My 7 Tips on Art Portfolio Applications for College and University Students

I have been exhibiting my artwork since 2012. I have received artist grants and awards and I have attended artist residencies. With this experience I have done my share in submitting my portfolio for numerous applications. See my 7 tips for your college/university art portfolio application below!

After receiving my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing from Lakehead University I also completed teacher’s college. I graduated being able to teach grades 4-12 in Ontario before taking my Master of Fine Arts at Concordia University.

During my time in teacher’s college part of my placement included teaching art to grade 12 students. In the first term I helped students with their portfolios as they were in the midst of applying for university and college arts programs. I volunteered my time to help these students during my lunch break by giving them tips and ways to improve what they had selected to be in their portfolios.

Currently I am working as an art instructor a private boarding school where I am helping international high school students with their portfolio applications in art and architecture programs.

I have outlined 7 tips on art portfolio applications below:

See my 7 tips for your college/university art portfolio applications in this blog post!

Tip #1

READ THE REQUIREMENTS -AND FOLLOW THEM

You need to know what they want and usually they tell you specifics!

Every university and college or even programs within the same school have different application requirements when it comes to their portfolios. Some schools are very specific asking for a certain number of pieces, certain media used or certain sizes of work. Some schools want original work, some/most don’t– they want photographs uploaded on programs like SlideRoom.  Some schools even have specific themes like “Make a work that is finished yet unfinished.” This can make the process more difficult and leave students feeling overwhelmed and unsure -often overthinking their decisions and ideas.

Tip #2

Show Your Creative Process

Most schools  want to see your process work – they want to see how you think about your art and why you made the choices you did. It is a good idea to explain your artistic decisions in either your descriptions of your artwork or by showing some sketches/tests and rough work as part of your portfolio.

Tip #3

Show Your Personality

The purpose of the portfolio is an introduction and a chance for your chosen school to get to know you and see if you would be a good fit there.  You want to show your interests and possibilities you might want to continue to explore while in post-secondary education. You should include materials you like working with and show your artistic style that is unique to you! You can show your personality through the subject matter by making art on things that interest you, that you’re passionate about and make you different from other people.

Tip #4

Show Variety

You want the professors reviewing your portfolio to be impressed by your skills and see you as an artist who is versatile. Therefore, it is important to show that you can do more. For example, if you are applying to an illustration program you want to show a mixture of digital and traditional artwork. You want to show that you can work with other mediums like water colour, acrylic, pencil crayon, pencil, ink, pastel… the list goes on and on.

By showing variety you are showing that you aren’t afraid to try new things and experiment with your artwork. It shows that you are open to growing and learning which is the whole point of college and university programs.

Tip #5

Show Program Specific Techniques 

If you are applying to specific programs like architecture or illustration you want to think about possible projects that might be studied in those programs. Once you have thought of those ideas you could try to include relevant pieces in your portfolio.

Take architecture for example:

-They create designs digitally and traditionally

-They make models

-They draw with perspective

These are just some of the qualities professors hope to see in your portfolio application.

If you are applying to a non-specific program like a Bachelor of Fine Arts for example- then again you want to show variety with materials but also what you are making include some drawing, some painting and some sculpture work in your portfolio. You need to show your range, talents and abilities. If you only submit drawings in pencil that’s all the review committee thinks you are capable of doing.

Tip #6

Details are Important 

You need to remember that review panels are looking at portfolio after portfolio for hours on end. You need to stand out and be memorable. Make sure you consider details to set you apart.

Edit your photos, think about your layout, come up with clever titles for your work. All these details are important.

Tip #7

Show Your Thinking, Your Writing and Research

Usually you will be asked to submit written descriptions about your work- make sure they are detailed and informative.

List your inspiration- if you did a drawing based off a building or place -state that research. You want to show your intelligence and critical thinking abilities in these descriptions.

Make sure you edit your writing, stick to the word count and choose a consistent and legible font.

Take time to plan your written descriptions and do not leave them to the last minute!

