Art Portfolio Help | Portfolio Oomph
home,page-template,page-template-full_width,page-template-full_width-php,page,page-id-12,bridge-core-3.1.7,,qode-title-hidden,qode_grid_1300,qode-content-sidebar-responsive,qode-child-theme-ver-1.0.0,qode-theme-ver-30.5,qode-theme-bridge,disabled_footer_bottom,qode_header_in_grid,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-7.6,vc_responsive,elementor-default,elementor-kit-11461


Check you're not making these
10 common costly mistakes
in my FREE report

Get your free report on the 10 mistakes.



As featured in…


portfolio preparation for art college

intensive online Course

Study flexibly, online with 5 Zoom or face to face tutorials. Master sketchbooks, ideas, UCAS statement and digital portfolio all in one.


private art lessons

Bespoke mentoring

Clear guidance with bi-weekly meetings to assist with more specialised applications.


art portfolio advice

Folio Reviews

Get your digital portfolio nailed with a fresh pair of eyes on your work, feedback and assistance with selection making you good to go.


Here’s what my clients have said

David Russell-Douglas
David Russell-Douglas
10 July 2023
I cannot express enough gratitude for the remarkable services provided by Julie from Portfolio Oomph. From the outset, Julie demonstrated an exceptional understanding of the application process and her personalised approach tailored specifically to my daughter's aspirations and strengths made all the difference. What truly sets Julie apart is her genuine care and support. Throughout the entire process, she was approachable, responsive, and always willing to provide timely advice and reassurance. Her unwavering belief in my daughter's abilities instilled confidence and kept her motivated even during the most challenging moments. Julie's nurturing and encouraging demeanour created a nurturing environment that allowed my daughter's creativity to flourish. The transformation that Julie facilitated in my daughter's portfolio, skills, and overall approach to the application process has been truly remarkable. My daughter heads off to study her dream course in September and I wholeheartedly recommend Julie from Portfolio Oomph to any aspiring student seeking guidance and support in their pursuit of a creative career.
Julie Spence
Julie Spence
10 July 2023
Working with Julie was a pleasure. She very quickly understood our needs and the skills of our daughter. The support given was exceptional and nothing was ever a problem. As well as ending up with a terrific portfolio, our daughter has also gained a whole new set of skills and definitely grown in confidence. She achieved three unconditional offers as a result of this work. Thank you Julie, we would highly recommend you to anyone in the future.
The Studio
The Studio
27 April 2023
Finding Julie was one of the best thing that happened this year. Trying to support our daughter with her Portfolio felt a little overwhelming. I am not a creative and she knew exactly what she wanted but time pressures, dyslexia and other pressures were making the process stressful. Julie listened, understood and helped her produce a portfolio that reflected the concepts, design ideas and prototypes that won her offers. She heads to Glasgow School of Art in September. We can't recommend Julie enough.
N Faulkner
N Faulkner
3 July 2022
This is a fantastic portfolio course! After taking the course I got 2 offers from my first choice for a BA in Painting at Edinburgh as well as from DJCAD. Julie is very organised and supportive through the whole process, you can tell she cares a lot about her students. She was very helpful in explaining different parts of the projects, I really liked how each project was broken down into check lists and the zoom calls we had throughout each part of the process were beyond beneficial in keeping us productive. Julie has a lot of knowledge about what art schools are looking for and how to make your portfolio meet their expectations and requirements. She helps with personal statements and portfolio statements too. I did this course remotely which is always hard as you have to be self directed but Julie keeps in contact with you frequently and helps in organising deadlines, the way her course is structured makes things so much clearer and easier for you to plan out. As stressful as applying to art school is Julie made the creative process so enjoyable for me, I've honestly learned a lot for my own art practice through this course as well and still use some of the techniques taught in this course whenever I'm working on a personal project! Thank you so much Julie, I couldn't have done it without you!!
Anna Cummins
Anna Cummins
13 May 2021
Before Portfolio Oomph I had no idea how to go about creating a portfolio but thanks to Julie’s guidance I was able to get a place at DJCAD which was my first choice! Julie was so helpful and friendly and was always there if I needed support. She really helped me understand the creative process and improve my skills as well as increasing my confidence in my work.
Kirsty Murray
Kirsty Murray
7 May 2021
I really enjoyed working with Julie and the course that I took with Portfolio Oomph. Having someone who is experienced with art school applications from the university side definitely helped to make a portfolio that got me into Djcad on my 4th try. I'm very glad I contacted Julie, without her I wouldn't be preparing to go to uni this year!
Sophie Lee
Sophie Lee
23 December 2020
The course provided by Portfolio Oomph was everything I needed, as it taught me to be to be more experimental and open to new ideas. I applied to one course (Fine Art at Newcastle University) and was offered a place, which I never would have managed to receive without Julie's guidance.
25 June 2020
Julie at Portfolio Oomph helped take so much of the stress out of applying for University. She was always generous with her time and ready to listen. I don't know how we would have managed without her. My kid got unconditional offers from their top two universities and we feel Portfolio Oomph played a big part in that achievement.
Zuzanna Sitko
Zuzanna Sitko
23 May 2020
It was a really great experience working with Julie. Definitely worth it! I think without Portfolio Oomph I would not get to the universities that I got into so I am very thankful for that. Also it was so great to have some support through the whole application process when stress levels are the highest. Highly recommend!! :)
27 February 2020
Being accepted into an art collage would be impossible without Julie’s help! I cannot imagine going through the application process, interviews and portfolio preparation on my own. Best service possible!



