Category Archives: Portfolio Oomph
8 Apr 2019
art portfolio for college application
Procrastination – the devil!

Stops you in your tracks and kills creativity.

I did a poll in the Facebook Group and by email last week – did you take part?

There were a number of replies and one of the main issues I’ve discovered that holds you and others back with art portfolio for college application is procrastination. So as promised, I will use these topics to assist you.

It’s useful if you can try to get a sense of what it is that’s making you delay, procrastinate and take action. (more…)

6 Apr 2018
Rosanna Dyke - textiles
Advanced higher art or further education?

So, you've just finished 5th year at school (here in Scotland) and you've achieved your Highers. So that means that you're possibly qualified for entry for art college in Scotland.

Each year, when I have students visit for their mentoring sessions, more often than not they are at school in the 6th year studying for their Advanced Highers. I wanted to write this blog post for those of you who aren't quite at that stage yet, maybe you're in 4th or 5th year. (more…)

16 Mar 2018
Employability and transferable skills eBook
Art and design employability skills

We've been thinking a lot of about art and design and how it sits in the school curriculum. We hear from some students telling us that art and design is always the subject that suffers if a student has to catch up time with another subject, time is usually asked to be taken from the art studies first. Now why is this? Are the skills learnt in art and design not seen to hold as much value as those in other subjects? Hold on….what skills do art and design teach you anyway?


7 Jun 2017
How you see the world
Do you want to hear my art college application story?

Learning from MY mistakes!!! I'll tell you a brief story, about my experience of applying to art college as there's a fair bit to learn from it.

I was a student who many, many years ago, didn’t get a place at Art College, in fact 3 Art Colleges, and I was gutted as I thought my portfolio was great – honestly! (more…)

22 May 2017
art portfolio success
How we can help to get you into art college

If you have begun to realise just how much work is involved in creating a portfolio and don’t know where or how to begin then I suggest you need to talk to Portfolio Oomph. THE place to go to speak about your art college portfolio – we can work with you one to one on our new aligned portfolio course. Read or watch more to hear how we can helped Ellie and can help you too. Find out more about our new online portfolio preparation course. (more…)

5 May 2017
Julie Read - why I started Portfolio Oomph
Why I started Portfolio Oomph

We're coming to you here from an absolutely gorgeous, sunny Edinburgh – spring is here! 

I just really wanted to share with you a little bit this morning about why I started up Portfolio Oomph, and we've been running now for two or three years. And I used to work at Edinburgh College of Art in the First Year Department and part of the job was to interview candidates for First Year.


20 Feb 2017
Art of Education Conference #artednow

On Saturday we took part in a totally new experience in our education world – an online conference! We've been to many conferences, mainly art based and all have been where we have been physically present. But last year we were asked to take part in this online conference organised by American based The Art of Education (AOE), an online resource for art teachers providing online classes, teaching materials, lessons, videos and much more.


22 Mar 2016
Careers for creative people
Careers for creative people

We've been thinking a lot about going to art college and careers for creative people recently. Mainly due to an email we recently received but also a discussion that we were in with students at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art last week. Is it a good idea to go into a creative education and is it a viable career option I suppose is the main thread of this post.

We were interviewed in ArtMag (Scotland and the North of England's art magazine) about whether or not we understood parents' concerns about an art education.


9 Feb 2016
Permission to fail
Giving pupils permission to fail

We were invited once again to guest blog for the marvellous Innovate my School blog. This follows the success of our last post "How art can inspire confidence in students" back in April 2015.

When a pupil doesn’t get something right, it’s important that their confidence doesn’t take a knock as a result. Art portfolio expert Julie Read discusses why ‘failure’ is a vital part of success.


8 Feb 2016
Press for Portfolio Oomph

We recently wrote about the benefits of the new train line that we have running to our village from Edinburgh. 2 papers picked up on this, great news; the Edinburgh Evening News and the Midlothian Advertiser. See below for the full press release:



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