If you need more help with your portfolio-  book your calls by emailing me at jackiepartridgeart@gmail.com

Good luck in your applications and all the best in your future!

See my Exhibition at the Button Factory Arts in Waterloo!

Not everyone is from Waterloo, ON so I wanted to share my exhibition at the Button Factory Arts in Waterloo, ON.

The exhibition is from January 17- February 1, 2020.

The group exhibition is called Friends & Lovers and is curated by Tee Kundu.

There is a variety of art forms including photographs, paintings and a community quilt project among others!

I have three works shown at the exhibition. The two smaller photographs are from my Patched series where I embed map paper into areas of the tree where the bark peels always. The larger photograph is titled Nestled and included twisted strips of map paper.

Jackie Partridge - artwork Nestled

Here is the description of the exhibition:

If love is a feeling and care is an action, they are always engaged in conversation. As we navigate our lives, these conversations become increasingly important in shaping our stories. Drawing on personal lived experiences as archival knowledge of histories and possible futures, our identities are forged through our relationships with one another. Friends & Lovers explores the ways in which care, vulnerability & intimacy contribute to our sense of community. Who are you in love with? And how?

Artists:

Yasmeen Nematt Alla

Megan Arnold

Sara Fleiszig

Jane Holbrook

Lara Jerome

TomiiLolaa Kosoko

Lucy Lan

Cassey Leblanc

Madeleine Lychek

Martha Merrall

Sarah Moreau

Becky Ostil

Jackie Partridge

Rebecca Payne

Lauren Prousky

Christie Shen

Johanna Thompson

Curated by Tee Kundu

Located on the Second Floor.

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Fields Exhibition at The O Gallery

I am excited to announce that I am a part of a group of two other artists showing exhibitions at the O Gallery on 44 Gaukel St. in Kitchener, ON, Canada.

I will be showing work I have curated for a theme of Fields. This work includes past work of my hand dyed, hand embroidered dish cloths that are beautifully framed and work of my sewn thread line drawings embedded in abaca sheets of handmade paper.

Fields is an abstract representation of aerial views of farmlands. I have grown up close to farming and fields and have visually seen the landscape change over time and become more developed.

The exhibition is on view from January 15-March 6, 2020!

Let me know what you think of the show if you are local and able to see it in the comments!

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Friends and Lovers Exhibition Opening at Button Factory Arts

I am a part of a group exhibition at Button Factory Arts in Waterloo on Friday January 17th from 5-7pm.

This group exhibition with the theme of Friends and Lovers is curated by Tee Kundu.

I will have two works shown in the exhibition and I would love for you to come and see all of the other great art in the show!

Button Factory Arts is located at 25 Regina St. S Waterloo, ON, Canada

More information can be found on Facebook or Instagram @buttonfactoryarts

I hope to see you at the opening Friday January 17th from 5-7pm!

 

Here is a sneak peek at a work of mine titled ‘Broken’ that I have in the exhibition:

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Happy New Year! Here are my 10 Art Goals!

Happy New Year!

I can’t believe it is a new year! 2020 feels so weird to write!

I know this is going to be the best year yet!

I love writing goals and do so not just around New Years.

Here are some of my art related goals for 2020!

  1. Make more art (new and current projects)
  2. Have more exhibitions and apply to more (I want to apply to 7 art calls per month)
  3. Post more consistently on social media – blog 2x a month, Instagram every other day!
  4. Sell more art and do more commissions for people (I would like to do one commission per month)
  5. Walk in nature at least once a month to stay inspired
  6. Keep website updated- check and update biweekly
  7. Exercise and sleep well to stay motivated and inspired
  8. Keep studio clean and organized to want to work more
  9. Read 1-2 books a month to stay inspired
  10. Designate a time once a week to sketch ideas and brainstorm

 

What are some goals you have for 2020?

Let me know in the comments. I would love to hear from you!  By sharing our goals we can hold each other accountable and encourage and support each other through the year to make it a wonderful one!

New Years Goals let me guess you want to lose weight? Well if you’re an artist have you thought about goals for your art business. Check out my list of 10 art goals if you need some ideas!