I know you're probably thinking that it's easier to work from photos and it might be much more convenient too. However, a testimonial that we received the other week from a student's Mum said:
"Before Portfolio Oomph came into our lives Emily was happy drawing, painting but she was not creating. She clearly had the skills but was copying from photos, paintings etc. Although her teachers were very encouraging they weren’t helping her think for herself."We've been thinking about this ever since we first read it and wanted to write to you to talk a bit more about this.
The words "she was not creating" and "she was copying from photos" ring loudly with us. If you're copying from photos, even if they are your own photos, then you're not interpreting your subject. You are attempting to make a replica, in paint, of your photo. And this is where the problem lies. To be demonstrating to the art colleges that you are a creative individual, able to interpret briefs, projects and themes, they are looking for more than being able to technically replicate something – be that from a photo or actually from a still life.
They are looking for creative thinking, creative solutions to ideas and problems. When they see your folio they want to feel as if they know you through your folio (because it will say something about who you are and what your interests are).
By all means use photos (and please use your OWN photos as much as you can) in your research but don't just copy from them. Draw from the original object or subject that you're studying that shows YOUR interpretation of it.
If you're copying from photos then you're not doing any development work and this is part of the process that your portfolio will be assessed against. You need to start with a subject/object/idea and do something with it, not just copy it – develop it!
If you're really not sure what we're talking about here you can find more in our Sketchbook development eCourse. Get it right today while you still have time to take a different path if need be.
Or if you need to talk further about your portfolio, your ideas and how to get things working for you, please get in touch sooner rather than later – visit our mentoring page to find out more. Our unique ability occurs within the larger skill of helping people to solve problems. Our mentoring creates a space that brings forth innovative solutions from the students that we work with.
Here's the full testimonial from Emily's Mum, she's having a ball at DJCAD!
Also published on Medium.