfolios so your students can reap some advantages of having an audience while feeling comfortable and safe.
What Makes A Great Portfolio
The best portfolios do two things at once: they present the artist’s unique style, while also displaying the technical skills and techniques that any capable MUA should have.
So how do you do those two things at once? Here are some “best practices” that you can use in both your print portfolio and your online portfolio, to show others that you’re the best there is.
More Things To Add To The Portfolio
The list above is the basics every online portfolio should have.
Here are a couple of extra things you can include.
FAQ Page You might want to consider adding a FAQ page to your portfolio to make it easier for buyers, agencies, and recruiters an easy way to find answers they might have.
Events Add a page with a list of all your upcoming events, including exhibitions, art talks, art shows, and open studio events
Why Portfolios Are Important
The reason that portfolios are such an important part of the student’s course requirements is because they’re used as an assessment tool for both teachers, students and their peers. By looking at the portfolio, teachers are able to get an overall look at how the student performed and grew over the semester or year. They can determine whether or not the student has met the specific standards set by the curriculum.
As for the student, they’re able to do some self-reflection to understand more about their capabilities and achievements over the time they were in the class. They should evaluate their own work and discover assignments and projects they feel that they’ve done well on, as well as assignments or projects they felt that they could have improved on. Teachers can also give their students a space to do some peer review where they can give and receive some positive input about their work.
Lastly, as students get older, they might be wondering how to make a high school portfolio for college. A high school portfolio can help students obtain a scholarship for college or help them stand out in a college admissions’ interview. Therefore, students should always keep their portfolio in the best possible condition, so that it can be used again and again if necessary.
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Take Time To Create New Artwork And/or Improve Existing Pieces
Once you have planned what you will include in your portfolio, you should set aside a period of time to produce this. If you have not taken high school Art classes, preparing a folio will take a lot of work about 6 months to complete a portfolio from scratch . See if your high school Art teacher can help . An experienced teacher will often have a long history of helping / observing students apply and may have a good knowledge of what helped successful candidates in the past. If your own art teacher is not experienced with helping students apply to university or you feel you need more help preparing your portfolio find out if there are local courses or workshops that address how to make a portfolio for art school. Portfolio preparation classes are often run by the universities / colleges themselves. These may be relatively inexpensive weekend workshops or be yearlong, such as Foundation or Art portfolio courses. Making a portfolio can feel less daunting when you produce work with a class of others and seeing others produce work can be motivating and inspirational.
You will likely have to use a considerable portion of your holiday and vacation time to create work or improve existing pieces as well as generate personal work outside of your curriculum or complete home tests or assignments if required.
A University Foundation application portfolio by Nina Cavaviuti:
Final Thoughts On Art Portfolios For College
Creating an art portfolio for college is no easy task! It takes time, dedication, and patience. But if you and your child put in the effort and follow the advice Ive shared, you can make the process as smooth and pleasant as possible. Soon enough, youll be celebrating their acceptance into the art school of their dreams!
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