A portfolio is a collection of your best and most recent creative work that highlights your art and design experience. It is a visual archive of your artistic accomplishments and demonstrates your ability and potential as a visual artist or designer.
- Start early. The more time you allow yourself to create, the more work you will have to choose from when preparing your portfolio. Ultimately, however, quality of work is more important than quantity.
- Challenge yourself. Take advantage of resources available at your school, in your community, and on your own time. Supplement your high school art experience with outside opportunities.
- Maximize your summers. Summer programs are a great way to build your portfolio.
- Include observational drawings. Most art and design colleges prefer that the majority of drawings submitted in the portfolio be derived from direct observation, which means drawing or painting from still life, figure models, or landscape. VCUarts Qatar prefers observational drawings rather than drawings from photographs or from your imagination (such as fantasy characters or anime).
- Explore ideas in your work. Strong portfolios typically include work that demonstrates solid technical skills and reflects thoughts and concepts. Consider including work that speaks to your personal experiences, your culture, and so on.
Get outside opinions of your artwork before the year in which you plan to apply.
It is important to show your work to others and to ask for critiques with enough time to benefit from the feedback. This will help you be aware of your progress, as well as areas that may need further development. Teachers, other artists, designers, mentors, and college representatives can offer this type of informal review.
Practice discussing your work.
Don't be afraid to talk about your work and what it means to you. Select a couple of pieces to discuss. Think about when and why you created the work, what the work is about, and what media were used. Share what you like about the pieces and what can be improved.
Meet with college representatives.
Admissions counselors meet with students on campus, visit many high schools and community colleges, and host special events for prospective students.
MFA applicants must submit a digital portfolio of visual or written work. The portfolio should include samples of relevant work that show creative thinking, idea development, and visualization skills. Works presented in your portfolio should support the ideas shared in your statement of intent.
- The number of individual works in the portfolio should not exceed 20.
- Images of the indiviual works must be consolidated into one document and submitted as one PDF file.