Visual Art Portfolio Preparation

Guide to Portfolio Preparation

What to Include:

• Submit recent work you believe best represents your current creative direction(s) and technical abilities. It’s okay to bring a range—even work you are unsure about, because these are great conversation starters.

• Classroom assignments are fine to show us and can be great springboards to creating new work.

• Making work outside the classroom? We hope you are, and we REALLY want to see it.

 • We like to see sketchbooks. The sometimes-informal ideas you are generating in them help us see your process and give us an insight into how you think.

How to Prepare:

• There are no right answers and no formula for creating the ideal portfolio. While it may sound hokey, portfolios are a bit like fingerprints in being unique to you and should help us see your individual passions and interests. No one else has your experiences and perspectives, and no one else can make your work. This is important. Read it twice.

• Consider themes in your work. Some artists, designers, and scholars focus on themes. You might be interested in political, social, or environmental issues and make videos, paintings, and sculptures while writing about those topics. Maybe you are interested in portraits—you could present a portfolio that consists exclusively of paintings—or maybe combine portraits that are sculpted, filmed and incorporated into performance or fashion pieces. All approaches are welcome.

• It’s okay to experiment with materials. There are some students who love paint—the way it smells, the way it feels out of the tube and onto the canvas and are focused only on showing us that. That is fantastic! But what if you are an alchemist who loves to combine materials—plaster with string, video projected onto canvas, even office supplies as art materials? No matter your medium, we can’t wait to see what you come up with.

• Think about showing us DEPTH as well as BREADTH. What does that even mean? It means that if what you really love is to make sculptures and that is what you do and the only work you want to show us—GREAT!.

• Still not sure? Want advice? Talk to us. This is important, too!