3 May 2012
What to do if you don't get into art college
New eBook now available!

We have a new eBook out today to help you with some creative portfolio ideas for art college! I hope that not many of you will need this one, but it's inevitable that some of you might not get into art college first time around. This book is titled 'What to do if you don't get in' (to art college), it's a short, informative book and best of all it's FREE!! Download it from the eBooks section now.

eBook excert….. "I had a portfolio and went off to Norwich School of Art (as it was called then) for an interview. I’d chosen this place as it seemed quite intimate, not the size of some of the large cities I’d visited such as Manchester and Leeds. I was so desperate to get into this art college and I knew very little about the place, the college or the reputation as it stood. Had I done my research properly I would have known that it was a very competitive art college to secure a place at. Not that this should have influenced my decision but it could have saved a lot of upset as you will later find out.

My art college interview I thought went quite well, I didn’t have to say much; I was so timid and quiet that really the interviewers got nothing out of me at all. I had nothing to say about my work as it was so bland. How was I going to get them excited about my work if I wasn’t even excited about it – hmmm, think about it? I naively came away thinking that they didn’t talk much to me because my work gave them all the answers, I was SO wrong!


I’d worn my smartest clothes as my parents had advised. And I’d dropped in a name of my tutor who had studied with one of the interviewers as I thought this might help – yay!

Nay. I didn’t get a place. I didn’t ask for any feedback either. So, on I went to my 2nd choice art college as in those days that’s how it worked, you had a 1st choice, 2nd choice and then it went to clearing. Having no accurate indication why I didn’t obtain a place at Norwich I went on to Humberside Polytechnic (now University of Lincoln) and probably did the same thing there. Didn’t say much, wore my smartest clothes and thought it went well too. I didn’t get a place there either. Gutted.

I went through clearing too at Farnham and surprise, surprise I didn’t get a place there either!

Having asked for no feedback on my travels from any of these art colleges, I had really no idea why they weren’t interested in me or my work. It wasn’t based on my clothes being too smart I don’t think(!) but I certainly didn’t feel that comfortable in them.

I found myself begrudgingly repeating my Foundation Diploma at Chesterfield College to build my portfolio pretty much from scratch, when thud (!), the penny finally dropped as to what my portfolio was lacking – passion and commitment. I had no creative portfolio ideas, it was all still life work.  I had technical skills but it said nothing about me.

In this extra year my interests were broadened and my portfolio for art college flourished (with some excellent support from my tutors at Chesterfield College, Dave Horan, Tony Currell and Shirley Stevenson if you’re reading, thanks a million… oh and my parents who patiently listened to my wishes to go to Art College – whatever!)

Once my confidence grew, I secured a place at 2 colleges the following year and took up my place at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee in 1991. I’ll tell you more about this story in the eBook ‘Creating a Sensational Portfolio’ as there’s still lots to tell."


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