Step 1

A free no obligation coaching call or Zoom video call, to discuss what you are trying to achieve and how I can assist you.


Step 2
1:2:1 package or mentoring

We commence work in 1 of 2 ways to explore your creativity and get massive CLARITY on your portfolio, digital portfolio and UCAS statement submission.


Step 3
Ongoing guidance

We work together over several months in person or by video/Zoom until we achieve the result you want with your portfolio.

The 3 C’s Approach

The 3 Cs art portfolio

The 3 C’s are a unique process to Portfolio Oomph that engage you in an essential process that must be embraced for success. Miss out any one of these and your ideas, portfolio, and ultimately your success will suffer.


CURIOSITY – Exploring and investigating – How willing are you to try out new and different materials and techniques – exploring the world and your subject?

COURAGE – Tolerating uncertainty – How easy do you find it not to be sure about something you do?

CLARITY – Towards your goals – How clear are you on what you want to achieve and when?

Who am I?

I am a leading educator in the Creative Industries, as featured in The Guardian newspaper, on a mission to create a legacy to ‘unlock your creative genius’.

My passion and mission is your art portfolio, to help to get you that place at college or university. CLARITY, in particular around the creative process, sketchbooks, and what the Colleges actually want to see are the founding principles.

Over the last 10 years, I have become known as the “go-to” when it comes to bespoke 1:2:1 support for art applicants (and artists) to start exploring your creativity in a different way for success at art school or personal fulfilment.

I have now worked with 111 students who have gained over 230 places for art and design courses at 66 institutions around the UK and abroad.

I taught also assessed portfolios and interviewed applicants for 10 years at Edinburgh College of Art. 17 years of teaching in Further Education Colleges on Foundation, HNC, and HND courses gave me a comprehensive understanding of post-school education in the visual arts.

I was a finalist in the UK Blog Awards for Best Individual/Freelance Education and a proud Theo Paphitis Small Business Sunday Winner.

AND I was also a student who didn’t get a place at art college many years ago!

As an artist, I have exhibited my own artwork extensively, both nationally and internationally.

Who I Work With And Where

  • High school, also home education pupils specialising in art and design
  • Students on a further education course (Foundation, BTEC, HNC/D or NC)
  • Mature learners who wish to make a change in direction
  • Artists seeking creative direction and development

I work with creative people worldwide, who want to prepare their art school portfolio in the best way possible so that they don’t miss out on their first choice college.

My studio is in a small mining village just outside Edinburgh – we can work in person or by Zoom.

If this is you, we’ll work together closely to grow your confidence, explore your creativity, and gain great clarity to produce that killer portfolio for success at art school.

Portfolio Oomph studio

A successful portfolio is not about how well you can draw or how high your grades at school are. It’s about ideas, the way you think and create.

Competition is fierce, for example at Edinburgh College of Art there are in the region of 6000 applicants for approximately 280 places (1:22).

Therefore being successful with your portfolio is about the speed of implementation and the sooner you start, the more advanced your portfolio is likely to be.

Portfolio Oomph will put an end to the confusion you will be feeling. This will buy you the competitive edge that is essential for success. And some previous students have received 11 offers for their dream courses worldwide.

…………starting right now!

Portfolio Oomph studio
a level art

Discover the 10 mistakes in art and design portfolios that hold you back from getting into Art School.

Download Your Free Report.

After 9 years as a lecturer at Edinburgh College of Art assessing entrance portfolios including interviewing students and after helping over 80 students get into their preferred uni/top art universities, I’ve rattled down the 10 most common things students/applicants do that have a devastatingly negative impact on their applications.

Get your free report on the 10 mistakes in art and design portfolios that hold you back from getting into art school.


What’s critical for you to resolve right NOW? What’s going to happen if you don’t get that handled?

My services are available only to a VERY limited number of students.

Please complete the contact form below and tell me about your biggest challenges right now.

I’ll contact you to discuss this further.

    Email Address:

    Social Media: