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!The thing I didn’t realise was that it said nothing about me, what I was interested in and it showed quite clearly that my passion for art hadn’t really been ignited. Okay, so I could draw and paint but the subjects I was drawing and painting were really dreary in hindsight – but hindsight is a marvelous thing, so learn from mine – please!
I did lots of paintings of poppy seed heads, flowers and shells, if I am honest, because I didn’t know what else to do. It was stuff we just had lying around at home; it showed!
I undertook the research phase of the creative process but then totally missed out developing it into anything! But I was blissfully unaware of this.
If I had to describe in a nutshell what your portfolio should be it's this:
Something that shows your unique qualities and by this I mean work that demonstrates how YOU see the world – the word INDIVIDUALITY will crop up a lot. Something that is different to what has previously been seen before.
DRAWING should be highly evident – we will discuss this more in our eBooks AND on our new online mentoring course PLAN CREATE SUCCEED. A range of materials and techniques should also be evident.
But I didn’t discover this until I found myself begrudgingly repeating my Foundation Diploma to build my portfolio, when THUD! – the penny finally dropped and my interests were broadened and my portfolio flourished (with some excellent support from my tutors at Chesterfield College) I secured a place at 2 colleges the following year and took up my place at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art. But having said that I still don’t think at the time I really knew what was needed to get me into Art College, it happened as a bi-product of being determined and focused which in turn showed in my portfolio.
So please, don't work on ideas for the sole reasons of it being suggested by a teacher, parent, friend. I understand people try to inspire you and get to started, which is kind, but in the end it's only your interests that are really going to get you fired up!
Also, consider this, suppose you apply to a college that interview candidates, how are you going to talk and explain your work when you don't feel passionately about it yourself? And that incidentally was where I really let myself down, I couldn't talk about my work as it so frightfully dull to be quite honest!
Also published on Medium.