Busting Some Portfolio Myths: Part III

November 13th, 2013 by Admissions Blogger
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Want more? Here's our other video on building a portfolio.

Want more? Here’s our other video on building a portfolio.

By Kira Magrann

Last week I talked more about the content of a portfolio and the things that admission counselors look for: technical proficiency, concept, risk taking, and dedication.

This week I wrap up my list of most frequently asked questions, including one of my favorites:

“What do you mean by concept?”

Concept can mean a lot of things. What we look for is that you’re communicating ideas in your  work, usually in a series of three pieces that have a similar theme and style. This can be a simple concept, like portraits of your family, or it can be complex, like about body images and feminism. Whatever it is, try to make it something you care about, because your work will usually turn out better when you’re passionate about what you’re creating.

“What about my sketchbook, should I include that?”

It’s good to include some pages from your sketchbook in your final portfolio. You have 20 potential slots to fill with work online, so if three to five of those are sketches that’s great. You can collage a whole bunch of sketches on one page using Photoshop, or make a video of you turning pages in your sketchbook, however you want to present it is up to you as long as it looks great. It’s also good to include sketches that are of a finished piece in your portfolio so you can show off your process.

“Everything I have is classroom projects.”

Well, that isn’t the worst situation, but it isn’t the best. We like to see work that comes from outside of the classroom in addition to projects you work on in school. Showing us what you love and what you’re working on in your own time definitely strengthens the quality of your portfolio.

“Do I need to come in for an interview to show you my original work?”

You can visit campus as often as you like, for campus tours or the many events we have here at CCAD. But you don’t need to be physically present to show us your final portfolio. You’ll be uploading digital images of your work to our website, so get some great photos of your work. Make sure there’s no glare, it’s cropped to the edge of the piece, and it isn’t blurry. Imagine you’re looking at it on a computer screen and represent it as best as possible.

With that said, if you do want to come and see us in person we are hosting a portfolio and application day for high school juniors & seniors on Nov. 16, and if that doesn’t work, you can always schedule a tour.

That wraps up my series on most asked portfolio questions. Hopefully this Q&A has answered some of those nagging thoughts about the portfolio. Tame that unicorn, and get started today! I look forward to seeing your work on my screen.

Kira Magrann is a CCAD Admissions Counselor and artist who creates enameled jewelry (www.etsy.com/shop/AnimaMetals), and has an award-winning blog, gamingaswomen.com.

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The CCAD Admissions blog brings prospective students and their families into ongoing conversation with CCAD students, admissions counselors, and financial aid staff—including occasional visits from other members of the CCAD family.

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