How To Build A Strong Portfolio Before You Apply For Art School?

How To Build A Strong Portfolio Before You Apply For Art School?

Some art schools require applicants to build an art portfolio for them to be considered for admission. An art portfolio can be defined as a collection of artwork that shows your creativity, interests, abilities, and how you have developed as an artist.

It does not matter the kind of an artist you are. You might be a designer, videographer, photographer, sculptor, illustrator, or even a painter. When applying for a chance at an art school, you might need a portfolio to show what you can do.

Even though most schools will also evaluate other materials such as written tests, personal statements, and interviews, your portfolio is one of the most important things that will determine your admission. 

Here is how to build a strong portfolio;

Start Preparations Early

The moment you start developing some interest in artwork and thinking that you might apply for a chance at an art school, you should start preparing. Part of the preparations involves compiling your work.

This means that you keep track of everything that you work on. You should also document all processes that you go through when working on art. Since most schools will ask you for the process, ensure that you have included dates for everything you do.

You can use a free online image editor to edit any visual artwork and include dates or any other information on the artwork. Starting early is vital in ensuring that you have at least the total number of artwork that your preferred school might ask for.

Highlight Your Strengths in Your Artwork

It is always good to ensure that your art portfolio covers diverse topics and areas of art. This is because it shows how talented and excited you are to be joining an art school. You can show the school officers that you have explored various ideas by including several types of content, media, and approaches, among others.

However, you need to be very careful when doing this. First of all, it is normal if you are not good in all art categories, especially when preparing an art school portfolio. A better idea is to explore your artistic strengths.

This way, you will show your potential art school what you can do and avoid submitting sub-standard work.

Look at Templates and Other Examples

Imagine taking time to build your portfolio then a day before submission you realize that what you have spent time building is not a portfolio but something else! This would throw your chances of getting admitted into disarray.

You should, therefore, take time to look at art portfolio examples and other portfolios before you even start preparing your own. This way, you will get some inspiration and spark ideas on what you need to do to build a strong art portfolio.

You can start by searching online for examples of art portfolios for different schools, not just the one you want to go to. You will even find some schools that provide examples for their applicants to use.

Your Portfolio Should Contain Your Original Work

When going through your art portfolio, your school does not want to verify how good you are when copying the work of other artists. Instead, they are interested in seeing what you can do, the ideas you have, and how you can realize them.

This means that you need to ensure that your portfolio contains your original and unique work. In addition, ensure that you stay on top of things. This is because, for instance, if you want to be a graphic designer, you have to stay at the top of the industry. After all, it keeps on changing.

This is one of the most common problems with art portfolios among students applying for art programs in the United States. If you submit original work, then you will have an edge over other applicants and might end up getting a chance easily.

Understand The Requirements

Different schools have different sets of requirements for students joining different programs. In addition, different art programs in the same school also have a different set of requirements for their students.

You, therefore, need to ensure that you have understood both your school and program requirements before preparing your art portfolio. In addition, make sure that you have fulfilled them when preparing the art portfolio.

Some things you need to keep in mind include submission deadlines, how to send your portfolio, all the assignments required, the number and types of artwork required, and the format of the art portfolio required, among others.

Following these tips, you will build a strong portfolio before applying for art school. In addition, your portfolio will give you an edge and increase your chances of getting admitted.

Also Read: 4 Smart Strategies For Avoiding Student Loan Debt


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