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26 Sep 2016
art and design portfolio advice
Art and design portfolio advice

We had a lovely 2 evenings in the last couple of weeks. One at Dundee Contemporary Arts in Dundee and one at Stills Gallery in Edinburgh, preparing many pupils for the process of getting their art college applications and folios planned and organised. Thanks to everyone for attending to make it such an enjoyable evening.

Generally the feedback was very good. However, I am a little concerned that feedback from a number of students there is this need to know 'how to do it' and what successful portfolios look like. I know this is reassuring and gives you ideas but it's important that you know that there is no 'correct way to do it', it is personal to you and you just need to get started.

As I mentioned Glasgow School of Art have great examples of portfolios attached to the application guidelines for each subject, here's link to Interior Design – but this is not 'what you need to do', this is what these students did but you need to do your own thing.

art and design portfolio advice

By seeing many examples of successful portfolios this can actually hamper any progress at all as everything looks so good that it's unattainable.

I mentioned that jobs where there is an element of creativity involved are the ones that in the future won't be put out to automation because creativity, at the moment, is very difficult to produce by robots, systems etc.

My problem is partly with the education system and other subjects where there are answers, right and wrong and students expect this in art and design too. However, this doesn't work with creative subjects, you need to make your own ideas, decisions, mistakes and recommendations through your art. And as I mentioned, art students these days are commended on their ability to take risks as well as produce wonderful artworks. Taking risks doesn't always end up in wonderful artworks immediately but the enquiry, innovation and reflection that happens here is very valuable and can lead to wonderful art that would never have happened had the risk taking not taken place.

If you're still really stuck and want to meet up for a mentoring session even just to get you started we can do so for an hour. Students last week that came to see me said they were buzzing with ideas when they'd left, having felt quite stuck beforehand. I am always buzzing after a meeting too!

Please message me by replying to this email. We can also set up a Skype call if you're not in travel distance of Edinburgh.

In the meantime, 3 eBooks that will help you if you just want to get started now:

Creating a sensational portfolio and Sketchbook development and Writing your personal statement.

What do art colleges look for in a portfolio art sketchbook ideas Writing your UCAS personal statement for art

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