The hope is that you have given yourself a lot of time to prepare. You don’t want to submit a portfolio that has been thrown together at the last minute. The idea of a portfolio is to present completed works that demonstrate your range of artistic abilities and competency. It should contain a balance of different media and categories of work. In this section of the guide you will find some helpful selection tips.

First pull out the application guidelines and see what is required by the school. Get a piece of paper, write a list of what is needed, how many pieces, and key requirements. Most schools ask for a range of 10-25 pieces and may allow for a few additional works outside of the suggested requirements. The admissions board considers many different qualities when reviewing work; technical skill, craftsmanship, presentation, cleanness, concept, composition, expressiveness, experimentation, form, and a variety of other aspects.

Gather all of your artwork, school work, sketch books, paintings, design work, photography, sculptures, story boards, animations, films, etc. and take out all the work you have done in the past 2 years. This pile is what you’ll draw upon when building your portfolio. Sift through the other work and pick out anything that is outstanding (remember you want to focus on recent work so only pick old work if it is really high quality).

These works should reflect your personal interests and demonstrate your abilities. Try to include a variety of works in terms of media and style. A good rule of thumb is that at least 50% of your portfolio work should be original self-directed projects.

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