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What is a Portfolio?

The portfolio is one of the most important tools for an artist or designer. A collection of your best art/design work that showcases your creativity, thinking, and skill. It's what you will to use apply for programs, jobs, grants, gallery spaces, and more. Your portfolio is one of the first points of contact with that client or institution. This is the chance to make an impression, so you want to make sure it's a good one! Don't fret: every creative has stressed over their portfolio. Something to remember is that it will never be complete: As your work changes and evolves, so will your portfolio. You may start working and find that a piece you are incredibly proud of is not longer reflective of your skill set. That just shows how you are constantly growing and improving as an artist. 

Key elements of the portfolio to include:

1. Statement of Intent

Explain your interest in the program that you have applied to, as well as what inspires or influences the work that you do.

2. Process Work

Show your sketchbook, process and concept development skills as part of your portfolio.

3. Finished Work

Include 8 to 10 examples of your finished original work. Be sure to show some work that is directly related to the program that you are applying to.

4. Descriptions

Explain in 50 words per finished piece the process, method, media, concept and purpose of each piece.

Finished Work vs. Process Work

Technically, your portfolio could include whatever you want. This a reflection of you and the work you are doing. You're showing relevant work, technical skill, exploration, and of course your best pieces! That could include any of the following:

Recent work | Fashion + jewellery | Drawing + painting | Sculpture | Models | Animation | Video + film | Audio + sound | Web design | Layout design | Furniture | Textiles | Collage | Photography | Costumes | Murals | Coding | Digital art | Robotics | App design | Science projects | Life drawing | Printmaking | Packaging | Design

Process work is another essential component to your portfolio. This is where we learn about the journey of your work, how you got from point A to point B. Process is the visual way to explain your thinking and work. This can be the following:

  • Sketches
  • A collection inspirational images
  • Objects and thoughts
  • Writing
  • Storyboarding
  • Maquettes
  • And more!

We all work in different ways, and we are interested in learning about your process.

Think you're ready?