View Full Version : art school

01-27-2003, 08:11 PM
Hi I'm trying to prepare my portfolio and everything else to get into an art college in New York city, preferable for fine arts(painting/drawing, or advertising). Every college has a different criteria when it comes to what they want in the home exam and your portfolio. I just was wondering about how you college grads put together your portfolio, and any ideas that might impress the school judges. Im sorry to bother you about this but im in a rut.
I want to take a life drawing class, but its kind of expensive. Would it be a good idea for my portfolio? Most of my work has been imaginative, surrealistic in nature, and it turns out they want none of that. i would appreciate any advise.


01-28-2003, 11:26 AM
Hi Chris
I did not go to art school, but my daughter is 18 and in the process of applying to several right now. I understand how overwhelming this process is. She has done two things which have helped her tremendously with her preparation: 1) attended 2 National Portfolio Days which have been especially helpful toward her portfolio preparation. The advisors that attend from the various schools really do take the time to look and comment on the student's work. 2) she visited her school choices by appointment, taking along several examples of her work and sketch books. This was even more valuable to her because she was given more time and could see the school's facilities.
The schools generally look for drawings from life (not so much fantasy, cartoon, or reference photo work) and a bit of creativity. Hope this helps. Good luck with your studies and portfolio prep!

01-28-2003, 12:18 PM
First of all don't try to be "clever". They've read/seen everything under the sun and when committees are reviewing several hundred applications (yup it's that competitive), they begin to look like American Idol auditions.

Show them a consistent body of work. All over the board just to show off your prowess rarely works. If your strength is figurative, for example, exhibit this and NOT an abstract here, a figure study there, a collage or two, etc.

If slides are requested, pay the piper up front and get the best, most representative slides you can afford.

Even though you are entering art schools to learn how to make art, they are looking for a basic understanding of at least the fundamentals of draftsmanship, composition, etc. and yes - that undefinable something called talent.

Art schools are motivated to look good in the marketplace, to work with potential stars (which brings in more grant/contributor funds, to showcase the "best of the best" - particularly in art academies.

Your "essay" if they request one is where you can get a little creative and show your stuff (they are looking at basic skills too - grammar, sentence structure, etc don't forget). There are some great books with compilations of winning application essays. I looked in my local university library and book store.

Good luck!