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Creating a portfolio for college: step-by-step instructions

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 A portfolio is a collection of projects confirming the future student‘s achievements and his abilities, interests, and hobbies. 

The high-priority purpose of an art portfolio is a competent self-presentation, a demonstration of skills, and readiness for college education. It is an important tool to impress the college admissions officers. With its help, they judge the future student’s talent and the ability for a career in the world of art. Successful self-presentation reveals you as a talented personality and fortifies the presence of artistic endeavor skill.

In cases where the portfolio is considered in online environments, without interviewing with an enrollee, it is a governing factor, regarding which college admissions officers decide whether you are worthy of studying at college. It is not just a banal list of your work. When studying material, an experienced teacher can see your development process, the dynamics of creation from the initial idea to its completed embodiment. We have prepared an article for you to learn how to do a successful online portfolio and avoid mistakes.

What should your art portfolio contain 

What should your art portfolio contain

The content of the portfolio depends on which college and specialty you go to. Art is a wide-ranging concept with a variety of special aspects and finer points. The composition of the portfolio can differ in colleges, but its goal remains unchanged: to show your abilities through samples of your work. It should display your artistic journey, self-culture, and ready-made solutions. 

It is recommended to focus on this list:

  • visual art: work and sketches that showcases your imagination, the aptitude to try things out, the train of creative thought. It is a good idea to have projects performed in graphic editors;
  • music: video and audio recordings of concert speeches;
  • literary creativity: poems, essays, excerpts from novels, fiction translation;
  • architecture: drawings, plans, schemes, 3D models, photos, or videos with samples of work;
  • cinema and theater: records of your short films, performances that demonstrate your acting talent;
  • choreography: video of solo performances in contrasting styles (modern, improvisation, hip-hop, ballet, etc.)

When making an online art portfolio for college, it is essential to determine the volume of the material: a small quantity of work will not allow you to disclose your potential, and ample quantity will obstruct focusing on key elements. By the way, most colleges do not set а limit, and a personal touch is desirable. A portfolio containing about 5-10 projects is the best option. Try to include a variety of works, avoiding the same type of materials performed in one style and execution technique. Do not copy someone else's portfolio or try to guess what the reception commission officers want to see in your projects.

The main idea in portfolio creation is that it should have dynamics, representing the unique story of your development throughout the long period and showing the process of working on each project. And at the end of this story, it is not necessary to make it final - the secret of the creative approach is creating the feeling that you are ready to move on and reach for more.

Issues you should be focusing on

Issues you should be focusing on

  • One-of-a-kind style. Your online art portfolio materials must showcase your possession and style - this is a necessary condition, but not the only one. The vast majority of enrollees, especially from prestigious and competitive schools, spent many years creating their projects, so their professionalism does not leave questions. And, of course, their portfolios demonstrate a high level of readiness for college education. That is why it is so difficult to surprise the college admissions officers with simply competent possession of artistic instruments. To cut through the clutter, you need to keep uniqueness. Select the materials that, in addition to basic skills, demonstrate your inimitable zest.
  • Time. Do not put away a portfolio for the last days before the deadline. If you start creating over a few months or even a year before entering college, you will have the opportunity to go through your vulnerabilities in detail, as well as create new artwork if necessary.
  • Feed. Whatever talented your work is, it should be presented with flair. If you have doubts about the material (for example, the photo has not enough quality), it is better not to risk it and replace it with another one. Use modern technologies - so you will simultaneously demonstrate the ability to work with computer programs. The best user-friendly site for creating online art self-presentation is Portfoliobox

Think about the portfolio structure choicely - it must be logical and readable. Give each work name and specify the date when it was created.

  • Variety. Since it is necessary to show all your creative experience and potential in several projects, it is important to provide your art portfolio for a variety. It makes no sense to show five drawings in the same technique - let each project tell something new about yourself so that the whole portfolio will give the reception commission a full picture of all your talents. Your top-rank project should be the very first in the portfolio.
  • Compliance with college requirements. Despite its creative content, an art portfolio is primarily a document that should be presented following the rules of the chosen college. Keep in mind that future students should provide a portfolio to enroll in programs of any level: preliminary courses, basic education, graduate education programs, etc. Requirements for the degree of professionalism can differ for each level.
  • Second opinion. When choosing material for an art portfolio, consult with professionals whose point of view you trust. It can be your school teacher, a school teacher, a private tutor, etc. Show your portfolio to your kith, especially those who seem artistic personalities, and ask possible tips. These people should have an objective opinion about your work. At the same time, you should be ready to accept constructive criticism. Try to get as many second opinions as possible and analyze them, but do not rush to follow all the tips immediately. Do not forget how important it is to maintain your individuality.

We hope that our article has fulfilled your art portfolio knowledge, and now you can create a well-beseeming self-presentation. If you impress the admissions officers, you will have every chance to go to the desired college.

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