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Making an Art Portfolio



What should be in an art school application portfolio? How do you present a portfolio? What gives you the best chance of being accepted by the art school of your dreams? This section explains how to make an art portfolio for college or university and is packed with tips from leading art and design school admissions staff from around the world. It is written for those who are in the process of creating an application portfolio for a foundation course, certificate, associate or undergraduate degree and contains advice for specific art-related areas, such as Architecture, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interior Design, Animation, Game Design, Film and other creative, visual art-based courses. It is presented along with art and design portfolio examples from students who have recently gained acceptance to a range of art schools from around the world


The University of the Arts London gives the following definition of an application portfolio:

A portfolio is a collection of your work, which shows how your skills and ideas have developed over a period of time. It demonstrates your creativity, personality, abilities and commitment, and helps us to evaluate your potential


Here is step-by-step guide to creating an art portfolio for college or university


1. Research carefully and record the art portfolio requirements for a number of courses that interest you as each course or university have different criteria’s.


2. Begin to photograph all of your work or scan your sketchbook pages as the resolution tends to be higher. Create folders on your computer and start to organise your work into themes: this could be based on Topics such as portraits etc. Most universities want to see the development of your ideas within a theme, so do not only showcase your final pieces.


3. Look at recent student art portfolio examples to gain a visual understanding of what is expected


4. Attend Open Days


5. Plan your art portfolio, aiming to demonstrate a range of artistic skill and experiences, creative ideas/originality and passion/commitment and most importantly demonstrate what type of artist you are


Here are some examples of students who have recently been accepted into top Universities across the world.



This is quite time consuming to make, but some universities require this option (Brighton University)


This student created a portfolio using Tumblr:




This student created a portfolio using DropBox:


BLOGSPOT (used by Manchester Metropolitan University)


This student created a portfolio using blogspot:




A good way to showcase more  than just your artwork, students can build a website for free using:


This student used Weebly:




This is the easiest option to put together and most popular, just make sure the file is compressed as it will be too big to send. Take a look at the examples below:


















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